WEEK 18

March 29 – April 4

DAILY READINGS

Sunday

Luke 22:66-71; Luke 23:1-25

Monday

Matthew 26:57-75; Psalm 55:7-13; Proverbs 9:13-15

Tuesday

Matthew 27:1-31; Psalm 55:14-23; Proverbs 9:16-18

Wednesday

Mark 14:53-72; Psalm 56:1-5; Proverbs 10:1-3

Thursday

Mark 15:1-20; Psalm 56:6-13; Proverbs 10:4-7

Friday

John 18:13-32; Psalm 57:1-11; Proverbs 10:8-10

Saturday

John 18:33-40; John 19:1-15; Psalm 58:1-11; Proverbs 10:11-13

DEVOTIONAL: READ LUKE 22:66-23:25

Courtroom trials are supposed to reveal guilt and innocence. On the Friday morning following Jesus’ arrest, He was rushed through three separate trials in a matter of hours. How could the wheels of justice turn so quickly? Because justice wasn’t the purpose of these trials.

Speed was necessary to get the predetermined verdict that the Jewish leaders wanted. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling religious council, had already condemned Jesus, but they needed a civil trial to get the death penalty. For that, they needed Pilate, the Roman governor. Pilate passed the problem on to Herod, the Jewish puppet-king. Herod was eager to see Jesus perform a miracle, but sent Him back to Pilate when Jesus did not perform on command.

Pilate was trapped. Three times he tried to release Jesus. Three times the people shouted, “Crucify Him!” Pilate found no fault in Jesus, but tried to make a peace offering. He said he would allow either Jesus or Barabbas, a notorious murderer, to go free. The crowds continued to cry for Jesus to be crucified and Barabbas to be released.

Yes, trials reveal guilt and innocence. In this trial, Herod’s desire for a shallow, religious experience was exposed. Pilate’s desire for expedient peace was exposed. And the Sanhedrin’s evil plot was transparent to all. But the Good Friday trials also revealed an innocent Savior who was “delivered over” in place of the guilty.

This is not just the story of Jesus’ trials; this is the story of salvation. Jesus came in humility, lived a sinless life, and was found without fault. His perfect character was revealed by God, our perfect Judge. Yet, He took our place. In this particular courtroom, the innocent took the place of the guilty and the guilty were set free. Jesus offers that same freedom today to all who will believe in Him.

REFLECTION

Who do you say that Jesus is? Write out a description in your own words.

What specific struggle with sin has Jesus released you from? Think specifically and acknowledge both your guilt and your forgiveness.
(This is what it means to confess.)

Write out a prayer and praise to Jesus. Think specifically about the holiness of Jesus and respond to Him in gratitude for who He is and what He has done.
(This is what it means to worship.)

DISCUSSION

Who do you think Jesus is?

PRAYER

Jesus, help me to truly know You. Reveal Yourself to me every time I read Your Word. Reveal Yourself daily to me in and beyond the routine of my life. Reveal Yourself to me through Your church and the people around me. Remove any lies I believe about You from my heart and mind. Help me believe more every day that You truly are the Savior of the World. Help me see You as You are–as the highly exalted King of kings and Lord of lords, conquering Savior, Lion of Judah, Prince of Peace, Son of God.

Lord, I have sinned against You, and if I were to go on trial, You would be just in declaring me guilty. Yet You took my place and bore the punishment for my sins. In Your innocence, You were declared guilty that I may be freed from the punishment for my sins.

I surrender to Your will, Your truth, Your person. To whom else could I go? No one else under heaven can save me. Help me lean in close and know that You are always with me. Amen.

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