31 March: Luke 24:1–12

In the conclusion to Mark’s gospel the disciples are told that Jesus goes ahead of them to Galilee (Mark 16:7). Luke inverts this command. The men at the tomb instruct the disciples to ‘remember what he said while he was in Galilee’ (Luke 24:6). This establishes an unbreakable bond between the ministry of Jesus in the gospel, and the mission of the church in the power of the Spirit as this will be described in Acts. The church lives out the story of Jesus, and at the centre of its life and work it places the act of ‘remembrance’ of His death and resurrection. Easter faith is the news that

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Holy Week – 30 March John 19:38-42

The final reading of Holy Week (Saturday) bookends the first reading (Monday) …with another generous act of devotion, this time involving about one hundred pounds in weight of perfumes and spices lavished on the body of the dead Jesus. On this occasion, the participants are two men who, between them, reflect the community of early disciples. One is Joseph, an apprehensive Jew who fears reprisals from his Jewish community if they find out about his devotion to Jesus; the other is Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews who came to Jesus by night and was allured by Jesus’ call to new birth (ch.3). From ‘the night’ of apprehension and misunderstanding,

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Holy Week – 29 March John 18:1-19:42

John’s account of Jesus’ death is unique in the sense in which it portrays the calm authority of Jesus each step of the way. It culminates in the final words of Jesus on the cross: ‘It is finished’.  Only in John’s gospel are these words of Jesus from the cross recorded. They are not meant in a chronological sense, namely that Jesus’ life has now ended; nor are they a cry of defeat: ‘I give up’. Rather, they constitute a theological shouting: it is fulfilled! For John, the moment of Jesus’ death is the moment of the fulfilment of God’s purposes. If Easter Sunday is the resurrection of Jesus, then

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Holy Week – 28 March John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Thursday of Holy Week is called ‘Maundy Thursday’. The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the Latin ‘Mandatum’ meaning ‘mandate’ or ‘law’. It refers to the ‘new mandate’ which Jesus gives to the disciples (John 13:34-35), calling on the disciples to display, in their lives, the love which God has displayed to them. This mandate is vividly portrayed in the feet-washing drama (13:1-17). The first call upon the disciples is (the sometimes uncomfortable call) to allow Jesus to wash our feet, and then to take up the call to wash one another’s feet. Thus, discipleship is, in the first place, a call to receive what God graciously offers to us in Christ,

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Holy Week – 27 March John 13:21-32

John’s picture of Jesus is not of a man who suffers deeply (as in Mark, Matthew or Luke), but of a man who seems in charge of the steps towards his own death. However, there is a glimpse of something different here; this reading begins with the recognition that Jesus is troubled in spirit. There is nothing so painful as to be betrayed by someone with whom you share an intimate relationship. This is the experience of Jesus – he will be betrayed by one of his own disciples, one with whom he will share bread dipped in the same dish. The betrayal by Judas is said to be instigated

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Holy Week – 26 March John 12:20-36

These verses of John’s gospel contain the most concise summary of how the gospel author understands the purpose of Jesus’ death on a cross. For this gospel writer, the death of Jesus is the moment of decisive victory. Jesus will be ‘lifted up’ on the cross, both in the literal sense, but also in the more important sense of being enthroned or exalted. At the moment of Jesus’ death, ‘the ruler of this age’ will be overcome and all people will be drawn into one with Christ. In other words, every power which plagues human life and interferes with the communion between God and humankind is now to be defeated.

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As a household

Use the ‘Jesus Journal’ multi-sensory activities and readings as a way of journeying through the  complete     Passion narrative choosing a few of the activities to accompany your readings.  http://ctm.uca.edu.au/childrenfamilies/files/2013/02/Jesus-Journal.pdf

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Holy Week – 25 March John 12:1-11

John begins his story of Jesus’ final days in a way which is striking both for its beauty and for its ugliness. The beauty is displayed in a woman named Mary: she alone understands the true identity and destiny of Jesus, and, ignoring all social etiquette and personal criticism, performs an act of ultimate devotion – at a public dinner, she lavishes perfume, costing a worker’s annual salary, on Jesus’ feet. The ugliness is displayed in male figures: first in the person of Judas, a disciple, who uses his office for personal fraud and will come to betray Jesus, and then in the chief priests, who will plot murder. Despite

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24 March: Luke 19:28–40

Luke mentions no palms, and the story he tells is really not a ‘triumphal entry’. In fact, Jesus does not enter the city until later. The scene revolves around the actions of others: two disciples; a greater crowd and then the Pharisees and together their actions serve to draw our attention to a key question: what does it mean if Jesus is King? The answers hinted at here go to the heart of Christian life and discipleship. If Jesus is King, then obedience to his words and acknowledgement of him as ‘Lord’ are the appropriate response. On the other hand, there is always the chance that, like the Pharisees, we

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23 March: Luke 22.1-13

So they prepared the Passover… The Passover festival acts in the gospels as a pointer to Jesus’ death as Passover lamb. The religious officials prepare for Passover by plotting to have Jesus out of the way by then (2), a plot where Satan (v3)  and Judas (v4) also have roles.  Jesus upset the authorities’ sense of control and order, the status quo, their orthodoxy… so must be got rid of. Jesus knows this: Peter and John under Jesus’ direction prepare for what will be the disciples poignant farewell celebration, where bread and wine will point to Jesus’ coming death. The directions Jesus gives don’t make a lot of sense, they

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