Lenten Devotions Evening

LENTEN DEVOTION: The Passover Meal by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 14, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him.  And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.  For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.” (John 13:1; Luke 22:14-18) On the Thursday evening before [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: The Fig Tree by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 13, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry.  And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves.  And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!”  And the fig tree withered at once.  When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”  And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:18-22) After the Lord had made [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: When I Am Lifted Up by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 12, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love “And I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, will draw all people to myself.”  He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:32-33) The Lord spoke this word about his being lifted up to the Jewish people and to the seeking Greeks shortly after he had entered the temple forecourt.  What he meant here by his “lifting up” is explained not only by John’s addition, “This he said to indicate the kind of death he was to die,” but also by what the Lord himself said to Nicodemus, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,” (John 3:14). In contrast to the lifting up desired by the disciples and the populace (that is, [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: Immanuel’s Tears by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 11, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44) When the Lord had reached the top of the Mount of Olives, the royal city with the gleaming gold of the temple lay in all its glory before his eyes.  But in the midst of the disciples and rejoicing [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: Mary Is Justified by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 10, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”  But Judas said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that?  For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.”  And they scolded her.  But Jesus said, “Leave her alone.  Why do you trouble her?  She has done a beautiful thing to me.  For you always have the poor with you, and whenever [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: The High Priest’s Counsel by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 9, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love But one of them, Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all.  Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” (John 11:49-50) There in the meeting of the council a pertinent answer is found to the question, “What are we to do?” Caiaphas, the High Priest, listened for a long time to the excited speeches.  Now he rose and said, “You know nothing at all.  Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”  Some of the council may have secretly had the same thought but not dared to express it openly.  [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: Humble Yourself, My Heart by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 8, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.  And he said to her, “What do you want?”  She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”  Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”  They said to him, “We are able.”  He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” (Matthew 20:20-23) It was a great-hearted request that John and James made through their [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: The Disciples’ Road by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 7, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.  For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.  And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”  But they understood none of these things.  This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. (Luke 18:31-34) When the Lord told them what he would have to suffer, the souls of his listeners were stunned as if by a thunderclap.  “But they understood none of these things.  This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what [...]

LENTEN DEVOTION: Who Takes Away The Sin Of The World by Johann Ernst von Holst

March 6, 2019

From The Crucified Is My Love Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29) This testimony of John’s is the heart and the star of the whole gospel.  It is true, John’s mouth was soon closed by a bloody death, but the apostles proclaimed it further: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  They too have died, but this gospel rings through all centuries and hallows them.  And when today the church of the Lord gathers to celebrate the Holy Supper, she looks up to the Crucified One and thousands of voices sing, “O Lamb of God, who bears the sin of the world, have mercy on us and give us your peace!” We are often weighed down with our work, our cares and suffering, but if we had [...]