A Journey for Us
The company I work with stops every day just before 10:00 am for a short devotion/prayer time. This week we decided to extend one of the devotion times so as to give more emphasis to the significant events between Palm Sunday and Easter.
Let me give a brief description of the setting before sharing the content.
Our company sits on 42 acres out in rural Alabama. Most of the acreage is not occupied by the business but by pastureland, wooded area or a large pond. There are a few walking paths carved in the woods circling the pond and that is where most of our devotion time took place.
As usual, we started out in our office lobby from there we sent employees who wished to participate out in groups of 5-10 people.
A Journey for Us
Stop 1 - office lobby
One week. Think of all the things you participate in seven days. There’s work, family, sports, church, TV.
One week. This week is set aside each year to focus on the events in the life of Christ. The account of all He endured and accomplished in one week.
Four days ago was Palm Sunday, in all the years that Christ lived that is the one day they treated Him like a King, but it didn’t last long.
Things quickly changed from celebration to agony.
Today’s devotion is a representation of the Holy Week journey Christ took for us.
This is the first stop, and then we will proceed through the boneyard to the walking path.
Along the way, there will be five stations set up where a portion of the story is described. At the stops, there will be someone to lead you through the 'thought' for each stop.
You are encouraged to leave your phone here in the lobby so as to limit your distractions.
As you walk to the first station, think on this:
“In the beginning, the Word, Christ, already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." John 1:1-5
“This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
Stop 2 - walking path near boneyard
Walking to this place you walked through what we call the ‘boneyard.’ It is the place where the broken trucks come and very rarely leave. If the trucks could talk would they wish to be whole again? Are they satisfied that their usefulness over, completed? Trucks or their parts have no say in their usefulness or lifespan.
We too are broken but our usefulness is not ‘used up.’ Christ came for the broken. Scriptures say “all have sinned and fallen short", missed the mark, because we are broken people. The Bible also says: "for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
As you leave this place pick up a piece of the broken glass, hold it and carry it with you. Let it be a reminder to you that even though we are broken people we can be whole again, because of Christ.
Stop 3 - on the walking path at picnic tables
If you knew you only had a short time to live, what would you want to do? Jesus decided he needed to be with his closest friends.
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. John 13:1
Who are your closest friends? What would you do for them?
Think about what Christ was about to do for his friends…and for us.
Before the meal, Jesus got up, tied his clothes around him, poured water into a basin and began to wash His friend's feet.
This act was a display of love and of service. Jesus, fully God and fully man, was willing to bend down and do something for His friends.
He left us with an example of ‘what we are to do for our friends.’
And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. John 13:14-15
BUT..think about it.
He even washed Judas’ feet. Judas, who had already decided to betray Jesus, yet Jesus still loved him and was willing to serve him.
Are we willing to love and serve our enemies?
Between now and the next station take some time to read this scripture: (hand them a card with the scripture on it.)
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:1-8
Stop 4 - Communion - midway on the journey
The first communion was eaten among friends. We are among friends.
Jesus said to keep having this meal until I come back.
Today we eat the bread as a symbol of His body.
We drink the cup as a symbol of His blood.
We do this to remember, a friend sacrificing all for friends…even us.
Take, eat and drink.
Almighty God, we are humbled by the journey your Son, our Savior, journeyed for us. We are thankful that through His sacrifice we can have life and be adopted into Your family. Please help us never to take this for granted. Bring to our minds often the scene of Jesus among friends and Jesus giving His life for all. We pray these things in the name above every name, Jesus.
Stop 5 - at the cross
After the meal with friends, Jesus went to the garden to talk with His father.
Jesus knew what was coming, and in a deep conversation with His father, He agonized over what was coming.
“Father if there be anyway let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless no My will, but Yours, be done.”
He agonized because He knew what was about to happen, He knew the suffering to come. But...He was willing to suffer.
Jesus knew the cross was coming.
Before us here is the cross. There is no power in the Cross, there is power in the person who was about to experience the cross.
Know that you can leave your sins, your burdens and your requests at the cross and Jesus hears.
Do you have something you need to leave at the cross, at the feet of Jesus?
As a symbol of that request, toss your piece of glass, you picked up early in this journey, to the foot of the cross.
Stop 6 - near the pond
He thought that the simple act of washing his hands would remove the guilt.
Jesus had been brought before Pilate, the crowd was crying, not for His release, but that He would be put to death.
Pilate didn’t want to do it. He did not want to condemn Jesus to the cross, but he wanted to please the crowd.
Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”They shouted back, “Crucify him!” “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!” Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!” Matthew 27:23-24
He said this sarcastically to the crowd but He was both wrong and right in his words. Right in that Christ went to the cross because of the crowd, it was their responsibility, their sin. But also wrong in that Christ went to the cross, even for Pilate.
He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Soon after the audience with Pilate, Jesus suffered the most horrific torture and death...for us.
As we go back to the rest of our day, let’s set aside a few moments today in silence to think of the suffering Christ endured...for us.
Let these thoughts stay with us throughout the rest of this Holy Week so that Easter will be an enthusiastic celebration of Life…not broken but whole because of Jesus Christ, our Savior.