With Easter coming later in the month, April is a great time for seniors of faith throughout all of our assisted living communities to dig into Scriptures that tell the Holy Week story. Whether you like to spend your devotional time alone during the early mornings or evenings or you study in a community common area, here are some Bible verses that take place before the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday you might enjoy discussing as Easter draws nigh.
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and then benches of those selling doves.
This verse is often taken out of context to say that money or selling things is wrong, especially in a church environment. But in reality, it wasn't the exchange of goods that bothered Jesus; it was the way people were going about their business. They were not doing it to glorify God or serve Him, and from Jesus's rebukes in this story, we can conclude that they were not transacting business in a prayerful or worshipful way.
It's this that Jesus was driving out — the attitudes and motivations that were not pleasing to God. And it's these He wants us to drive out of God's temple today. Only post Resurrection, we know that we are the temple in which God dwells, and we have to drive those ungodly motivations and attitudes from ourselves. Just like in this story, though, we need Jesus's help to do it.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.
This verse comes from Luke's account of Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Seniors familiar with the Holy Week stories know that, even at this moment, Jesus knows exactly what He's moving toward. And yet He tells the disciples exactly where the colt is that will carry him ever closer to His fate. He tells the Pharisees to let the people cry out in joy at His arrival because if they didn't, surely the rocks would.
Even though Jesus knows what is coming is terrible, He knows what lays just beyond that is worthy of a greater celebration than the city gives as He rides in.
For people of all ages, this is an important message. We can't know what is coming in our future, but if we believe in Jesus, we know that whatever comes after is greater than everything else. And for seniors, who may be more acquainted with thoughts of coming to the end of a road than those of other ages, Jesus models an example in both His obedience to God through it all and His assurance that something better is coming.
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and performs signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Jesus takes time to caution and warn His disciples several times during His last week with them in Jerusalem. During this particular conversation, He says that before He returns, many false teachings and prophets will show up. He cautions His followers to be wary of such things — a caution that surely stands today. This is true even for seniors, who may feel like they have seen enough to know the truth; it's important to continue to test teachings and beliefs against Scripture and through prayer. You can also speak with spiritual staff onsite in any of our assisted living communities if you're feeling conflicted about any teaching or belief.
Posted on Mon, April 1, 2019
by Shawn Deane