We invite you to journey through the sacred events of Holy Week that lead us to Jesus' Resurrection on Easter in this devotional series written by the South Georgia Conference Cabinet.
Scripture: Mark 11:1-11
Written by Dr. Jay Harris
Why is Palm Sunday set aside as a special day? Palm Sunday is the day we commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Why is this event such a big deal? Up to this day, Jesus had spent most of his ministry in the Galilee region well north of Jerusalem. Jesus had grown a huge following there, but as he got closer to Jerusalem, it felt as if the atmosphere was growing more intense. Jesus had warned his disciples that the movement would come to a head in Jerusalem in ways they were not ready to accept.
Scripture: John 12:1-4
Written by Rev. Craig Hutto
When we become filled with God’s love - His lavish love - there’s just no room for anger and judgment and worry. Jesus teaches us that we can love our neighbor and love ourselves. We can become generous and kind to others. We can become the conduit for which the lavish love of God flows to all those God is trying to reach.
Scripture: Colossians 2:15
Written by Rev. Steve Patton
The truth is, I like a good fight. But for me, it’s not about the violence. I enjoy seeing the epic struggle between good and evil replayed in dramatic ways. I like watching the good guys fight hard and eventually win as they use their skills and their famous weapons. Whether it’s John Wayne’s Winchester, Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, Bruce Lee’s hands and feet or Aragorn’s sword, I like a good fight. And that’s one of the reasons I really love Easter.
Scripture: John 13:21-35
Written by Rev. Doreen Smalls
Love and betrayal walk side by side. It’s difficult if not impossible to betray someone that you don’t care about. It’s hard to be betrayed by a stranger. You don’t know the stranger, and you don’t have the same kind of relationship with a stranger. The pain, anger, and shock of betrayal is so deep because it’s done by someone you love. Someone can’t betray your trust if you never had trust in that person. It’s those we have some level of confidence or love in who betray us. Real love or authentic love always risk betrayal.
Scripture: John 13:1-17, 33-35 (MSG)
Written by Rev. Paula Lewis
The disciples must have asked - “What are we going to do?” - as they faced Jesus leaving them. We often think that this night is mostly about the Lord’s Supper. But John shifts the focus away from the meal to Jesus’ actions afterward. The disciples were shocked and amazed when Jesus took the basin and the towel to wash their feet. He was their master! Feet were dry, dirty, calloused and cracked from walking around for miles in sandals. In Jesus’ day, the hosts typically had their servant wash people’s feet while visiting for a meal. To wash someone’s feet was an act of hospitality, care, servitude, and humility. No wonder Simon Peter told Jesus, “You will never wash my feet.” Not Jesus. Not his master. Not ever. Still, there Jesus was with his wash basin and towel. He knelt in front of them, one by one, and washed their feet, calluses and all.
Scripture: Mark 15:21-39
Written by Rev. Chris Ramsey
We become spectators in the crowd much like Simon. The scripture continuously states, “They”: “They forced…,” “They brought…,” “They offered…,” “They crucified…,” assuming no ownership on our part. However, as we understand the sequence of events, realize why Jesus came to Earth, and for whom He came, we find ourselves, like Simon, participants. Therefore, imagining the “they” changing to “we” is not a far stretch.
Written by Rev David Thompson
Holy Saturday. It’s not a day many of us commemorate. For most of us, it’s kind of this awkward day that sits between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It’s the day in between the somber commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ and the glorious celebration of the Day of Resurrection. It’s the day in between when Jesus said, “It is finished!” while dying upon the cross and when he surprised Mary at the tomb asking her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
Written by Bishop R. Lawson Bryan
Easter Sunday worship begins with the joyous affirmation, “Christ is Risen!” And the congregation responds, “Christ is risen, indeed!” Those truly are wonderful words of life.
Do you remember the first word of Easter as found in the Gospel of Mark? Mary Magdalene and the other women arrived at the tomb to find that the stone was rolled away and the body of Jesus was gone. Entering the tomb they found a young man dressed in a white robe and they were afraid. Then the young man said to them, “Do not be afraid; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.”
In Mark’s gospel the first words of Easter are: Do not be afraid.