Category Archives: Easter

The Week He Changed Everything – Pt. 3

Preparation – Part 3

 

“When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, ‘As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.’ Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.” (Matt. 26:1-4 NIV)

Jesus told His disciples that in two days He would be delivered up to be crucified. After Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, preparation had begun. The religious leaders began preparing ways they would take Jesus and kill Him. To continue the preparation, a woman came into Simon the Leper’s house to anoint Jesus. She made preparation for the burial of Jesus. Soon, Judas would be counting out 30 pieces of silver as he made preparation to betray Jesus with a kiss (Matt. 26). Preparations had begun.

Before the beginning of time, God made special preparations with you and me in mind. He prepared a Lamb to be our substitute, and this Lamb would pay our sin debt in full. Before the world began, God made preparations to give you and me eternal life through His Son. God prepared the way by sending Jesus Christ, the Holy Lamb of God, who is without blemish. And by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior; we can enjoy all the benefits that God has for those who love Him.

“But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, ‘What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].’” (1 Cor. 2:9 AMP)

This was God’s plan all along! Before the foundation of the world, a Lamb was slain (Rev. 13:8), which was God’s preparation for bringing us back into a right relationship with Him! This is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvelous in our eyes!! (Psalm 118:23)

As we celebrate Holy Week, remember all the wonderful things our Heavenly Father did for us to redeem us. Remember our Sweet Savior who sacrificed His life for us. Remember the gift that was given at the cross. Grace and Mercy stepped in and shouted, “NOT GUILTY!” Now, we’re forgiven. Our sins have been forgiven because of Christ!

It’s Wednesday – Hump Day! Here’s a biblical principle to get us over the hump.

Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. (Is. 53:10, MSG)

Let’s do our part! If we haven’t done so already, accept what God has done through Jesus Christ! Prepare our hearts to receive the work that was done at Calvary. Accept the new life Christ gives when we surrender our lives over to Him. Let’s surrender to the Savior. Surrender our brokenness. Surrender our weary souls. Surrender our heartaches. Surrender our plans for His plans. Surrender our all to God and allow Jesus to heal us, mend us, and make us new.
During your Quiet Time, meditate on Isaiah 53 the Message Bible. Be encouraged to keep your thoughts on God.

 

Read Parts 1 and 2 of “The Week He Changed Everything”.

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!
Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.

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The Week He Change Everything: A Bad Friday Turned Good

“‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (Luke 24:5-7 NKJV)

Jesus predicted everything that would happen to Him. He predicted how He would be betrayed by one of the twelve. He predicted how His disciples would stumble because of what was going to happen to Him that night and how they would desert Him. He predicted how Peter, the Rock, would deny Him. Jesus predicted His death. The things that Jesus predicted were way too heavy for His disciples and it troubled them. Their week of festivities and celebrations was coming fast to an end.

At the beginning of the week everything was wonderful. Their King made His triumphal entry into the city. He was going to overthrow their evil government. Their King was going to establish His kingdom and take His rightful place on His throne. Their King was going to make everything right, and now, He was talking about leaving them! Now, He’s talking about dying. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. This isn’t how they imagined it. This was supposed to be a time of celebration! This was supposed to be a time of victory! Their King, Son of David, and the One they shouted “Hosanna, Hosanna!” to was supposed to save them.

No, this was not how it was supposed to be. This was supposed to be the week that Jesus would change everything, but now this week was turning into a horrible nightmare.

They came for Jesus with their clubs and their swords, like He was a thief. They laid hands on Him. Jesus could have stopped them, but He didn’t.

“But Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?’ In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, ‘Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” (Matt. 26:52-56 NKJV)

They arrested Him and marched Him from judgment hall to judgment hall. They gave false testimony and called false witnesses. They spat in His face. They slapped Him and beat Him. They ridiculed Him. They yelled, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!!” With a crown of thorns around His head, He carried His cross up a hill called Golgotha. They nailed Him to a cross and He hung there. He died between two thieves. They pierced Him in His side and immediately blood and water came running down (John 19). He was placed in a tomb that was not His own. The King was dead, and dread and gloom surrounded the disciples.

But the disciples had it all wrong. They thought all was lost. They thought all their hopes and dreams had vanished. They had it all wrong. Jesus was and is the true King. Jesus did make all things right. Jesus had to fulfill the scriptures so that the human race could be brought back to God. Jesus had to die and be buried in the grave. But that’s not how the story ends. Praise God!

On the third day, Jesus got up! On the third day, the tomb was empty! Jesus took off His grave clothes, folded them neatly in the tomb, and arose from the dead. Jesus conquered Hell and the grave. The disciples bad Friday turned into something wonderful. Their sorrows turned into joy! Jesus came and changed everything!

Today, we celebrate Good Friday. He accomplished everything He said He would. Jesus is alive! He’s not dead. We now have victory. Now, we can really celebrate. Now, our sorrow has turned into joy. All that was wrong, Jesus made right. Jesus came to save us and unite us back to God.

Believers, celebrate with me! It’s Good Friday! Jesus is alive! He reigns in Majesty. In Power. In Wisdom. In Honor, and in Glory. Let the celebrations go on and on and on!

Happy Good Friday!!

REFLECTION

“‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (Luke 24:5-7 NKJV)

QUIET TIME

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

*COMING SOON! Soon you’ll be able to enjoy Rhovonda’s tribute to Easter ebook.

The Week He Changed Everything: Preparation

“When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, ‘As you know, the Passover is two days away-and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.’ Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.”  

(Matt. 26:1-4 NIV)

Jesus told His disciples that in two days He would be delivered up to be crucified. After Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, preparation had begun. The religious leaders began preparing ways they would take Jesus and kill Him. To continue the preparation, a woman came into Simon the Leper’s house to anoint Jesus. She made preparation for the burial of Jesus. Soon, Judas would be counting out 30 pieces of silver as he made preparation to betray Jesus with a kiss (Matt. 26). Preparations had begun.

Before the beginning of time, God made special preparations with you and me in mind. He prepared a Lamb to be our substitute, and this Lamb would pay our sin debt in full. Before the world began, God made preparations to give you and me eternal life through His Son. God prepared the way by sending Jesus Christ, the Holy Lamb of God, who is without blemish. And by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior; we can enjoy all the benefits that God has for those who love Him.

“But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, ‘What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].'” (1 Cor. 2:9 AMP)

This was God’s plan all along! Before the foundation of the world, a Lamb was slain (Rev. 13:8), which was God’s preparation for bringing us back into a right relationship with Him! This is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvelous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23)!

As we celebrate Holy Week, remember all the wonderful things our Heavenly Father did for us to redeem us. Remember our Sweet Savior who sacrificed His life for us. Remember the gift that was given at the cross. Grace and Mercy stepped in and shouted, “NOT GUILTY!” Now, we’re forgiven. Our sins have been forgiven because of Christ!

It’s Wednesday – Hump Day! Here’s a biblical principle to get us over the hump.

Let’s do our part. If we haven’t done so already, accept what God has done through Jesus Christ. Prepare our hearts to receive the work that was done at Calvary. Accept the new life Christ gives when we surrender our lives to Him. Let’s surrender to the Savior. Surrender our brokenness. Surrender our weary souls. Surrender our heartaches. Surrender all to God and allow Jesus to heal us, mend us, and make us new.

During your Quiet Time, meditate on Isaiah 53 the Message Bible. Be encouraged to keep your thoughts on God.

REFLECTION

He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence. (Isa. 53:7, MSG)

QUIET TIME

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

Excerpt from Walking in Freedom: The Week He Changed Everything. A Seven Day Devotional Guide to Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice for our Freedom by Rhovonda L. Brown. Copyright 2015 by Rhovonda L. Brown.

*COMING SOON! Soon you’ll be able to enjoy Rhovonda’s tribute to Easter ebook.

Copyright ©2010-2015. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved

The Week He Changed Everything: Fruitless

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs (Mark 11:12-13 NIV).

On the second day while going into Jerusalem, Jesus saw a fig tree ahead and being hungry he went to the fig tree. A fig tree grows its leaves after the figs appear and since there were leaves on the tree, Jesus figured there would be figs. But when He got to the tree, He saw no figs.

The tree was supposed to bear fruit, but it was a fruitless fig tree. It was useless. It was a waste. It was unproductive. It had a purpose, but it wasn’t fulfilling it. It was taking up space. It had the look. It had leaves growing, but it had no figs. It had the appearance of a fig tree, and from the appearance it should have been bearing the fruit. It appeared to be a healthy fruitful tree but in all actuality, it was a barren tree with no fruit. Therefore, Jesus became angry and cursed the tree saying, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again” (Mark 11:14 NIV).

Like the fig tree the religious leaders had failed to bear fruit, good fruit. They failed to fulfill their purpose, which was to lead the children of Israel to God, and be Godly examples. They were hypocrites who opposed everything that Jesus did. They were evil and they opposed good, and like the fig tree, Jesus would pronounce doom on the religious leaders who were fruitless (Matt. 23).

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either”  (Matt. 23:13, NLT).

Are we like this fig tree? Are we in a position ─ in a place to bear fruit, but are fruitless? Do we have the appearance of a fruitful tree, but we’re useless? Are we looking the part (dress up like a Christian), but inside we are imposters? When Jesus looks at us, what does He see?

The fig tree’s purpose was to bear fruit, good fruit. It was created to give nourishment to others. But the fig tree was not fulfilling its purpose. Jesus was expecting to receive nourishment from the fig tree, but he received nothing. As Christians, we must bear much fruit, good fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Ponder on this. If Jesus showed up at our doorsteps today, would He find us fulfilling our purpose? Would He find us being fruitful ─ bearing good fruit? My sister, let us be fruitful for Christ! Know and fulfill our purposes by bearing good (much) fruit that will honor and glorify God (John 15:8).

REFLECTION

I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you]. Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5, AMP).

QUIET TIME

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

Excerpt from Walking in Freedom: The Week He Changed Everything. A Seven Day Devotional Guide to Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice for our Freedom by Rhovonda L. Brown. Copyright 2015 by Rhovonda L. Brown.

*COMING SOON! Soon you’ll be able to enjoy Rhovonda’s tribute to Easter ebook.

Copyright ©2010-2015. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved

The Week He Changed Everything: Monday-Let the Praises Begin!

Let the Praises Begin!

Many of us celebrated Palm Sunday on yesterday, which is identified as Jesus triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. This triumphal entry was during the Festival of the Passover, and just a few days before His crucifixion. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the crowd spread their clothes and palm branches on the road. The multitude cried out to Jesus in praise, “Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (Matt. 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12)!

The children praised Him. Adults applauded Him. The crowd celebrated Him, and the rocks would have praised Him if no one else did (Luke 19:40). There was a praise party going on in the streets of Jerusalem and Jesus was the guest of honor. He entered the city with His mind on what had to be done. His mission? To save the world from their sins.
Can’t you see our Lord riding in on a colt? Can’t you see His eyes fixed on His purpose? Can’t you see His thoughts focused on the cross? Everyone participated in the praise party, and Jesus was the center of their praise. Starting today, you and I can have a praise party in honor of the King. Our praise party doesn’t have to wait until we get to church or until everything is going well. No. We can have a praise party for Jesus right now, right where we are, right in the midst of whatever situation we may be in. No matter what’s going on in our lives, praise can go right there, right in the center.
The Holy Lamb (Jesus) entered into the city of Jerusalem with you and me on His mind. He knew who would betray Him. He knew who would not believe in Him. He knew who would reject Him. He knew who would make false accusations against Him. He knew that His close friends would abandon Him. Jesus knew all that awaited Him in that city. Yet, our Hero, came riding in.
After all Jesus has done for you, after all He has endured for me, for all the things He continues to put up with from us, most surely, we owe Him our praise. Beloved, let’s do like the multitude did when Jesus rode in on a colt. Let’s have a praise party for our King! Let’s lay all of our issues at His feet, bow down in reference, and worship Him. Honor and extol Him.
If you don’t know how to praise the Lord or need a little help, just begin with words of thanksgiving on your lips. Tell the Lord “Thank You!” Thank Him for His goodness. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Thank Him for being the Holy Lamb who took our place on the cross. Let the praises begin by thanking Him for everything.


REFLECTION
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! Hail to the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13, NLT)

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

Excerpt from Walking in Freedom: The Week He Changed Everything. 7-Day Devotional Guide to Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice for our Freedom by Rhovonda L. Brown. Copyright 2015 by Rhovonda L. Brown.

Coming soon! Soon you’ll be able to download my new ebook centered around Jesus and His sacrifice.