Welcome to Day Four of this Holy Week devotional journey as we follow Jesus during the week leading up to his death and resurrection. What did Jesus focus on? What was He concerned with? What does God want us to see? And how will we respond?
Before we focus on the scripture, let’s make space to be still and pray. Take some time to pause, slow down, be still, and cast your cares upon God.
The Bible says he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Do you have any cares, hopes, pain, or lies you need to let go of? Are there people and circumstances to give to God? Take some time to do just that, by praying, “Jesus I give you…”
We will be making our way through the Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus’ week leading up to His death and resurrection. Take a few seconds to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the scriptures.
Today let’s read Luke 22:1-6 in the CSB version. Here’s how The Message puts it:
“The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks. That’s when Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve. Leaving the others, he conferred with the high priests and the Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus to them. They couldn’t believe their good luck and agreed to pay him well. He gave them his word and started looking for a way to betray Jesus, but out of sight of the crowd.”
What stood out to you? What captured your attention? Usually, this is what God wants you to think about, consider, and focus on. Take a few seconds and ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight into the scriptures. What verse, verses, or phrases stood out to you. Why?
Fear of Man | The fear of man can control our lives and influence our decisions just like it did with the chief priests and scribes. Fear can do so much damage and keep us enslaved, but Jesus didn’t let this control his life. Instead, he faced crushing temptation and hurt, yet remained steadfast, faithful, and without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He is our example not to fear those who can kill the body but to fear God alone (Matthew 10:28). We have the same Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind within each of us that empowered Jesus (2 Timothy 1:7) to not fear man or their plot to harm him.
Being Betrayed | Betrayal is so hurtful because it is often done by those closest to you. Jesus had spent three years building relational trust, being open, pouring his life into twelve of his closest friends and disciples, only to be betrayed by one of them for money. Yet, what the enemies of Jesus meant for evil, God used for the most incredible rescue the world has ever seen (Genesis 50:20; 1 Corinthians 2:8; John 3:16-17).
Others will betray us. But with the Spirit’s help, we can follow the example of Jesus. We can boldly come to God when we need more of Him and his well-timed mercy and grace to forgive and heal. Then, we can be empowered over time to trust others again and rebuild healthy relationships, just like our Savior (Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13; Hebrews 4:16). Jesus was honest that we would have trouble, disappointment, and difficulty in this life (John 16:33), yet he would overcome the root causes of the fear of man, betrayal, and much more through His death and resurrection.
Now we want to pray back to God what stood out to each of us in a personal way. What insight, challenge, opportunity, promise, truth, or step to take with Jesus stood out to you? Take some time right now to personalize and pray back to God what he has shown you in today’s scriptures.
Next, we want to come away from our time with Jesus in the scriptures with an “I will statement”. What is God inviting us to do? To practice? To surrender? Take some time to pray and write down your “I will statement”. Then share it with someone you trust and who will encourage you to do what God has said to do.