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A Lent Course for 2009

I am doing a Lent course over on the CTB and for those who would like to follow it or post a comment but can't because of the early closing time, I would also put it here.

Last year I wasn't able to do a course here on the board and as I am away this weekend, I am starting it today but the following parts of the course will be posted on Monday, so the next part will be Monday 9th March and each Monday thereafter.

This course is called 'Holy Week' and we will be looking at each day of this important week in the life of Christ. As there are 6 weeks in Lent but there are 8 days to look at, if you include Easter Sunday, I might have to either join Friday and Saturday or finish on Easter Monday, I'm not sure yet.

You are welcome to post comments or just read for private use but please be aware that should there be any ongoing discussions about a particular 'day' when I come to put up the new readings, they must be continued in another thread as not to derail this course.

The whole course will be kept to the one thread to make it easier.

Palm Sunday -

Mark 11 v 1 - 11 - the entry into Jerusalem

The Holy city is crowded with pilgrims, all eager to offer their sacrifices in preparation of the coming Passover. It must have been noisy but also full of excitement, almost a party atmosphere as friends and families came together to celebrate. Into this noisy crowd a sound could be heard, first outside the gate but then coming nearer. It is the sound of singing, of joy - Hosanna! hosanna! and if you had been there you would have seen people dancing, waving palm leaves and then you would have seen a man, whose name was Jesus, riding on a donkey into the Holy city.

I wonder what Jesus thought as He looked at the city, the crowds of people there. Surely He knew what was to be, how quickly this joy would turn to accusation, for he knew the fickleness of human nature, yet He still loved.

Just as Jesus looked at the crowds there, so He looks at us and knows us as we really are and He loves us still. This is the miracle of God.

Monday - Mark 11 v 12-19

After the excitement of Palm Sunday, Jesus returned to the Holy City only things are very different today. On entering the Temple He sees the greed, the corruption and outright theft going on, of course He has seen this many times but somehow today is different and He becomes very angry and starts upturning the tables and starts to push the moneylenders out.

Then there is the fig tree, hungry He looked to find something to eat only there was nothing there, so the tree is cursed.

What is the matter with Jesus? where is this gentle Man we like to see? the One who is meek and mild?
We have problems with these verses, they seem so alien to us until we look further into the story.

The fig tree usually produces it's fruit in autumn but there is an early fig that may appear in the spring, they usually fall off or remain unripe but those that do ripen are highly prized for their flavour. Jesus was looking for something special only it wasn't there.

As for the Temple - at this holy season as they prepared for the Passover surely the Temple priests should have been doing something special?

Christ looks for something special in us, may we bear that special fruit of love and witness for Him.

Tuesday - The Second Coming

Matt 24 through to Mat 26 ending at v 14 (apologies for the long reading but don't feel you have to read it all)

We spend too long wondering when Jesus will come again, every time there are a serious of earthquakes and natural disasters, people start preaching on this pointing out it is a sign of the last days, but Jesus Himself said He didn't know when it would happen and that those who professed to know that date were wrong.

These verses are difficult to read for they speak of judgment, something we don't want to think about.

Jesus gives us hope by pointing out that the best thing for us to do is to be prepared, to do the best we can in our daily lives - to love each other as He loves us, for who knows what tomorrow will bring?

This week, we are looking at both the Wednesday and Thursday of Holy Week and as not to have too long a post I will divide it into two separate posts.

Wednesday - The Lost Day

The Bible is silent about what happened on Wednesday of Holy week. This is a puzzle as there is so much information given for all the other days.

Perhaps the silence is because this was a very private day for Jesus with the disciples, a time of preparation perhaps for what was coming in the next two days.

Or perhaps Jesus spent the time in prayer or even alone as He prepared Himself for the days ahead.

We'll never know.

Thursday - There are a lot of readings for this day - you don't have to read them all or all at once.

Mark 14 v 12-16
John 13 v 1-20
Mark 14 v 17-21
Luke 22 v 15-20
Mark 14 v 22-25

A special meal celebrated each year to remember their deliverance and the begining of a new journey and life for the Hebrews.

Guests usually sat on pillows (Da Vincis Last Supper is artistic licence) and a servant would watch the guests feet, it was not the job for host to do this. Usually the meal beginnings with a blessing said by the mother of the household as she lit a candle but there is no mention of a woman in the texts. The meal would be eaten in haste just as described in the Book of Exodus. Wine would be drunk with each toast, psalms would be sung, sometimes the whole of Exodus would be read, it could go on for hours.

It must have been very hard for Jesus to sit through this knowing that Judas would betray Him, Peter deny Him, He would know He was about to suffer horribly and tried to tell the disciples to gt them to understand but they didn't nor would they really listen to Him. They understood so little and time had now run out to continue to teach them

I will have to continue this tomorrow as L has come online and needs to talk to me, things are not too good with H



cont from yesterday.

The night wore on and at last the meal was over, Jesus went with Peter, James and John to pray together but the long day and meal took it's toll, they slept while Jesus struggled to pray for what was coming and as He prayed, He could see a line of lit torches coming ever nearer and with it He knew would be Judas to betray Him.

A kiss, arrest and a night of trial, pain, rejection from His own people, a night that seemed to go on forever.

We often accuse God of not understanding our pain and trials but here we see that not only does He know but He also has felt the weight of our pain and suffering and our fears in the dark times.

But for Jesus in this night, another darkness approaches as the day dawns, for the One who is God who knows no beginning and end has now to face the one thing all humans face and fear - death.

Just a quick post to let everyone following this thread know that I have to return north asap to be with my daughter, it maybe that I will be unable to get the next part up on Monday, however I will do my best to keep the course going until finished.

Friday and Saturday

There are a lot of readings for Friday, so I am only taking a selected few, it is really best to read the full story across the Gospels but the choice is yours to take.

Luke 22 v 55-62
Matt 27 v 15-32
Luke 23 v 26-32
Matt 27 v 33-44

The night had turned to day and still it continued, Jesus pain was as much physical as emotional and also spiritual. The physical pain was more than man could bear and as He staggered to the place of crucifixtion, the turned faces, the jeering, the rejection was plain to see, as also were the silent tears as with unneccesary force Jesus was laid on the cross and the nails hammered into His wrists and ankles, the pain was unbearable, worse was to come.

Hanging there, with the scorching sun beating down on His open wounds,
He felt the loss of His Father as death took Him over into darkness that up to now only His creation knew.

And with His death, all hope vanished.


Matt 27 v 62-66

The authorities had the tomb sealed out of fear. The disciples had the doors and windows locked out of fear. Fear can lock out God.

Sunday -

A lot of readings again, feel free to read as little or as much as you want.

Matt 28 v 1-10
Mark 16 v 1-8
Luke 24 v 1-43
John 20 v 1-10 and 19-25

Gloom and sadness continued but the women ever practical hurried to the tomb to finish the embalming that had been interrupted by the Sabbath, the men remained behind still fearful and so missed something wonderful and even when told, still disbelieved in the news.

But Mary Magdalene weeping in the garden had her tears turned to laughter as she saw Jesus who was dead, alive again. To her was given the joy of seeing Jesus, to her was given the privilege of spreading the good news.

To us is given the gift of receiving Christ who died for us, to us is given the joy of new life in Christ, to us is given the privilege of spreading the good news - He is alive.


Thank you Jacqui - for providing these. It's been an inspiration and a support through Lent.  :smt038  :smt038 Forum Index -> Bible study
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