Monday, March 29, Luke 22:1-13
This week we will prayerfully study the death and resurrection of Jesus the Savior. What is the significance of the Passover (Exodus 12:1-13, 21-28)? In light of Luke 19:28-48, why are the priests and teachers so determined to kill Jesus? Besides wanting to spend time with his disciples, why is it so important to Jesus that he share this Passover them? How does this relate to the way Jesus has the disciples arrange for the Passover feast? How would you have felt if you were one of the disciples preparing for the Passover?
Tuesday, March 30, Luke 22:39-71
As you read the scripture, what strikes you about Jesus’ prayer (43)? Does Jesus seem helpless, defeated, filled with resignation, or quietly trusting on God’s love as he always has? Why? What do you mean when you pray “your will be done?” Why do you think the crowd was so large, and armed (52)? Why are their fears unfounded? We read once again about Peter’s denial of Jesus (54-62). Peter seems very courageous in verses 33 and 49-50, but what accounts for Peter’s denial? What questions must he still have about Jesus? Have you felt like Peter: you love Jesus so very much … but here … now … is not a good time to admit it? When have you felt that way? What helps you through your guilt?
Wednesday, March 30, Luke 23:1-12
Why might the guards have treated Jesus as they did in 22:63-65? How did the concern of the elders (67-70) differ when they brought their concerns to Pilate (23:1-2)? How seriously did Pilate take their claims (1-2)? What new claim did they bring (5)? In light of verse 9, why do you think Jesus gave no answer at all? What accounts for the newly-formed friendship in 12? After reading these verses, does it make a difference to you that Jesus is a different kind of leader than Pilate or Herod? If Jesus was on trial now, would you be impressed with his servant heart, or wanting a strong, famous king? Spend some time in prayer.
Thursday, April 1, Luke 22:14-38
Read the entire scripture. How does Jesus’ use of bread and wine change the emphasis of Passover (17-19)? Using Jeremiah 31:31-33, how would you describe the “new covenant” Jesus brought? (Also read Hebrews 10:11-18) What does sharing the Lord’s Supper mean to you? What are your thoughts during communion? How would you have felt about the unknown betrayer (21-22)? How do you apply verse 27 to your own life? Family? Work? Relationships? Which disciple resembles you the most? Why? The next time you receive communion, think about this Passover and what it means for you.
Friday, April 2, Luke 23:13-29
After reading these verses, we sense that Pilate would have liked to release Jesus. Why does Pilate give into the leaders? Read John 19:12 for more insight into Pilate’s fears. Pilate buckled under a difficult decision. Has that ever happened to you? What did it feel like after you buckled? How do you think the story of Barabbas illustrates what Jesus has done for you? This is a good time to pray for courage and steadfastness so that, when you are in a Pilate situation, you can resolve to stand up for what is right and not give in to the pressure around you. Spend some time in prayer.
Saturday, April 3, Luke 23:50-56
Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy and honored man. In verse 51 we are told that he was “waiting for the kingdom of God.” What more do you learn about him in these verses? Why would he risk so much to bury Jesus? Jesus had “apparently failed,” but the women and Joseph did not abandon him. What do you learn from this for your own life? When was the last time you took a risk for Jesus and considered it an honor? Spend some time praying about your confidence in Jesus! Thank him for his confidence in you. What an awesome Savior we have!
Sunday, April 4, Luke 24:1-12
Given all these women had experienced in the last few days (19:37, 23:26-49, 55), how do you think they are feeling when they go to the tomb? When they find it empty? When the “two men” speak to them? Why don’t the eleven believe it (11)? After reading verse 12, what do you think is going through Peter’s mind? When did the resurrection first have real meaning for you? Why? What difference does it make for your life, anyway? Where is your spiritual life right now: at the manger, on Good Friday, on Easter morning, or in between? Why? Many of us study the Bible as a historical document and go to Church as a memorial service. But Jesus is not among the dead. He lives! He reigns in the hearts of his people! Do you look for Jesus among the living? Do you expect him to be active in the world and in the church? This day, this wonderful day, look for signs of his power. They are all around you! Spend some time in prayer lifting up the scripture readings and your thoughts and questions for this week. HE IS RISEN! Praise God indeed!