Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Thoughts

Last weekend I began thinking about how I could be more intentional and focus more on the reason we have Easter.  I wanted to be sure I had something everyday for the kids to also remain focused. There is nothing better to focus your thoughts than to read the story of Christ's resurrection right out of the Bible.
I hope that you will take some time to stop and reflect on what was done for you.  I have listed some scriptures below that I hope will help. Happy Easter!

Matthew 21

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
 1 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” 4 This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,
 5 “Tell the people of Israel,
      ‘Look, your King is coming to you.
   He is humble, riding on a donkey—
      riding on a donkey’s colt.’”
 6 The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.
 8 Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
   “Praise God for the Son of David!
      Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
      Praise God in highest heaven!”

Mark 14

 22 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.”
 23 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant[f] between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. 25 I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”

Luke 22

39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives.40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
 41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.[e]
 45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
 47 But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. 48 But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.
 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
 52 Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 53Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”

John 19

Jesus Sentenced to Death
 1 Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 2 The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. 3 “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”
 6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
   “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”
 7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”
 8 When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9 He took Jesus back into the headquarters[a] again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10“Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?”
 11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
 12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’[b] Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”
 13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people,[c] “Look, here is your king!”
 15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!”
   “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
   “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.
 16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion
   So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, “Jesus of Nazareth,[d] the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. 21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”
 22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”
 23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice[e] for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.”[f] So that is what they did.
 25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
The Death of Jesus
 28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”[g] 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. 31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.[h]36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,”[i] 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”[j]
The Burial of Jesus
 38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought seventy-five pounds[k] of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover[l] and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Matthew 28

The Resurrection
 1 Early on Sunday morning,[a] as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
 8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. 9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
The Report of the Guard
 11 As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. 12 A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” 15 So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.
The Great Commission
 16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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