Resurrection Sunday – A Resurrected Life

“They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.” – John 20:9

Jesus the Christ, lived, loved, was crucified, died and raised to life immortal. These are things we believe completely as the basis of our faith. We know so much and yet there is still so much more we don’t understand.

When Jesus appeared, the religious establishment thought they had all the answers, all God’s rules and requirements well contained and within their control. Unfortunately, Jesus didn’t fit into their neat box of beliefs. He still doesn’t. We are not meant to have all the knowledge of God. It is in thoughtful uncertainty that we learn humility. It is in the seeking that His truths are revealed to us, His heart begins to beat within us, and possibilities for the future are discovered by us.

It is certain that our bodies will die one day, but we can be just as sure that we can live a resurrected life starting right now.

Prayer Starter

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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Witness

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. 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. 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.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” – John 19:19-22

After it all, Pilate had the last word with those whom he knew had manipulated and beat him in a battle of power and will. He may not have understood Jesus was the Son of God, but he knew he was the best of the Jews. He may have posted the sign on Jesus’ cross to spite his opponents or to sooth his own spirit, but this testimony, consistent across all four Gospels, is a credible witness to the story, the power and the person of Jesus Christ.

We have the power to witness to the Christ we know, to spread the gospel and share the good news by our finances, our presence and our participation in His message and mission. We are His witnesses to the world.

Prayer Starter Gracious Father, let me never fail to do what You would want me to do. May I stand witness to the Christ who gave His all for us all, even those who still reject Him today.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One, 2019
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Pilate’s Dilemma

“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. – Matthew 27:22

Pontius Pilate was the consummate politician. He had risen to the Governorship of Judea by his wits, his political savvy, and his instincts. He knew that the ruling Jews were using him to further their agenda. He saw them for what they were, just as he could see Jesus more clearly than most.

Pilate could particularly discern the measure of a man in his final hours, and he could only admire the Jesus that he met. He tried all of the political maneuvering he could manage to save the life of this man in whom he found no fault, but in the end, he choose the easier route, the popular response, even contrary to his own conscience. He could say he washed his hands of Jesus’ blood, but he would never be able to clean it off his heart.

Jesus would ultimately be the sacrifice for our sin regardless of how Pilate acted, but in that moment Pilate had a choice, just as we do each time the question is asked – “What shall I do with Jesus?”

What will you do with Him?

Prayer Starter – May I meet this question in resounding submission to You, Lord, Savior and King.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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Maundy Thursday – The Servant’s Towel

He [Jesus] got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. – John 13:4-5

Who would have thought that a simple towel would be part of the salvation story? Jesus chose to wrap Himself in this common cloth of a servant instead of in the armor of a king that might have protected Him from what lay ahead. With His towel He washed the feet of His friends, wiping away the dust of the earth and giving them comfort at the end of a long day.

Jesus, Himself, washes us in His own blood, wiping away the debris of the world, and comforting us as we walk the hard roads of life. Kneeling before them in a vulnerable position, He showed us how we too must humble ourselves before each other in service and in love.

His Living Water refreshes us, the Living Bread sustains us, His servant’s towel absorbs our sin and wipes us clean again, inside and out.

Prayer Starter Jesus the Servant Leader, I will follow Your example in my world where I will serve others with the love and compassion as you have shown.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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Transformed

…Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and His clothes became dazzling white…Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My dearly loved Son. Listen to Him.” – Mark 9:2-7

This was an important moment in Jesus’ journey to the cross. One more opportunity to prepare His disciples – these three pivotal personalities – for the implementation of His mission. On this high mountain, it was the place where God and man would intersect, both literally and figuratively. They got a glimpse of the true person of Christ, both human and divine, with the past, in the present and His future glory.

Though they could not comprehend it at the time, after history unfolded before them, it would all make sense. The miracle on the mountain wasn’t just the change in Jesus’ appearance, it marked a change in them; a latent memory that would resurface at the perfect time to transform the world.

Prayer StarterTransform me today, great God, that I might find new life in You.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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Full Submission

“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as He had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.” – Luke 19:30-35

“The Lord needs it.” That is all Jesus had to say for His disciples to act on His command, for strangers to hand over a valuable asset, to set the incredible plan into motion.

That is unmistakable power, unchallenged authority, not enthroned by fear or threat, but by love and sacrifice – simple worthiness. He needs us to serve His Church as He has served us. He is worthy of our submission.

Prayer StarterLord I submit to You, forgive me when I don’t. May you simple Word move me to action.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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Shout

But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than Him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:19-20 (NLT)

When Jesus entered Jerusalem that final time, the crowds exploded with praise. The Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke the crowd and make them stop, but He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (Luke 19:40 NLT).

In the presence of the Christ there is no silence. He creates electricity in the air that reverberates sound waves across all nature to deep within our souls. Even if there are no words, His Holy Spirit radiates outward through our eyes and by our touch.

A vessel that is full will overflow as it continues to be filled. As long as we continue to allow God to fill us with His Spirit, we cannot help but spill out on others; His blessings too much to contain, His story too exciting to go unshared, His love too contagious to avoid its spread.

Speak up! Shout out! He is heard through us! Today as in Isaiah’s time, we celebrate the Symphony of Salvation that our God wrote for us – then, now and forever!

Prayer StarterHallelujah! I praise You with all the music in my soul! I sing today of your wondrous love for me and all creation!

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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Palm Sunday – Two Parades

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” – Matthew 21:10-11 (NIV)

Everyone loves a parade. Whether it is a small town procession of tractors and high school bands or a stream of giant balloons, flower-covered floats and international celebrities, we all hope for a front row seat on the curb with an unobstructed view. We honor our heroes, celebrate our culture, commemorate our history or simply gather together for a moment in time to share a common human experience.

Passover in Jerusalem was the Jews’ biggest community event and at least two parades passed through its gates the year that changed the world. King Herod had come to town with his entourage of magnificent animals, extravagant carriages, and marching soldiers with shining shields, no doubt to the awe and wonder of a crowd. Another man also rode into the city, but with only one small donkey, a few rough disciples and some women that followed Him, yet He was still greeted with all the honor and excitement of a rock star of the day.

It would be a parade of a different kind of procession on Friday when this same celebrity would drag a heavy wooden cross through the streets and beyond the city wall, along with two thieves, as the cheers became jeers and “hosanna” turned to “crucify Him!” They had a front row seat to see the King of kings, but their view was obstructed by old assumptions, misguided beliefs and hardened hearts.

Another parade is coming, when the King returns to lead His people home – don’t miss it!

Prayer Starter – Hosanna to Your name! I will aim to harmonize with you all the days of my life. Whether on the mountains or in the valleys, I will march to Your drumbeat and sing Your praises.

Delve Deeper – Music has the ability to reach places in our mind and spirit that words alone do not. This week, engage with Christian music wherever you find it. Whether you like rock, country, gospel, contemporary, traditional cultural music or hymns, you can find Christ’s messages in any genre of music. Sing if you like, but listen with your heart as well as your ears. Surely, music is God’s creation composed to allow our souls to sore with Him.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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Never Too Little

“Go into that village over there,” Jesus told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.” – Luke 19:30

This was really it – the last leg of Jesus’ journey to the cross began here, on the back of a donkey. He didn’t make the journey on a proud stallion or royal carriage, just a young and humble working animal much like the One it would carry.

The little donkey may have been equally uncomfortable with the noisy, overwhelming entry into Jerusalem as was Jesus, who knew it was just a fleeting moment in the long days to come. The life of this beast would not be an easy one, neither would the remaining days of the Messiah, yet they both went on, embracing their duty, bearing their burdens, and fulfilling God’s plan for each them.

Regardless of how small we may feel, how insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe, God cares for each of us individually. He knows our worth, our value and our abilities. He takes what we are and uses us to become more than we think we can be.

Prayer Starter When I feel small, I thank you Lord, for showing me how much You care for me. Please help me to see myself through Your eyes, so that I can know there is nothing too little to be used by You.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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No Fear

…“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen. – Matthew 28:5-6

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we never have to be afraid again. Every day we can wake up and say “Fear not!” Nothing the world throws in our way can hurt us, because it could not defeat our Savior.

Remember, when the day looks darkest, the Son is just behind the clouds waiting to break through. If we look for Him, we’ll find Him. When we invite Him in, He’ll make our hearts His home. By His resurrection, we have new life. Celebrate!

Prayer StarterWhen I am afraid, I will trust in you. What do I have to fear with You as my Shield and Protector? I will run into Your Strong Tower and I know I will be safe.

  • Sue Breland, Worship for One 2019
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