I've written a simple Bible reading plan for us for Easter week, one a day through to Easter Sunday. This is how to use them:
1. Read the bible passages (there will be one New Testament passage (or two short ones) and a Psalm). The plan isn't to trace the whole of Easter week in the gospels but to see Jesus through the lens of Psalm 113-118 (the songs sung at the Passover meal). Try to spot connections and fulfillments of the Psalms' themes or promises in Jesus' last week, death and resurrection.
2. Let those reflections fuel prayers
of adoration of Jesus (thanking Him for who He is and what He has done for you)
and/or of repentance
and/or of request for ourselves and others in light of the passages.
Or maybe there will be a verse that leaps out for you? Chew it over and pray it in.
3. Then, either immediately or at a convenient point in the day, listen to the song, following the lyrics. Again, I have chosen these because of connections they have with the passages.
I hope and pray these will encourage us and engage our hearts and minds as we freshly consider Christ this Easter week.
A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth. A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.
1 Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. 2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
3 I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. 4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. 5 I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.
6 You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. 7 Your wrath lies heavily on me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. 8 You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; 9 my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. 10 Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you? 11 Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction? 12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
13 But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 14 Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair. 16 Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. 17 All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. 18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor— darkness is my closest friend.
38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
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