Holy Week Devotional 2022
DAY 1 OF 8
What Christians have called the “Old Testament” is much more than the historic backdrop to Christ’s ministry. The Old Testament is, in many ways, the biography of Jesus, written long before he came into the world. Israel’s story is Jesus’ story and his thirty-three years mark the climax of that story.
In his infancy, Christ was born into a new “Egypt” with a new Pharaoh—Herod the Great—on the throne. Herod took a page from Pharaoh’s playbook and began killing all the male children under the age of two, hoping to destroy his greatest rival, the promised eternal King. But, like Moses before him, Jesus is protected from the murderous plans of the king, returning once again to the people he was sent to redeem. Like Israel in the Red Sea, Christ passed through the waters of his baptism before entering the wilderness to be tempted. Like Joshua—Jesus’ namesake—Christ returns from the wilderness, entering into the land of promise prepared for holy conquest.
Jesus is the greater Moses; not merely a prophet, but the Prophet, and the subject of all prophecy before him. Jesus is the greater Joshua who casts out demons with a word and conquers with the sword from his mouth. Jesus is the greater David, the promised King whose reign will never come to an end. Jesus, the carpenter and stonemason, is the greater Solomon who declares that the Jerusalem temple—the house built upon sand—would be reduced to rubble. But now he builds the true and final temple: a living temple, with Christ himself as the cornerstone, and his Spirit-filled people as “living stones [being] built into a spiritual house” (1 Pet. 2:4-5). Jesus is the greater Aaron, a sinless and eternal high priest who pours out his Spirit upon all who call upon his name, making us all “a royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9).
Every figure that came before him was a shadow, a murky picture of the Messiah before he came. But his greatest act of solidarity with his people came in his final hours, when the sinless Savior cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” On the cross, Christ becomes like his people in a new and dreadful way. On the cross, the Lord takes upon himself all the sins of his people, bearing the weight of our collective depravity. On the cross, Christ displays himself as the Passover Lamb, whose blood covers us and frees us from the power of sin and death.
God’s words were always on Christ’s lips, and this “cry of dereliction” is the first line of Psalm 22, which predicts the crucifixion with startling accuracy. Though he was the innocent one, Jesus becomes like “a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people” (Psa. 22:6). Though he had trusted in God “even at my mother’s breast… [d]ogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet… [t]hey divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment” (Psa. 22:9, 16-18). With worldly eyes, we look at the cross and we see a beaten man, destroyed by his enemies, crying out to God to no effect. Indeed, Jesus is abandoned to death and those who mock him say, “Let the Lord rescue him” (Psa. 22:8, cf. Matt. 27:43).
But with the eyes of faith, the crucifixion is a vision of Christ’s peculiar glory, and the love of God on display for all to see. On the cross, Christ is counted among us sinners, weighed down by our evil, suffering condemnation at the hands of all the powers of the world. But this is his final act of obedience and the culmination of his eternal purpose. At the cross, God himself receives the penalty of sin, bearing our sin as though it were his own, securing an “eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12).
Though Christ cries out under the weight of our sin a cry of abandonment, God did not abandon him. Indeed, because Jesus was faithful to God unto death, the Father vindicates Christ against his enemies, raising him to new life, “highly exalt[ing] him and bestow[ing] upon him the name that is above every name” (Phil 2:9). And because of Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf, weak and weary sinners can trust his words: “I will never leave nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
About this Plan
He is risen indeed! Join us as we use Scripture to guide us through Holy Week and prepare our hearts for Easter.
We would like to thank coral ridge presbyterian church for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: http://www.crpc.org
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