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The Passion of Jesus: A Devotional to Celebrate Lent and Move Toward Easter (ebook)

The Passion of Jesus: A Devotional to Celebrate Lent and Move Toward Easter (ebook)

Faith-filled, inspiring devotions to move you to Easter.

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Prepare your heart for Easter with these faith-filled, inspiring devotions.

The Passion of Jesus is a 40-day study for families, individuals, and small groups to draw closer to God and reflect on His gift to us on the cross.

With grace, wisdom, and heart-felt teachings that will nourish your soul, devoted Christian author Peter DeHaan takes you on a spiritual journey to explore the miracles of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

Shout praises with God’s people as their King rides into the holy city of Jerusalem. Join the disciples as they break bread with Jesus at the Last Supper. Follow the Savior to Gethsemane where he humbles himself and submits to the Father’s perfect will.

From the founder of the ABibleADay website, The Passion of Jesus inspires Christians from all backgrounds and traditions, encouraging you to set your mind and heart on the Messiah during the 40-day period leading up to Easter.

If you’re looking for a fresh perspective on biblical events instead of the same old stories rehashed and served up the same old way, this devotional is accessible, timely, and relevant to believers and seekers right now.

Prepare your heart for Easter with these practical, encouraging readings that are sure to inspire your faith and enrich your soul.

Buy The Passion of Jesus devotional today for a spiritual awakening you won’t ever forget.


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Celebrating the Passion of Jesus

Many Christians and churches celebrate the season of Lent to remember Jesus and his passion for coming to earth to die for us and our sins. This is a gift to us and not something we need to earn. When we accept Jesus’s present, he makes us right with Father God and reconciles us to him.

In this devotional, we’ll remember the season of Lent, building up to Jesus’s greatest gift to us: his death as the ultimate sin sacrifice.

Traditionally, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues through to Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday and Jesus’s death). Some church calendars, however, end Lent on Good Friday and others on Holy Saturday. (Resurrection Sunday begins the Easter season.) Because the passion of Jesus culminates with his sacrificial death, we’ll use that to conclude our devotional. This is a matter of convenience and not a theological statement or alignment with one Lenten calendar over another.

We think of Lent as lasting forty days. This parallels the forty days Jesus spends in the desert being tempted by Satan (Mark 1:12–13). This time of testing prepares Jesus for his public ministry, which culminates with his death and subsequent resurrection.

In truth, Lent spans longer than forty days. Though some church calendars tweak the details to make Lent cover forty days, let’s not worry if it’s longer. Regardless of the details, the purpose of Lent stays the same. During Lent we focus on Jesus and his sacrifice for us.

Depending on the year, Ash Wednesday can start as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. This is because Ash Wednesday always occurs forty-four days before Good Friday, which falls on a different date each year. Given this, we’ll treat the days of Lent as building up to Good Friday, starting with Day 1 on Ash Wednesday.

We’ll begin our story with Jesus’s prediction that he will die—and then rise again. Following that, we’ll focus on what occurs during Holy Week, starting just prior to Palm Sunday (the week before Easter). This means we’ll expand the events of Jesus’s last few days before his crucifixion to span most of this devotional’s Lenten readings. As a result, we’ll cover events prior to their appearance on the church calendar. For example, we’ll cover Palm Sunday on Day 6, several weeks before its actual date on the calendar.

As we move forward, we’ll give primary attention to the account in Matthew, weaving in passages from Mark, Luke, and John. This will give us a holistic perspective of the sacrificial death of our Savior.

We’ll also incorporate Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah to expand our appreciation. Along the way, we’ll tap into our imagination to better see things from the perspective of Jesus, his disciples, and the people he meets.

Throughout this, the goal is to consider Jesus’s passion and sacrifice for us from several vantages to offer a comprehensive Lenten devotional.

The result is an inclusive meditation to remember Jesus’s resolute aim to die on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice to end all sacrifices and save humanity.

May God speak to you during this Lenten season. 

Day 1, Ash Wednesday: Jesus Predicts His Death

Today's passage: Matthew 16:21–28, Mark 8:31–38, Luke 9:21–26, and John 12:23–26

Focus verse: Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem . . . be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (Matthew 16:21)

We open our Lenten devotional with Jesus predicting his death. This is key. It confirms that Jesus knows what will happen. His Father has a plan. Jesus agrees with the plan and moves toward it.

This means his death is intentional and he is willing to die. It’s not unexpected. Jesus’s purpose in coming to earth is to save us by dying for our sins—the sins of all humanity throughout all time. He will soon offer himself as the ultimate sin sacrifice to end all sin sacrifices. He knows this and tells his disciples what will soon happen.
This highlights the essential part of the passage. Jesus knows he will die.

Yet two perplexing items follow his declaration.
First, Peter objects. He pulls Jesus away from the other disciples and offers correction. He wants Jesus to live and doesn’t understand that the Messiah must die. Jesus’s response shocks us.

He says, “Get behind me, Satan.”

Is he calling Peter Satan? Is Satan controlling Peter? Possibly. But an alternate understanding is that Peter speaks from his human perspective. Satan tries to use the disciple’s words to attack Jesus. The enemy desires to cast doubt into Jesus’s mind, cause him to question his mission, and consider a non-lethal alternative.

So, when Jesus says, “Get behind me, Satan,” he addresses the accuser. We can do the same.

The other confusing statement happens next. Jesus says that anyone who wants to be his disciple should pick up his cross and follow him. What does he mean to pick up our cross to follow him?

Jesus has said he will die and then overcome death. We know that in doing so, he dies so that we will live.

Yet, if we follow him, we need to be likewise ready to die for our faith, to die for him. Figuratively, we are to pick up our cross—the Roman tool for death. Most of us won’t need to die for Jesus, but we must be willing to do so if the situation calls for it.

This means we must adopt a spiritual point of view to replace our human perspective. We need to exchange our worldly outlook with an eternal expectation. Our life here on earth means nothing compared to our life eternal with Jesus. We prove we understand this when we pick up our cross to follow him.

We don’t need to be willing to die for Jesus before he will save us. Instead, our willingness to die is in response to him saving us.

What do we do when we face temptation? What must we change to best pick up our cross and follow Jesus?

Prayer: Jesus, may we live a life worthy of you and your call to follow you.

Meet Author Peter DeHaan

Peter DeHaan, PhD, often makes religious people squirm, but spiritual seekers cheer. He’s not trying to be provocative, but he seeks truth, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. He yearns for Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

Peter earned his doctorate, awarded with high distinction, from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. He lives with his wife in beautiful Southwest Michigan and wrangles crossword puzzles in his spare time.

Learn more about Peter