Isa 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (NKJV) Mt 21:13,14 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ 14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
This morning after spending some time in prayer I was listening to Kari Jobe on the radio singing one of my favorite songs “Forever”. As I was listening my mind began to think about other times in my life and events that have taken place during what many Christians call Holy Week. To be honest there are too many to name here. But here are a few.
I remember Easter egg hunts and being in the children’s plays at Sumiton United Methodist church when I was in elementary school. I stopped going to church around the seventh, or eighth grade. So there was a long period of time before I would be back in church during Holy Week, or any other week.. Although I had gone to church as a child I guess when I first remember hearing the phrase Holy Week was when I was in the Reception Center at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. I went to two services there because if we went to church it meant that we did not have to pull K.P. that day.
My Mother had gone back to church in the late 70’s and I remember getting up after a night of drug use and going to please her one Resurrection Sunday morning. About a year later J.J. and I were planning on getting married and we went to the church that she grew up in and that we would be married in Childersburg United Methodist Church.
The Pastor there wanted to counsel us before he married us. He had gotten saved in prison. His name was Mahlon Felkins. I didn’t get saved that day, but I left there thinking something must have happened to him that changed his life. Two years later our son Jake would be born on Resurrection Sunday weekend! And when our daughter Jessye was born two years later we began going to church on a more regular basis. God can use children to draw you to Him.
In 1990 J.J. and I went from being church workers trying to do better to being born again Christians. There have been many glorious Holy Weeks ,and some tough ones since that time. We have memories of doing Choir Specials at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Dora. We also visited other congregations and celebrated with our brothers and sister in other parts of the Body of Christ during Holy Week. And we had the special undeserved joy and blessing of serving as the Pastoral family for two wonderful congregations. We have fond memories of celebrating Holy Week with both of those congregations. There have been different challenges at different times to our family and to all of those congregations during various Holy Weeks. But we have always known that the Lord Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day was with us.
This week there may be some of you that were like I was. You may attend a service this week to please someone else. My prayer for you is that Jesus will reveal Himself to you in some way that you can look back on and know that He loved you even when you didn’t love Him. I pray that you will know that He was seeking you even when you weren’t seeking Him.
For those who will be physically able to attend services this week take time to reflect back on your journey with the Lord. Thank Him for what He has done and continues to do in your life. And when some show up where you worship that normally don’t come pray for them. Love them and let them know that God loves them. One of them may be a preacher one day. One may be a husband that needs to be the priest of their home. One may be a daughter that God wants to restore and to use to change the lives of others.
You may be thinking what does this have to do with the passages that I started this devotional out with. Well many of us are familiar with Jesus chasing the money changers out of the temple during this week. But He also healed people during that week.
He paid the price for our healing on that Friday that we call Good Friday! I believe that He still heals today. In my life He has healed me physically on several occasions. One being a torn rotator cuff. Many times, He has healed me and others that I know of other things where we needed a physical healing. But as I reflect back on this week probably the greatest healing for me personally has been the healings for damaged emotions and spiritual healing. I know that without a doubt because of His death and resurrection that I am saved from Hell, delivered from the power that Hell once had over my life, and being healed from the damage that Hell inflicted upon my life. If you can say that then you have something to celebrate this week. If you can’t say that He is ready to give you something to celebrate about. I will close with these words from the song that I mentioned by Kari Jobe earlier in this writing:
We sing Hallelujah
We sing Hallelujah
We sing Hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome
Let us Pray Lord Jesus we thank you that You sought us out and that You found us! Thank you for paying the price for our redemption. Today please use this as You seek others as You did us to bring those lost sheep into the fold. I pray for all of us that not only this week, but every week that we will celebrate the victory that You purchased for us on Calvary’s Hill and for Your glorious Resurrection.
In Jesus Name
Have a great Holy Week