Palm Sunday began what Christians have referred to for centuries as “Holy Week.” This is the week Jesus entered Jerusalem, knowing that he was entering into His suffering and death. It is our desire at NewCity to provide you with a framework or a guide to help you enter into the suffering of Christ this week. The following resource is meant to aid your experience of the journey Jesus took to the cross for you. We encourage you to engage this simple resource each day with the following format:
PRAY - We encourage you to do this in your own way. What we have written is simply there to help guide your prayer.
READ - We encourage you to read through these passages in their entirety. God changes us through His Word day by day.
REFLECT/RECEIVE: The reflection portion can be a prayer on your own, or a discussion with others in community. It could be a journal entry in CBR or an opportunity to listen to a song. Receiving from God is often challenging for us in an age of self-sufficiency. Our posture can often help us receive from God, whether it’s surrender by kneeling with open hands, or bowing your head, experiment with a different physical posture before the Lord. Other ways to reflect and receive could be an activity that connects you with God - a walk in nature or time with a close friend - something that helps put your heart in a place to receive from God.
Monday, April 15th - As we have just entered into Holy Week, it is important for us to remember to continue to receive from Jesus. We will need His presence as we enter into His suffering and as we feel the depth of our own sin. Each day will have a similar template and format to follow.
PRAY: Pray for God to open your eyes to all that He might show you and lead you to this week.
READ: Read John 13-14
REFLECT/RECEIVE: Reflect on Jesus coming to serve you. Receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promises.
Tuesday, April 16th - As Jesus continues on in His upper room discourse, Jesus reminds us of the need to stay connected to Him, as he faced trials, so will we. Just as He was rejected by the world, so will we be also. But we must take heart, for He has overcome the world.
PRAY: Pray for God to open your eyes to see all the places in your heart and mind where you feel disconnected from Him. Pray for His Spirit to work in those places.
READ: Read John 15-16
REFLECT/RECEIVE: Reflect on the need to abide in Jesus. Receive His strength to overcome pain, sin, the world, and death itself.
Wednesday, April 17th - We move one day closer to the suffering of Jesus. It is the night before He will share the Last Supper with His disciples. During a time of anxiety beyond description, Jesus decides to pray, first for Himself, then for His disciples, and ultimately for us.
PRAY: Pray that God would help you enter into Lament and into the suffering of Jesus on your behalf. Pray for the ability to Lament with others as they face trials.
READ: Read John 17
REFLECT/RECEIVE: Reflect on Jesus’s sacrifice. In His hour of need, at the very time of His suffering, He prays for us. Receive Jesus’s prayer on your behalf. In His work on your behalf, you will find strength to give yourself away to others.
Thursday, April 18th - Tenebrae service, 6:30pm at the Florida Hospital Church: Join us this evening as we remember and reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus in a Tenebrae service together.
Friday, April 19th - We now enter into a day of Lament. We Lament the loss of our Savior. We Lament that the light of the world was snuffed out. We grieve our own sin, for it was our sin that put Him on the cross. We invite you to listen to Psalm 88. It is very possible that some of these very words were on the heart and mind of Jesus as He suffered and as the Father turned his face away from the Son.
PRAY: Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you in repentance, and then into holy sorrow for all that happened on Good Friday.
READ: Read John 19
REFLECT/RECEIVE: Reflect on Jesus’s experience on the cross by listening to Psalm 88. Receive His body broken for you, and His blood poured out for the forgiveness of your sins.
Saturday, April 20th - A theology of the Already/Not Yet. This is the day Christ was in the tomb before his resurrection. This particular day of Holy Week parallels the church age we live in - where we wait with longing for Christ to raise us up with Him as He was raised.
PRAY: Pray for God to show you His work in your life and in the world despite what you can currently see. Just as the disciples were lost, confused, hurting, and possibly despairing as Jesus is still in the tomb, we experience similar circumstances having received the Holy Spirit, but still awaiting the consummation of a renewed creation and our glorified bodies.
READ: Read Romans 8:18-30
REFLECT/RECEIVE: Reflect on the reality of the already/not yet, the tension between that which we experience and that which we long for. Receive the hope of the resurrection. It is coming! Sunday is coming!