Mark 16:15-16 (NIV) 15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.
“Picture the women sprinting, bolting out of that tomb—trembling, bewildered, alarmed, afraid. Imagine their hearts pounding in their chests, carrying this message to the disciples and Peter… this message that’s going to change everything, and how they look at everything—what just happened to Jesus, and what happens next. Can you imagine? Their minds were probably racing as they rushed to where the disciples and Peter were hiding. This reminded me of what Will Willimon (a Methodist pastor) once said, I’m paraphrasing… Christians aren’t people who simply know something that non-Christians don’t know yet… Christians are people who’ve had something happen to them that the world appears not yet to have experienced. ‘The risen Christ has come back to us. In one way or another, you are here because the risen Christ sought you, met you, caught you, and commandeered you for God’s purposes.’” [Adapted from P. Jason P’s Sunday message]
Pray for one person who has yet to experience Christ. Let’s also pray that God will give us the courage to preach the Good News!
Prayer: Father, give me the courage to preach the Good News to those who have yet to experience Christ. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Let’s worship to “Glorious Day” by Passion (click here).
Mark 16:7-8a (NIV) 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb…
“Despite all their fear and shock, the women are told to go… Go and tell others the good news. Jesus is alive and he’s up to something, he’s at work and moving. Go… and there you will see him. Even if you’re trembling and bewildered and afraid… go… and there you will see him. This gospel urges us to respond immediately (Mark’s favorite word). It’s like when Jesus tells the paralyzed man to ‘Get up and walk’ or to the man with a shriveled hand, ‘Stretch out your hand’. But before we can think about it too much, the paralyzed man gets up and walks, the man with the shriveled hand stretches it out. ‘Go [first, now, immediately] …and there you will see him.’” [Adapted from P. Jason P’s Sunday message]
Let’s spend a moment to hear from the Lord. How are you to obey him today? Even in our doubts and fears, let’s trust, go first…and see our risen king seated on his throne!
Prayer: Father, I surrender my fears to you once again. Help me to go, obey first, now, immediately, trusting in you. Move in power in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to “Because He Lives (Amen)” by Matt Maher (click here).
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
“The photo on the album cover, ‘Lamb of God’ by Matt Redman is an art piece by David Hooker, commissioned by Wheaton College in Illinois. He took a discarded statue of Christ that used to hang in an old church building. He then asked the custodians on campus for vacuum debris that they collected while cleaning the dorm rooms, lecture halls, etc. He then applied all the dust, dirt, hair, dead skin cells onto the body of the statue, layer by layer… Upon Christ is all our dirt, dust, dead skin cells… our sin… Even the cross, a hideous device for executing criminals; and the broken, bruised and bleeding body hanging there… And yet, because of Christ, through what was accomplished there… we see something altogether lovely… our Redemption, our Salvation… our Lord, our Savior.” [Adapted from P. Jason P’s Good Friday Message]
Through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are raised with him in victory to live forever with God in his presence. He lives to intercede for us. Run to Jesus once again today.
Prayer: Jesus, I run to you today and surrender my brokenness, hurts, regrets, fears…everything at your feet. Come and transform me by your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to “Your Grace Amazes Me” by Christy Nockels (click here).
Galatians 2:20 (NIV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
“Easter is meant to be a surprise. It is certainly not a ‘happy ending’ after the horror of the cross, though sadly some churches treat it like that. Mark 16 doesn’t read like a ‘happy ending’. It reads like a shocking new beginning – which of course is what Mark intends. The story is not over. In fact, it’s just starting: the new story, the story which is now possible because Jesus has been enthroned as king of the Jews, as king of the world, as sovereign over death itself, as the one who is now going to do strange new things… A new way of living, a new way of being human, has been launched upon the world, a way that people thought impossible then and think impossible still today, but a way that has caught up millions and transformed their lives beyond recognition.” [NT Wright, Lent for Everyone: Mark, Year B, Kindle loc. 174-175]
Prayer: Father, thank you that I have been made new in Christ Jesus. Fill me once again to walk in the new way of living in the Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to “No Longer I” by Matt Redman (click here).
Let’s read aloud the following Scripture and prayer.
Mark 16:4-7 (NIV) 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
“Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may, by your life-giving Spirit, be delivered from sin and raised from death; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” [Collect for Easter Day, Texts for Common Prayer]
Let’s worship the Lord with “Resurrection Power” by Chris Tomlin (click here)
Mark 14:24 NLT And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.”
“Jesus knew that he would only arrive at it by drinking those horrible cups to the dregs. Palm Sunday is therefore bound to be a bittersweet moment. Enjoy the moment of triumph and festival while it lasts, but recognize that it is only a foretaste of the real thing, and that you’ll only get the real thing the other side of the pain, the fear and the sense of abandonment… Many are rightly concerned to keep Holy Week and Good Friday itself with proper solemnity, with a sorrowful awareness of the folly and sin to which we have all contributed and which put Jesus on the cross. Sometimes we are so good at all that that we forget about the festival. Let’s keep the Psalm, and this coming week, in balance, and so prepare the ground by following Jesus all the way to Calvary that Easter, when it comes, will be the proper, thorough, well-grounded outburst of praise that it ought to be: the day the Lord has made, in which we will indeed rejoice and be glad.” [N.T. Wright, Lent for Everyone, Year B, Week 5: Friday & “Palm Sunday”]
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for what you did on the cross for us, conquering sin and death. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to “Thank you Jesus for the Blood” by Charity Gayle (click here).
John 12:24 NLT I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.
“The Lord Jesus takes them along this journey of discipleship with all the ups and downs with their mistakes and flaws being exposed. Their cry of ‘Hosanna’ save us now – was deepened in their lives – to not just experiencing the saving but also to be able to participate in the ‘saving’ work or ‘preparations’ for others to be saved.” [Adapted from Elisa’s message]
This is our response to the radical love of the Lord. We come to you, who died for us and commit our hearts afresh in laboring in love for your kingdom. Let’s pray and reflect on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, as we worship to “Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman (click here).
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Zechariah 9:9 NIV Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Philippians 2:8 NIV And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
“He came to give his life as a ransom, for his life to be poured as a sacrifice – as the suffering Servant. There is the message of his radical, extreme love for us. As our eyes are opened to our loving Messiah, who is the humble King and suffering Servant – our hearts are led to worship him. On this Palm Sunday, may our eyes be opened more and more to see our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the humble King and the suffering Servant and may we be led into new depths of worship of him.” [Adapted from Elisa’s message.]
Prayer: Lord, thank you that we can now see because you have opened our eyes. Our only response is to worship you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship the Lord with the song “Holy Forever” by Chris Tomlin (click here).
Psalm 118:25-26 NIV 25 LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. Letting go of misplaced hopes
“The crowd is mistaken in their acclaim. The entry is not triumphal. Jesus does not enter Jerusalem on a white charger…Consequently, Jesus does not share the disciples’ earthly fantasies of glory…His entrance points to a different kingdom of triumph than the one envisioned by the crowd, one that will be more powerful than any Davidic monarchy and more far-reaching than the narrow borders of Israel or even the Roman empire. The crowds hail him without understanding his purpose….The scene portrays the disciples still hoping for a glorious earthly kingdom in which they can reign with their Messiah on thrones.” [David E. Garland, Mark (NIVAC), pp. 429-430]
“Do we have misplaced hopes in what we hope the Lord will do for us? Do we presume that our prayers are to be answered in a certain way? …But the Lord has so much more for us than meeting the immediate needs. By his grace, we are led to know him, our Lord Jesus, the Messiah – we are to know and to experience him and his saving in much greater ways.” [Adapted from Elisa’s message]
Prayer: Lord, save us now. We want to know you more. I come to you with all of my life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Even Still and Even So” by Matt Redman (click here).
Let’s read aloud the following scripture and prayer.
Mark 11:1-10 NIV As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” 4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for your word is true, and you are faithful to your promises. I put my hope in you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s worship the Lord with “Living Hope” by Phil Wickham (click here)