Thursday (9th April) - Psalm 116 & 117, John 19:16-22 & Mark 15:33-39

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.

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
   he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord—
    in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord.

John 19:16-22 & Mark 15:33-39

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth,the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (John 19:16b-22) 

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At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” 

(Mark 15:33-39)

Yet not I but through Christ in me

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