Bethesda News

Holy Week Devotion – Day 8

Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018

HE IS RISEN!

Matthew 28:1-20 (ESV): The Resurrection

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

The Report of the Guard

While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

The Great Commission

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


Reflection by: Deb Noble, Women’s Mission Counselor

“From a Lifestyle of Death to Life in Jesus Christ”

What a blessed hope we have as Christians, knowing that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, conquered death and graced us with the hope of eternal life for those who believe in Him. As a counselor at Bethesda Women and Children’s Mission, I have the privilege of being able to facilitate weekly morning devotions. What a wonderful way in which to start our day by sharing the Word of God.

Our guests spontaneously participate by reading from their chosen devotional book and/or the Bible, while sometimes sharing the significance of what those Scriptures mean to them in their own spiritual and recovery journey. It is a beautiful time as the guests offer praises, give testimony of answered prayers, and make prayer requests. By doing so they are demonstrating their growing faith in the One who has risen! We then close Devotions with a united time of prayer.

It has been especially meaningful for me to witness the guests’ progression, from spiritual death to a presence of now having a growing life in Christ. Each of them is at a different point in their walk with Christ. Most importantly, they have taken that first step by expressing an openness to wanting to work a Christian-based recovery program. They have moved from a lifestyle of death, which included alcohol and other drug dependencies, along with traumatic experiences, to a new recovering life in Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!


QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Why do you think the women ran from their encounter with the angel with both
    “fear and great joy?”
  2. Why do you think the chief priests so desperately wanted to spread the lie that Jesus’ disciples stole the body during the night?
  3. Jesus’ “Great Commission” is a call to make disciples, baptize, and teach people of all nations. How can you carry this out in some small scale in your daily life?

PRAYER GUIDE

  1. Pray that you would hold on to the joy of the resurrection beyond just today, and that it would carry you through difficult times this year.
  2. Pray that we would be faithful in carrying out the Great Commission.
  3. Pray that the men and women in recovery at Bethesda would move from a lifestyle of death to a recovering new life!

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