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Holy Week Day 5 - Maundy Thursday's Passover, Last Supper

Thursday April 17, 2014

The Last Supper
Today we'll retrace the Lord's somber steps to the Upper Room where the Passover Feast was shared. Before they ate, Jesus humbly washed the feet of his disciples.

Then, during the Last Supper, Jesus established the Lord's Supper, or Communion, instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine.

Later that night, Jesus and the disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed in agony to God the Father. Shortly thereafter, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin.

Knowing what lay ahead, we can hardly fathom how difficult this day must have been for our Lord:

Photo: Getty Images

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Holy Week Day 4 - Silent Wednesday

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Tomb of Lazarus
Lazarus' Tomb in Bethany (Photo by George Eastman House, circa 1900).
The Bible doesn't say what the Lord did on Wednesday of Passion Week.

Scholars believe that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples probably spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of the Passover.

While we can only speculate, it's fascinating to consider how our Savior spent this final quiet day with his close friends, Lazarus, Martha, Mary, and the disciples:

Photo: Getty Images

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Holy Week Day 3 - Tuesday in Jerusalem, Mount of Olives

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Mount of Olives
Current day Jerusalem with Mount of Olives in background.
Today our journey through Holy Week takes us back to the Temple in Jerusalem where Jewish leaders, grasping for a reason to arrest Jesus, did their best to challenge his authority and catch him in a trap.

Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, where he gave his famous Olivet Discourse.

Can you imagine the inner turmoil our Savior endured on this day of confrontation and controversy?

Photo: Rohan Van Twest / Getty Images

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Holy Week Day 2 - Monday: Jesus Clears the Temple

Monday April 14, 2014

Jesus Clears the Temple
Today we continue tracing the footsteps of Jesus, as Monday morning he returned with his disciples to Jerusalem.

Just days before the Passover Feast, the city was overrun with thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the world. At the Temple, money changers were turning the place into a scene of greed and sinfulness. Seeing the desecration of the holy place, Jesus drove these men out from the court of Gentiles, along with sellers of cattle and pigeons.

Consider how the expulsion of the money changers triggered a chain of events that led to Christ's death:

Photo: Getty Images

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Holy Week Day 1 - Palm Sunday's Triumphal Entry

Sunday April 13, 2014

Triumphal Entry
Beginning today, Palm Sunday, together we'll walk step by step with Jesus Christ along his journey through Holy Week.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, riding on a young donkey, the crowds greeted him by waving palm branches and shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

Immediately following this great time of celebration, Jesus began his journey to the cross.

Take time to pause and meditate on what each step of his path means to you, as we visit the major events that occurred during our Savior's week of passion:

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Cloud by Day, Fire by Night

Friday April 11, 2014
Tabernacle Cloud
We wind up our exploration of the wilderness tabernacle with a look at the ancient cloud and pillar of fire. The ever-present pillar of smoke (pictured here) and fire represented the visible presence of God as he guided and protected the nation of Israel through its wilderness wanderings.

This radiant manifestation of God dwelling among his people is often referred to as the Shekinah glory. The cloud by day moved out ahead of Israel, signifying God's leadership as the people passed through unfamiliar territory. The bright, warming fire lit their way by night.

Because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, God's loving, guiding, protective presence dwells among us today in a new and living way, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Learn the similarities between this ancient manifestation and a relationship with Jesus Christ:

Photo: Getty Images

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Weekly Prayers & Poems - The Lord's Prayer Acrostic

Thursday April 10, 2014
This week's post is a member-submitted Christian poem called The Lord's Prayer Acrostic. In unique acrostic format, this work expounds on the famous prayer in which our Lord Jesus taught us to pray.

Weekly Prayers & Poems
Photo: Christine Balderas / Getty Images
The Lord's Prayer Acrostic

Teaching on prayer, you called your Dad "ours"
Honoring your name, having all powers
Extending your reign throughout the whole earth

Lifting our lowly estate to great worth
Only you can help us be reformed
Reflecting your light, our lives are transformed
Drawn to the throne on bended knee
Seeking for bread, my hunger to ease
Read more ...

Do you have an original Christian prayer that would encourage or benefit a fellow believer? Perhaps you've written a unique poem you'd like to share with others. We are looking for Christian prayers and poems to encourage our readers in their communication with God. To submit your original prayer or poem, please fill out this Submission Form.

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How Do You Celebrate Easter?

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Coloring Easter Eggs
Christians celebrate Easter in many different ways, depending on family traditions and denominational customs.

Some believers observe a period of fasting during the season of Lent. Because of pagan influences, and also because of the commercialization of Easter, a vast number of Christians prefer simply to celebrate Resurrection Day.

No matter how you commemorate the Lord's death, burial and resurrection, there's no arguing that Easter is the most important holiday of the Christian calendar. Whether Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist or non-denominational, typically, Easter is the most well-attended Sunday service of the year.

So, what are your family traditions? Do you color Easter eggs or hold an Easter egg hunt? Do you observe certain spiritual customs? Do you fast for Lent? Do you attend a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service? As a Christian, please share how you celebrate the Easter holiday.

Photo: Lisa Pines / Getty Images

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This Week's Testimony: Ben's Intervention

Monday April 7, 2014
Ben started drinking and doing drugs in his early teens. By 16 he had run away from home. One Christmas Day, God intervened in Ben's life by showing him people who cared about him and could help. Ben turned to Christ that day. This intervention took place seven years ago, and since then Ben has never been the same.

Read: Ben's Intervention

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Where Mercy Triumphed Over Sin

Friday April 4, 2014
The Mercy Seat
Pictured here is the ark of the covenant carried by priests during the battle of Jericho. The mercy seat was the gold slab covering the sacred ark. This lid rested under the spread wings of two golden cherubim.

The mercy seat represented the throne of God's judgment—the place where God's wrath toward sin was satisfied. Yearly, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the holy of holies and sprinkled a blood offering on the mercy seat and on the ground in front of it to atone for Israel's sin.

Like other elements in the wilderness tabernacle, the mercy seat pointed to Jesus Christ:

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— (Romans 3:25, NIV)

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