Seven days. How would you live your life if you knew you had only seven days left? We all know, according to God’s Word, that death is an appointment we must all keep; however, only God holds the appointment book, and only He knows the scheduled time. Therefore, He instructs us to live each day as if it is our last.
Jesus knew He was going to die in seven days. The Father allowed Him to be privy to the appointment book of death. He knew it would be an excruciatingly painful death, and He knew when it would be. It would seem that He would make His last seven days count. It would seem that nothing would be left to accident or chance, but rather each action would be premeditated. With that in mind, there's much we can learn from what Jesus taught and how he acted in the week preceding Easter Sunday.
The purpose of this devotional is to give you the chance to commemorate, to live out the last seven days of Christ. He did these things, and He plotted and planned His steps on purpose.
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
If you are needing a resurrection miracle in your life, why not follow in Christ’s steps? Live each of the next seven days the way He did. Partake in what He did, pray what He prayed, practice what He practiced, and get ready…Sunday is coming!
Day One - Sunday
Matthew 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29; John 12:12
On Palm Sunday—six days before Jesus' death—people lined the streets, waving palms as He entered Jerusalem. It was the first-century equivalent of our ticker-tape parades for heroes down the streets of our city. Jesus' popularity was at an all-time high. His teaching had astonishing power. Jesus had changed people's hearts and healed them physically. He'd even recently brought Lazarus back from the dead!
By far, Jesus was one of the most popular people in the entire Middle East. But everyone who lined the streets had a different reason for waving those palms. Some were political activists – they’d heard Jesus had supernatural power, and they wanted Him to use it to free Israel from Roman rule. Others had loved ones who were sick or dying. They waved branches, hoping for physical healing. Some were onlookers merely looking for something to do, while others were genuine followers who wished Jesus would establish Himself as an earthly king.
Jesus was the only one in the parade who knew why He was going to Jerusalem—to die. He had a mission. Everyone else had an agenda. Things have not changed in two thousand years. People are still trying to push their agendas for what the power of God can do. What about you?
Assignment: Read the Biblical account of Jesus’ triumphal entry. Put yourself there, standing on the curbside. What is the name of the coat you will throw down in the street to soften His ride? Pride? Self-sufficiency? Unforgiveness? Are you willing to lay down your agenda for His mission?
Pray now and commit these things to the Lord. Give Him praise, for He has come with a mission that will change your world! Will you let Him? If so, you’re only six more days away from your own resurrection miracle!
Day Two - Monday
Matthew 21:18; Mark 11:11; Luke 19:45
Jesus began this day by leaving Bethany and heading to Jerusalem. On the way, He spotted a fig tree covered with leaves but bearing no fruit. In His hunger and frustration, He cursed the tree, and then went on His way with the disciples to Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem, on this day, Jesus did something that shocked people. Known for His love, gentleness, and humility, Jesus came into the temple and saw all the little arcades set up for commercial business, and then He cleaned house. He overturned the merchants' tables and kicked them out of the temple. People had never seen this side of Jesus before.
Why did Jesus act with such passion? Because He saw worship at the temple in Jerusalem going awry. People were opting for convenience and profit over premeditated worship and sacrifice.
Notice the similarity between the fig tree and the moneychangers in the temple. Both appeared to play the part, yet both were living a lifestyle that was convenient and beneficial to themselves.
Assignment: Take inventory of your life. Is there any area in which you’ve opted not to sacrifice, but rather bargain your way through? Remember when David declared, “I will not offer to the Lord my God sacrifices that have cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24)? Is your approach the cheap, convenient approach?
What about those unfruitful areas of your life? Don’t you think it’s time to curse those things and move on?
Pray an effectual, fervent prayer cursing those distracting, non-fruitful things in your life, and then make costly commitments and pledges unto the Lord. No one else can do these things for you, but if you’re willing to make the sacrifice, you’re only five days away from your resurrection miracle!
Day Three - Tuesday
Matthew 21:18; Mark 11:20; Luke 20:1
This was a very big day for Jesus. He began a long, long day of teaching. On their way to Jerusalem, the disciples noticed the fig tree that Jesus cursed was now dead from the roots. His first lesson of the day? The answer is right under your nose! You must speak to your mountains if you want them removed.
After this, Jesus and His disciples spent the day in the temple. His authority and authenticity was tested by the Pharisees and Sadducees. He passed each mind game and verbal test with flying colors.
His earthly teaching was almost done. As dusk approached, Jesus taught the parable of the talents. In essence, He said, "You have one life. That's it. Some have all kinds of gifts and abilities, and some have less. Don't squander the only life that God has given you. Do something noble and great with it." He also spoke about the day of reckoning. When that day comes, it's either the self-payment plan or the Christ-payment plan – no other option. Jesus urged His listeners to follow His plan.
Tuesday ended with Jesus and friends having dinner together. It was here that Mary offered premeditated worship by breaking open the alabaster box and pouring expensive perfume over His head and feet. A tough day ended with the sweet aroma of worship.
Assignment: Make a list of the mountains in your life. Now, in the authority of the Name of Jesus, speak to them! Prophesy!
List the top ten priorities of your life. Now honestly rate them, 1 - 10, by how you truly live. What does this say? Is all in order?
Finally, offer premeditated, costly worship unto God today. You’re only four days away from your resurrection miracle!
Day Four - Wednesday
Most scholars believe this was a day of solitude for Jesus. He was doing the most important thing He could—getting alone with God.
As He quieted Himself, He heard the still small whisper of His Father say, "You're on a mission, and it's going to be difficult, but I'm asking you to endure. I will be with You." Some would call it a wasted day. Others would say it was a day that gave Jesus strength to do what He needed to do.
We live in a culture that no longer values solitude. We go from one meeting to the next, one deadline to the next, one activity to the next. Too often we fail to quiet ourselves long enough to hear what God would say to us, if only we were listening. What if you take just one hour to go to a quiet place and say, "God, if you have a message for me, I'm listening." Some of the richest times you'll know in life will be spent in solitude with God.
Assignment: Make today a day of solitude. No media, or other such stimuli. No social interaction other than necessary to function through the day. Find strategic times to be alone with Him.
Schedule an hour in which you can simply be still and know that He is God. Reflect over the first three days of this journey and what you’ve accomplished. This is the day designated for listening. We’ve prayed, cursed things, commanded things, and proclaimed things. Now it’s time to hear what the Father will say.
Day Five - Thursday
Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7
On this day, Jesus took a normal Passover meal and changed it forever. All the arrangements had been made, but then the foot-washer didn't show up! The disciples came to dinner with dusty feet, and they stood around asking who messed up the arrangements. It never dawned on the disciples that one of them could humble himself to do that for another.
Jesus came, took off his robe, put a towel over his arm, filled a basin with water, then knelt down and started washing the disciples' feet. They couldn't believe it! The Son of God, the Savior of the world – and He had the humility to wash their feet.
After dinner, Jesus took three of His closest disciples and went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. It was here that He relinquished the last of His will to God’s will.
It was also in this very garden that Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. Imagine, a prayer meeting concluding with swords wielding, voices screaming, and captors dragging a man away. The trial of an innocent man begins.
Assignment: Consider Christ’s perfect example of servanthood. This is the day in which we lay aside our will for His, our agenda for the Father’s.
Jesus’ example of servanthood, and the unjust violence and judgment He endured, pray, “Not my will, but thine be done.” Commit your life totally to Him again today. Commit yourself to servanthood today. In what area of ministry can you serve?
You’re only two days away from your resurrection miracle, but the path is paved with servanthood and struggle.
Tonight, gather with your family and Grace as we all pray and take communion together. You can join us online at 7pm!
Day Six - Friday
Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66; John 18:28
On Friday morning, around 9:00 a.m., Jesus voluntarily submitted to be nailed to a cross. The Bible says at noon the skies got dark. Somewhere around 3:00 p.m., He gave up the ghost of life and died. There was an earthquake. The temple veil was torn. People suddenly realized that when Jesus cried out, "It is finished," and then died, He was no ordinary man. Jesus was taken from the cross, prepared for burial, and put in a borrowed tomb.
Assignment: Resurrection day is almost here, but before it can come to be celebrated, there must be a crucifixion. What needs to die in your life? Dead things need to be buried. After surveying your life, what needs to be buried, finally, once and for all time? This is the day. This is when we lay aside every hurt, every excuse, every sin that we’ve carried as excess baggage. This is the day we forgive others, or even ourselves, and bury the past. Before you can experience the miracle of the resurrection, something has to be crucified and buried. Do it now. Right now. Remember, it’s Friday…but Sunday’s coming!
Romans 6:6-11 (NKJV) “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Day Seven - Saturday
Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55
This is it – you’re at the seventh day. Consider what all you’ve done this week, as you’ve followed the steps of Jesus and commemorated His last days on earth. What a phenomenal week it has been! Reflect on all that you have experienced.
Now we stand at the very edge of Easter Sunday – resurrection day – and yet, while we’re so close to victory, today is one of the most difficult. For on this day, all we can do is wait.
This is the day between the promise and the fulfillment of the promise. Jesus had promised that He’d be crucified, and that He’d rise from the dead. He was dead all right, but would He come back?
On this day, the Word simply tells us that Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joseph, watched the tomb. Have you ever watched a tomb? Not much happens. It’s merely a landmark of something dead and buried. Or is it? To a child of God, a tomb is not merely the container of something dead, but rather an incubator for something about to come to life!
You see, while the women watched the tomb, all kinds of activity was taking place in the unseen. In fact, most activity was taking place in hell! That’s where Jesus showed up to strip satan of the keys to death and to hell.
Assignment: Prepare yourself for resurrection day! This Easter is not about new suits, bunnies, ladies’ hats, and ham. No! It’s about the climax of a week of purpose, plan, prayer and sacrifice. It’s about reaping. It’s about seeing life in something that was once dead, something that was lifeless and cold now has pulse and warmth. It’s about resurrection!