If you have been following faithfully through the season of Lent, 2020, you will have noted that I fell 3 days behind this week in composing these commentaries. Transitioning the church services (our services consist of facilitating worship, discipleship, evangelism, lay ministry and pastoral care) during this COVID19 event has been time consuming, exhilarating and exhausting. Thank you for your continued prayers. I am very glad to be back on track with this devotional aid.
Praise: You loved Judas to the end, though he sought to betray you. Contending against his own sin, the wiles of Satan and the plots of the chief priests, You taught him, broke bread with him, warned him and called him friend. What ever your judgement of Judas, you are without fault. There was nothing lacking in your love for him. It breaks our hearts to see your love betrayed, yet we also see that your love can not be defeated by our sin. Your love endures.
Thanks: Thank you for loving me. You’ve loved me when I wandered, rebelled and when I returned. I have been given so much that you should demand much of me, but you have continued patient gracious and victorious in love.
Confession: None of us is better than the ones who abandoned, denied or betrayed you. We have each done the same. We only differ in time and place. Forgive us for being ashamed of you or afraid of the others. Restore us and enable us to “tend your sheep” again.
Asking: For all those lured by money, or tempted by disappointment to abandon or deny you, we pray for your Holy Spirit to renew them. We know that no one can succeed in preventing you from establishing your kingdom therefore we pray that they will turn from their folly and serve you again.
The Last Supper (v7-38)
Praise: You were fully committed to serving your Father, and saving your people. You provided us with a lasting memorial, which strengthens our faith even now. We rejoice that you love us, and we are solemn, because salvation cost you so much. We regret our sin, but Praise your mercy. Even with all you have done for us, you still do not “lord it over us” but continue to bless us with your Holy Spirit, your abundant provision, continued mercy and eternal life. You are worthy of all praise and honour, for you have redeemed us by your blood.
Thanks: Thank you for feeding me with living bread. Your spirit and your word really strengthen my inner being. You are among us ‘as one who serves.’ Help me to see your hand in every blessing I receive.
Confession: I have not fully learned from your example. Show me my sin so I may turn from it. Whenever I have used my authority for my own benefit, at the expense of others, forgive me, and train me in obedience to you.
Asking: Teach all in authority to use their power to serve others in accordance with your direction.
Prayer on the Mount of Olives and Arrest (v39-53)
Praise: You did not suffer to show off your love. You suffered because there was no other way to save us. You did not seek suffering, but you were willing, with your Father’s strength, to endure anything. Here in the garden is proof that you are fully human– and also proof that you are perfect in your love, sinless in your obedience.
Thanks: You accepted the cup of suffering, and did not resist when you were led off to die. You die this for me, and for everyone I love. You loved me before I knew you, and you loved me with all your life.
Confession: Sometimes I am like the disciples, unable to pray. Some times it feels useless, since you already know everything, some times I am so confused by the events going on around me I don’t know what to pray. Forgive me. I don’t need to know all the answers to come to you and pray for your will to be done.
Asking: Make us as faithful in troubles as you are. Fill us with your Spirit and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
The First Trial (v54ff.)
Praise: Your true character is displayed when everyone abandons you. Our failures don’t stop you from continuing in your plan for saving us. You are faithful even when we are unfaithful. Great are you. Lord, Truly you are the Son of God.