(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
By singing praises and hymns, awake your soul, open your heart to the Lord, and prepare yourself to welcome the presence of God and receive the Word of God that will be given to you.
Petition with thanksgiving to God for a wonderful day and pray sincerely for a focused Scripture reading time! (Do not rush into reading the Bible without starting with prayers!) (e.g., you may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what will you be speaking to me today?)
Get the following items ready in advance: your devotional notebook, paper, pen, and/or electronic devotional articles so that you can easily write down the Bible verses, questions, and thoughts you have noticed! You are encouraged to open your Bible and vocally read out the scriptures (Try to practice this reading method daily or once a week)!
Scripture Reading: Luke Ch. 22 (ESV)
Take a moment to quietly reflect on today’s Scriptures. Through such exercises, let God’s Word be gradually written into our hearts and be inscribed to our mind.
Read the devotional articles prepared by CBCLWA (*Read the Bible first before reading any devotional materials.)
(vv.1-23) The first Passover took place while the Jewish people were still in Egypt. After many years of suffering under the yoke of slavery, God called Moses to deliver them out of that land. On the day of the first Passover, God commanded His people to take a lamb for each household, kill it, and take the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of their houses. When the LORD’s angel saw the blood, it would pass over the house and not enter. But all the Egyptian firstborn were struck down because their houses did not have the blood of the lamb on the doors (Exodus 12:1-18). Generations of the Jewish people observed the Passover to remember the grace of God. After being together for 3 years, Jesus and his disciples observed the Passover as their last supper, during which Jesus said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” He also said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Jesus knew the suffering that was ahead of him when he spoke these words. Did the disciple share the same heavy heart as Jesus? When we partake the Lord’s supper to remember Him, will your hearts share in the fellowship of suffering with our Lord?
To us, Jesus is the Passover Lamb. We are able to take up the Lord’s bread and cup because He bled and died to cleanse us from our sins and deliver us from divine judgment. Christ did this for us, so that that we could say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20). Let us think about the ways we can respond and let God use us.
(vv.24-30) This is not the first time the disciples argued about who among them was the greatest. In Luke 9:46-48 Jesus brought a child by his side and said to the disciples, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” Here Jesus said to the disciples, “Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” Then Jesus said, “I am among you as the one who serves.” Jesus wanted the disciples to shift their focus away from the worldly strife for fame and power (Luke 22:25), and instead set their minds on the kingdom of God above (Luke 22:28-30).
Jesus’ teachings are practical and useful. He did not say these things to shame those who do not lift a finger and let others do all the work. Jesus wants us to follow his example: to learn humility through serving. Only when we actively serve in all kinds of ministry can we practice spiritual lessons such as being humble. I encourage you: you must pick a church ministry and serve, for the Lord’s sake and for yours. And let God mold and change you in the process.
(vv.31-38) Jesus was willing to pray for Peter, who denied Him three times. Jesus would strengthen Peter’s faith so that later on he could go on to strengthen his brothers. Though our faith may falter at times, knowing what Jesus did for Peter ought to give us hope. Let me share a few verses:
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Romans 8:33-34 “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
Hebrews 7:25 “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
May these verses lift up those who are going through a low point or under attack from Satan’s accusations. Even now, God is actively interceding on your behalf to stand back up. At the same time, if you see a member of Christ’ body weaken or fall spiritually, remember that Jesus would not give up on them. The members who are strong ought to support and strengthen our fellow brothers and sisters!
(vv.39-71) In this passage we can observe the following:
- Jesus’ prayer: Jesus prays only for the Father’s will to be done.
- Judas’ secret sign: Betrays Jesus with a kiss.
- The ear of the servant of the high priest: Though it was cut off by a disciple, Jesus immediately healed the servant. Compared to the disciples’ somnolence while Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, here they acted very impulsively
- Peter denying Jesus three times: Jesus foretold this (v.34). Only when the rooster crowed and the Lord turned to look at Peter, did Peter realize what he had done. Then he went out and wept bitterly.
- Solders’ mocking: We can hardly keep silent when being slightly embarrassed. When Jesus was harshly mocked and shamed, he did not say a word.
- The trial before the Council. Before all those who already made up their minds about Jesus, Jesus’ truthful answers was taken as a confession of guilt.
When we think about all the injustice, inequity, malice, and hatred Jesus had to endure, we realize the gravity of His earlier prayer, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Let us learn together how to submit to God’s will in our prayers and how to face all of life’s challenges.
Give thanks to God for His enabling us to read the Scriptures and for our response for living out the Word of God today! (e.g., You may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what/where are you going to lead me to today?”)