HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONAL GUIDE

APRIL 14-20, 2018

A journey through Christ’s final week

We encourage you to use this guide with your family or small group, although it can be used individually as well. It’s intended as a journey through Jesus’ final week, primarily taken from Mark’s gospel.

PDF available here.

MONDAY

Read: Mark 11:1-11

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think it is significant that Jesus rides “a colt that has never been ridden”? (If you’re having trouble answering, go try and ride a horse that has never been ridden!)

  2. The people’s response to Jesus in verses 8-10 shows that they believed Jesus to be the Messiah. But they thought the Messiah would overthrow Rome and bring political freedom. Jesus didn’t do what they expected Him to. Can you think of any ways that Jesus isn’t doing what you expected Him to do?

  3. Externally, the people appeared to worship Jesus as King. However, in just a few short days, they would call for his crucifixion. Talk about ways that you appear to worship Jesus on the outside but don’t really honor Him as king. Pray, confessing your sin to one another and asking God to forgive you.

Steps to take:

TUESDAY

Read: Mark 11:15-19

Discuss:

  1. Try to picture what you just read. Imagine witnessing these events firsthand. How do you think you would have reacted?

  2. Jesus is almost always disruptive. In this passage, we see that He didn’t fit nicely into the existing system of religion but exposed those areas that didn’t align with God’s design. What are some areas in your life that don’t align with God’s design for you?

  3. Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7 – “For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Temple was designed to let Israel reflect God’s image to the world, but they were failing at this task. In short, the Temple had become something for insiders, not outsiders. Like Israel, our church is called to reflect God to outsiders. Who do you know who is far from God? How might you leverage your resources to bless them today?

Steps to take

  • Pray specifically for people you know who are far from God.

  • Commit to intentionally bless one person today.


WEDNESDAY

Read: Mark 14:1-11

Discuss:

  1. Discuss the different responses to this woman’s act that you see in this passage.

  2. How much was the woman’s perfume worth (try and put a dollar amount on it!)? If you had been in the room that day, would you have felt that she was being wasteful?

  3. This woman, affirmed by Jesus, shows us that our devotion to Christ should be costly. What are some resources that you’ve devoted to God that might seem foolish to others?

  4. Do you think Jesus would commend or criticize your worship? Why or why not?

Steps to take:


THURSDAY

Read: Mark 14:12-26

Discuss:

  1. What did the Passover meal commemorate? (To check your answer, reference Exodus 12:1-13 and 17.)

  2. What does Jesus say that the bread represents? What does that mean to you?

  3. What does Jesus say that the wine represents? What does that mean to you?

  4. The Passover meal was to be centered around a sacrificial lamb (Exodus 12:3). But on this night, no lamb is mentioned. Why is this significant? (Again, Exodus 12:12-13 is helpful.)

Steps to take:

  • Celebrate communion with your family. Talk about the significance of the elements and the events that followed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

  • Pray together, thanking God that Jesus’ blood is able to cover our sin and make us clean.


FRIDAY

Read: Mark 15:16-41

Discuss:

  1. Think of the different people in this account: the Roman soldiers who mocked Jesus, Simon who carried his cross, the two rebels on his right and left, the passersby who shouted insults, the religious leaders who gloated in their apparent victory, the Roman soldier who believed, and Jesus Himself. Can you think of a way that you can identify with each of them?

  2. Verse 21 mentions Alexander and Rufus, who were likely well-known members of the early church. Their dad helped carry Jesus’ cross. If you could ask their father Simon a question, what would it be?

  3. Who was the first person, according to Mark, to place their faith in Jesus? (vs. 39)

  4. Do you believe that Jesus lived a sinless life and died as a sacrifice for your sins?

Steps to take:

SATURDAY

Read: Luke 23:50-56
Holy Saturday was the darkest day in the history of the world. The man who had claimed to be God lay dead in a tomb. And yet these women rested on the Sabbath (Saturday). They endured the awful silence of God, yet they obeyed the fourth commandment.

Discuss:

  1. What do you think Saturday would have been like for the disciples and these women? How would you have coped with the death of Jesus?

  2. Do you find it more difficult to obey God in times of despair? What do you think this reveals about us?

  3. Are there any ways in which you feel God is failing you right now? How can you show obedience to His commands even in your pain?

Steps to take:

  • Sit together in silence for a few minutes to remember God’s silence on that Saturday.

  • Listen to “God Rested” by Andrew Peterson.

  • Sing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”