Lean Into Lent: Palm Sunday

Lent is a preparation, a spiritually-disciplined journey, a purposeful reflection on Jesus Christ.

Today is Palm Sunday, the day we commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem just days before His death and resurrection. Just as many journeyed with Him that day and week, let’s continue our journey through the Lent season, stepping close to Jesus each step of the way.

Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

Lean Into Lent: Day 34

Lent is a preparation, a spiritually-disciplined journey, a purposeful reflection on Jesus Christ.

They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes convened. Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the high priest’s courtyard. He was sitting with the temple police,warming himself by the fire.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they could find none. For many were giving false testimony against Him, but the testimonies did not agree. Some stood up and were giving false testimony against Him, stating, “We heard Him say, ‘I will demolish this sanctuary made by human hands, and in three days I will build another not made by hands.’” Yet their testimony did not agree even on this.

Then the high priest stood up before them all and questioned Jesus, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

“I am,” said Jesus, “and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?”

And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. Then some began to spit on Him, to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, saying, “Prophesy!” The temple police also took Him and slapped Him. (Mark 14:53-65)

Lean Into Lent: Day 33

Lent is a preparation, a spiritually-disciplined journey, a purposeful reflection on Jesus Christ.

While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. With him was a mob, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had given them a signal. “The One I kiss,” he said, “He’s the One; arrest Him and take Him away under guard.” So when he came, he went right up to Him and said, “Rabbi!”—and kissed Him. Then they took hold of Him and arrested Him. And one of those who stood by drew his sword, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his ear.

But Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as though I were a criminal, to capture Me? Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple complex, and you didn’t arrest Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”  Then they all deserted Him and ran away.

Now a certain young man, having a linen cloth wrapped around his naked body, was following Him. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked. (Mark 14:43-52)

Lean Into Lent: Day 32

Lent is a preparation, a spiritually-disciplined journey, a purposeful reflection on Jesus Christ.

Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and horrified.  Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow —to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” Then He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Then He came and found them sleeping. “Simon, are you sleeping?” He asked Peter. “Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Once again He went away and prayed, saying the same thing. And He came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open. They did not know what to say to Him. Then He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The time has come. Look, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up; let’s go! See—My betrayer is near.” (Mark 14:32-42)

Lean Into Lent: Day 31

Lent is a preparation, a spiritually-disciplined journey, a purposeful reflection on Jesus Christ.

As they were eating, He took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.”

Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, and so they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many. I assure you: I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in the kingdom of God.” After singing psalms, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will run away, because it is written:

I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.

But after I have been resurrected, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

Peter told Him, “Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!”

“I assure you,” Jesus said to him, “today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times!”

But he kept insisting, “If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!” And they all said the same thing. (Mark 14:22-31)

Lean Into Lent: Day 30

Lent is a preparation, a spiritually-disciplined journey, a purposeful reflection on Jesus Christ.

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to hand Him over to them. And when they heard this, they were glad and promised to give him silver. So he started looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, His disciples asked Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare the Passover so You may eat it?”

So He sent two of His disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him. Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room for Me to eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as He had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

When evening came, He arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining and eating, Jesus said, “I assure you: One of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me!”

They began to be distressed and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?”

He said to them, “It is one of the Twelve—the one who is dipping bread with Me in the bowl. For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” (Mark 14:10-21)

Lean Into Lent: Day 29

Lent is a preparation, a spiritually-disciplined journey, a purposeful reflection on Jesus Christ.

As we continue to Lean Into Lent, let’s focus on sacrifice this week.

After two days it was the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a treacherous way to arrest and kill Him. “Not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be rioting among the people.”

While He was in Bethany at the house of Simon who had a serious skin disease, as He was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of pure and expensive fragrant oil of nard. She broke the jar and poured it on His head. But some were expressing indignation to one another: “Why has this fragrant oil been wasted? For this oil might have been sold for more than 300 denarii and given to the poor.” And they began to scold her.

Then Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for Me. You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body in advance for burial. I assure you: Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14:1-9)