Verses to Reflect on during Holy Week
(Reference material: Good News Translation Youth Bible)
The reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection is so powerful and transformative. This is the ultimate truth that will change your life, especially when you begin to fully understand God’s incredible love for humanity. This blog post is indeed very long, but it is meant to be read in parts throughout this Holy Week. For the next few days, we encourage you to take time to reflect on the precious and priceless gift of salvation. The Creator of the universe died and rose again in order for each of us to have eternal life – this is simply amazing!
Verses to read on PALM SUNDAY
The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem
As they approached Jerusalem, near the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, they came to the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of his disciples on ahead with these instructions: “Go to the village there ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a colt tied up that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. And if someone asks you why you are doing that, say that the Master needs it and will send it back at once.”
So they went and found a colt out in the street, tied to the door of a house. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders asked them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”
They answered just as Jesus had told them, and the crowd let them go. They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the animal, and Jesus got on. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches in the field and spread them on the road. The people who were in front and those who followed behind began to shout, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the coming kingdom of King David, our father! Praise be to God!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem, went into the Temple, and looked around at everything. But since it was already late in the day, he went out to Bethany with the twelve disciples.
Mark 11:1-11 Good News Translation (GNT)
Verses to read on HOLY THURSDAY
Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet
It was now the day before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. He had always loved those in the world who were his own, and he loved them to the very end.
Jesus and his disciples were at supper. The Devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, the thought of betraying Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him complete power; he knew that he had come from God and was going to God. So he rose from the table, took off his outer garment, and tied a towel around his waist. Then he poured some water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Are you going to wash my feet, Lord?”
Jesus answered him, “You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.”
Peter declared, “Never at any time will you wash my feet!”
“If I do not wash your feet,” Jesus answered, “you will no longer be my disciple.”
Simon Peter answered, “Lord, do not wash only my feet, then! Wash my hands and head, too!”
Jesus said, “Those who have taken a bath are completely clean and do not have to wash themselves, except for their feet. All of you are clean—all except one.” (Jesus already knew who was going to betray him; that is why he said, “All of you, except one, are clean.”)
After Jesus had washed their feet, he put his outer garment back on and returned to his place at the table. “Do you understand what I have just done to you?” he asked. “You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you. I am telling you the truth: no slaves are greater than their master, and no messengers are greater than the one who sent them. Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice!
John 13:1-17 Good News Translation (GNT)
And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34 Good News Translation (GNT)
Verses to read on GOOD FRIDAY
A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I have cried desperately for help,
but still it does not come.
During the day I call to you, my God,
but you do not answer;
I call at night,
but get no rest.
But you are enthroned as the Holy One,
the one whom Israel praises.
Our ancestors put their trust in you;
they trusted you, and you saved them.
They called to you and escaped from danger;
they trusted you and were not disappointed.
But I am no longer a human being; I am a worm,
despised and scorned by everyone!
All who see me make fun of me;
they stick out their tongues and shake their heads.
“You relied on the Lord,” they say.
“Why doesn't he save you?
If the Lord likes you,
why doesn't he help you?”
It was you who brought me safely through birth,
and when I was a baby, you kept me safe.
I have relied on you since the day I was born,
and you have always been my God.
Do not stay away from me!
Trouble is near,
and there is no one to help.
Many enemies surround me like bulls;
they are all around me,
like fierce bulls from the land of Bashan.
They open their mouths like lions,
roaring and tearing at me.
My strength is gone,
gone like water spilled on the ground.
All my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like melted wax.
My throat is as dry as dust,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have left me for dead in the dust.
An evil gang is around me;
like a pack of dogs they close in on me;
they tear at my hands and feet.
All my bones can be seen.
My enemies look at me and stare.
They gamble for my clothes
and divide them among themselves.
O Lord, don't stay away from me!
Come quickly to my rescue!
Save me from the sword;
save my life from these dogs.
Rescue me from these lions;
I am helpless before these wild bulls.
I will tell my people what you have done;
I will praise you in their assembly:
“Praise him, you servants of the Lord!
Honor him, you descendants of Jacob!
Worship him, you people of Israel!
He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering;
he does not turn away from them,
but answers when they call for help.”
In the full assembly I will praise you for what you have done;
in the presence of those who worship you
I will offer the sacrifices I promised.
The poor will eat as much as they want;
those who come to the Lord will praise him.
May they prosper forever!
All nations will remember the Lord.
From every part of the world they will turn to him;
all races will worship him.
The Lord is king,
and he rules the nations.
All proud people will bow down to him;
all mortals will bow down before him.
Future generations will serve him;
they will speak of the Lord to the coming generation.
People not yet born will be told:
“The Lord saved his people.”
Psalm 22 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Suffering Servant
The Lord says,
“My servant will succeed in his task;
he will be highly honored.
Many people were shocked when they saw him;
he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human.
But now many nations will marvel at him,
and kings will be speechless with amazement.
They will see and understand
something they had never known.”
The people reply,
“Who would have believed what we now report?
Who could have seen the Lord's hand in this?
It was the will of the Lord that his servant
grow like a plant taking root in dry ground.
He had no dignity or beauty
to make us take notice of him.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing that would draw us to him.
We despised him and rejected him;
he endured suffering and pain.
No one would even look at him—
we ignored him as if he were nothing.
“But he endured the suffering that should have been ours,
the pain that we should have borne.
All the while we thought that his suffering
was punishment sent by God.
But because of our sins he was wounded,
beaten because of the evil we did.
We are healed by the punishment he suffered,
made whole by the blows he received.
All of us were like sheep that were lost,
each of us going his own way.
But the Lord made the punishment fall on him,
the punishment all of us deserved.
“He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly;
he never said a word.
Like a lamb about to be slaughtered,
like a sheep about to be sheared,
he never said a word.
He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die,
and no one cared about his fate.
He was put to death for the sins of our people.
He was placed in a grave with those who are evil,
he was buried with the rich,
even though he had never committed a crime
or ever told a lie.”
The Lord says,
“It was my will that he should suffer;
his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness.
And so he will see his descendants;
he will live a long life,
and through him my purpose will succeed.
After a life of suffering, he will again have joy;
he will know that he did not suffer in vain.
My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased,
will bear the punishment of many
and for his sake I will forgive them.
And so I will give him a place of honor,
a place among the great and powerful.
He willingly gave his life
and shared the fate of evil men.
He took the place of many sinners
and prayed that they might be forgiven.”
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Good News Translation (GNT)
Verses to read on EASTER
Peter began to speak: “I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. Those who fear him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know of the great event that took place throughout the land of Israel, beginning in Galilee after John preached his message of baptism. You know about Jesus of Nazareth and how God poured out on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of everything that he did in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem. Then they put him to death by nailing him to a cross. But God raised him from death three days later and caused him to appear, not to everyone, but only to the witnesses that God had already chosen, that is, to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from death. And he commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets spoke about him, saying that all who believe in him will have their sins forgiven through the power of his name.”
Acts 10:34-43 Good News Translation (GNT)
Dear God, thank You for dying on the cross for me. I know that You rose again to give me eternal life.
Knowing this, I rejoice daily. Please guide me as I share this Good News to others.