Easter: "It is Finished" Was Just the Beginning

Day 1 of 8 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Day One

The Road

Have you ever found yourself traveling down the road on your way to something you know will be a significant moment in your life? Perhaps you were on your way to your first day of college or to interview for your dream job. Or maybe you were driving to your wedding or speeding to the hospital for the birth of your child. Undoubtedly, this ride is different from your usual trip to the grocery store! Your heart is racing as your mind plays out every possible scenario.

Imagine how Jesus must have felt as He traveled down the road about to enter Jerusalem, knowing that this road ultimately would end in His death. Jesus knew that He’d be betrayed, imprisoned, tortured, and killed, but He also knew that “the hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified” (John 12:23 NKJV). You see, Jesus was on a mission to tear down the great divide between God and man (2 Corinthians 5:18), to render sin powerless (Romans 6:6), to defeat death (1 Corinthians 15:55), and to set us free (Galatians 5:1). Nothing was going to stop Him from fulfilling His mission to rescue mankind.

In Acts 9, we read about a Pharisee who was also traveling on a road to complete a mission. And just like Jesus, this man believed he was fulfilling God’s work. But unlike Jesus, he had no idea where this road would lead him. His name was Saul of Tarsus, a man known for persecuting believers, for “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1 NKJV). His mission? To arrest Christ followers and bring them to Jerusalem for trial (9:2), which essentially guaranteed they’d be stoned unless they denied their faith.

But on this road, Saul came face-to-face with Jesus, the very One whose followers Saul was persecuting! And in the midst of their encounter, the zealous Pharisee, who was no doubt humbled by the sight of the Light of the world, was given a new name (Paul, which means humble) and a new mission.

What road are you on today? Where has your journey taken you? Sometimes, life takes us down a dark road, and we wake up one day wondering how we got this far. But the good news is that Jesus traveled the road we never could and “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV). And because of this, no matter what road we’re on or where our ride has left us, Jesus will be there to meet us and shine His light on us!

For the Kids

“Are we there yet?” Have you ever been in the car on a long trip to somewhere special and asked your parents that question? The thought of arriving was driving you nuts! Maybe you were on your way to Disney World or to meet your new little brother or sister at the hospital.

Today, we celebrate a special day called Palm Sunday. On this day, over 2,000 years ago, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. This day is important because Jesus knew seven days later He would die for the forgiveness of our sins. Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt as he traveled down that road? But nothing was going to stop Jesus. He loves us so much that he completed His mission to save us, so that we could invite Him into our hearts and spend eternity with Him in heaven.

Reflecting on the Promise
In Zechariah 9:9–10, it was foretold that the King of the Jews would ride into the holy city in the humblest of ways . . . on a colt, a young male donkey. In Matthew 21, Jesus, the humble Servant King, fulfills this prophecy as He enters Jerusalem for the Passover festivities, days before becoming the Passover Lamb.

Take time today to reflect on the humility of our Savior and what you can do to embody that same servant heartedness.