Day Eight | Holy Week 2024

Name Above All Names

Devotional by Durell Comedy

Read Matthew 28:1-20

Matthew 28:1-20

The Resurrection

28 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

The Report of the Guard

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


I’ve always been fascinated by names and try my best to remember, spell, and pronounce them correctly. A name is someone’s identity. You can’t help but think that when parents give their baby a name, there’s intent and motive behind it. In some ways, naming a child is, dare I say, a form of prophecy, speaking one’s destiny into existence. The meaning of my name, Durell, comes from a French name “Dureau” which means “strong.” I’m not sure if my parents even knew that they were speaking “strength” over my future. But can you imagine how Joseph must have felt when he heard from the angel, Gabriel, in Matthew 1:21 that Mary would give birth to a son and “…you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” In that moment, did he really know that Jesus would be a savior? 

Yet here we are in our final Holy Week devotional, reading about an event that changed the course of history. And out of everything we’ve read over the last 7 days, allow me to shed light on this one thing: The name of Jesus provokes, even demands, a response. When people hear his name, similar to the disciples in v.17, some will worship him or be filled with doubt. Some will curse his name, while others repent of their sin. Some will adore his name. But a day is coming when Philippians 2:9-11 will be fulfilled:

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This Holy Week, we’ve discovered Jesus to be many things: King of Zion, Son of David, Son of Man, Messiah, Man of Sorrows, Lamb of God, a Friend of Sinners and Sufferers. Yet the sum of all those titles comes to this: He is the Name Above All Names. And this is the best part about it all: to those who acknowledge and surrender to Jesus, his name becomes their new identity. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 

I hope that as you reflect on Jesus’ names and titles, and all that they carry, your heart will be filled with gratitude and praise, singing “Hallelujah, every voice will proclaim there is no higher name!”

Now knowing that your identity is found in the name of Jesus, how will you live up to your identity as a follower of Christ? What in your life needs to be altered so that your life can be an example of the character of Jesus?

Day Seven | Holy Week 2024

Friend of Sinners and Sufferers

Devotional by Lauren Lee

Read Matthew 27:62-66

Matthew 27:62-66

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


What’s interesting about this passage is that the Pharisees were so eager to get rid of Jesus, yet they remembered exactly what he said. In fact, they remembered the words of Jesus better than his own disciples. While Peter and John and all the disciples fled, the Pharisees—the very ones who mocked Jesus and contended for his death—remembered that Jesus said he would rise again. And what was their response after remembering these words? They made sure the tomb was guarded. Why? Because they remembered what Jesus said, and maybe—just maybe—a little part of them thought it might be true. They feared the power of God that could raise Jesus from the dead. So they responded.

Now, what about the disciples? The ones whom Jesus called friends and who walked the closest with him. Did they remember? It’s possible that they did, but that they lost faith. Or, it’s possible that they were so hurt, so grief-stricken, in such agonizing pain, in such fear for their own lives, so hopeless, that they forgot. They forgot that God is good on his promises and that he has always been faithful, and he always will be faithful. They forgot that Jesus is their friend. They forgot that even in their suffering, he is there. If only they remembered!

Our response to times of darkness reveals what we remember about the words of God and what we believe about his nature. The disciples responded in fear. And we can’t blame them, right? We know what it’s like to live in times of darkness. We know what it’s like to feel hopeless, like things are never going to get better. And maybe we even know what it’s like to feel God’s silence. If you do, I promise you’re not alone.

Job felt God’s silence in the midst of his immense suffering.

The Israelites sat in silence as they waited in the Babylonian Exile for 70 years.

God was silent for 400 years before an angel appeared to Mary and told her the King was coming.

Even Jesus experienced the silence of the Father right before his death.

On this heavy Saturday 2,000 years ago, the disciples sat in dark silence.

So, I don’t know how long God has been silent in your situation. I don’t know how long you’ve lifted up countless prayers, begging God for an answer. I don’t know how long you’ve suffered, but I do know that you’re not alone. I do know that Jesus is right there with you. I do know that he is a friend in your time of need. You’re not alone because Jesus is a friend of sufferers, He knows what it’s like to suffer. Though He may be silent right now, though darkness seems to have won, though it seems like things are never going to get better, remember who he is. His promise is secure, and you have a friend in Jesus. So, take heart because one thing is certain: Sunday is coming.

What do you need to intentionally remember about who Jesus is? How can this comfort you in times of suffering?

Day Six | Holy Week 2024

Lamb of God

Devotional by Adam Pemberton

Read Matthew 27:1-61

Matthew 27:1-61

Jesus Delivered to Pilate

27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.

Judas Hangs Himself

Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

Jesus Before Pilate

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

The Crowd Chooses Barabbas

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Jesus Is Buried

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


Tetelestai – It. Is. Finished.

Today marks the darkest day in human history. Just days ago we experienced a parade of shouts for “Hosanna in the highest!” Now, those same people have condemned “Hosanna in the Highest” to the cross.

How can today (Good Friday) be ‘good’? What is good about death? Put yourself in the shoes of the disciples. See your Lord and Savior mocked, beaten, and nailed to a cross while soldiers callously divide his garments.

Consider this scene from Jesus’ perspective—“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?). The world is against you, and you have even been cut off from the fellowship of God Himself. You are alone, beaten, mocked, and crucified for no wrongdoing. How can this be ‘good’?

As we read and reflect on this day with painful remembrance, we must ask ourselves: Who do I say that Jesus is? 

Not who he is to your parents, not who he is to your church family, not who he is to your pastor. Who is Jesus to you?

On this dark day, do you believe that Jesus is who he says he is? When hope feels lost, when everything seems out of control, when you feel alone, forsaken, or far from God, where do you place your trust? Your hope?

In a day destined for despair, God turned it into deliverance.

Never before or since has more been lost and gained at the same time than at Jesus’ crucifixion. That cross was the reason the Son of God came, and his place as our atoning sacrifice was one only he could occupy. It was Jesus’ presence on the cross, not his ability to come down from it, that would prove his divinity. 

We see in our text today that Matthew’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion vividly depicts the fulfillment of prophecy and the depth of Christ’s love. Like the sacrificial lambs of old, Jesus is led to the slaughter, bearing the weight of our transgressions upon his shoulders. He willingly submits to the agony of the cross, his hands and feet pierced for our redemption—the true Lamb of God. Good Friday invites us to reflect on the sacrificial love of our Savior, the Lamb of God. Through His death on the cross, Jesus becomes the ultimate atonement for our sins, reconciling us to God and offering the gift of eternal life. May this day be a solemn reminder of the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice and the immeasurable depth of his love for us. What joy we may have today in Jesus. Tetelestai, it is finished!

Who is Jesus? What has Jesus delivered you from? How can you show that with your life?

Day Five | Holy Week 2024

Man of Sorrows

Devotional by Shauna Wallace

Read Matthew 26:17-75

Matthew 26:17-75

The Passover with the Disciples

17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.

20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council

57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

Peter Denies Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


No one exits earth unscathed.

Disappointment deflates. Rejection wounds. Betrayal blindsides.

Insecurity taunts. Fear binds. Anxiety paralyzes.

Health declines. Treatments fail. Limits linger.

Injuries sideline. Aging thieves. Death destroys.

Marriages crumble. Babies die. Children wander.

Finances fail. Losses mount. Hope fades.

Suffering is universal, but our experiences feel intensely personal. No one but me has walked in my shoes. No one but you has walked in yours. But Jesus—Man of Sorrows—he’s walked in all of our shoes.

Our sorrows may catch us off guard, but Jesus knew what was said of him long before he departed heaven’s glory for humanity’s grit: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3, ESV).

These were not simply strangers from pagan nations who’d never heard of God or experienced his miracles and faithfulness. No, these were the people God set apart as his. They maliciously deemed him vile, avoided, and despised Jesus.

Isaiah’s predictions unfold in Matthew 26:17-75. Jesus knows his “time is at hand” (18). As his enemies conspire in darkness and hatred, treachery within his inner circle tipped the progression of prophesied anguish, torment, and brutal affliction.

Jesus knows his body will be broken and his blood poured out for the forgiveness of my sins and yours, and he begins to live out the unthinkable. He is:

  • Neglected by his closest friends when his sorrowful, troubled soul desperately needed their watchful care (37-45)
  • “Betrayed into the hands of sinners” (45)
  • Treated like a criminal (47, 55)
  • Kissed on the cheek while stabbed in the back (48-49)
  • Violently accosted (50)
  • Deserted by the same close friends who swore their dying loyalty (35, 56)
  • Hated by religious leaders consecrated and anointed to guard God’s ways for his coming (57-59)
  • Falsely accused (59-60)
  • Wanted dead (66)
  • Spit on, beaten, mocked, and ridiculed (67-68)
  • Disowned and disavowed by his most impassioned, vocal follower (69-74)

Jesus really does get us.

To know Jesus as Man of Sorrows is to know Jesus as one who knows our every sorrow in personal, profound, and amplified ways. It’s to know Jesus’ compassion as one who has felt what we feel and “suffers with” us (see Hebrews 4:15). It’s to know the one who will soon turn our sorrows into joyful rejoicing (see John 20-22).

In what ways have you and Jesus suffered similar sorrow, suffering, or distress? How can you draw comfort, strength, and hope from him as the Man of Sorrows, either for yourself or for someone you know?

Day Four | Holy Week 2024


Devotional by Abigail O’Neel

Read Matthew 26:6-16

Matthew 26:6-16

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Judas to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


Mary’s gesture was costly. Matthew leaves little room to doubt this as he describes the jar as an “alabaster flask of very expensive ointment.” (v.7). John tells us that the perfume was not only expensive but worth a year’s wages (John 12:5, NIV). Were her actions wasteful? In the moment, I might have thought so. Like the disciples, I am prudent, resourceful, and logical. 

But “Is anything wasted which is all for Jesus? It might rather seem as if all would be wasted which was not given to Him!”1 Mary’s gesture wasn’t wasteful; it was one of extravagant, costly devotion, and it held profound significance.

The perfume poured upon the crown of Christ’s head was symbolic. Throughout Scripture, anointing oil “symbolized the water of life and God’s spirit combined together” and was “used to mark a person or a place as a bridge between Heaven and Earth.2

After waking from a divine dream in the wilderness that depicted a ladder to heaven, Jacob exclaimed, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” He then took the stone that rested under his head as he slept and anointed it with oil (Genesis 28:10-19). Heaven met Jacob on Earth.

After the completion of the Tabernacle, the people of God anointed the tent with oil, acknowledging the Tabernacle as the bridge between the people of God (on Earth) and God himself (in Heaven). 

Priests and kings who mediated the relationship between the Israelites (Earth) and God (Heaven) were anointed with oil to mark them as set apart, divinely ordained leaders before God. 

Now, Mary anoints Jesus using a perfume worth a year’s wages. In doing so, she acknowledges him as the one in whom Heaven meets Earth, worships him because he is holy and set apart, and honors him as the mediator who would soon bridge the gap between herself and the righteous and holy God completely and forever.

Mary’s decision was costly, but it certainly was not wasteful because she knew who reclined at the table. This man was the Christ—a title derived from the Greek word χριστός (chrīstós), meaning ‘anointed one.’ He was also the Messiah—a designation taken from the Hebrew word מָשִׁיחַ (mashiach), meaning ‘anointed.’ Mary was simply anointing the Anointed One.

Consider the costliness of Mary’s decision to anoint Jesus with perfume worth a year’s wages. How does her extravagant devotion challenge you to reevaluate your priorities and commitments in following Jesus wholeheartedly?

  1. Charles Spurgeon, “Something Done for Jesus” (sermon preached at Metropolitan Tabernacle, January 26, 1890). ↩︎
  2. The Bible Project, “The Meaning and Purpose of Anointing in the Bible,” March 18, 2024, YouTube Video, ↩︎

Day Three | Holy Week 2024

Son of Man

Devotional by Jeremy Hamblen

Read Matthew 21:23-26:5 (key Scriptures listed below)

Ezekiel 2:1

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.”

Daniel 7:13-14

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed.

Matthew 21:23-27

23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


As we have seen over the last two days, the names and titles of Jesus are deeply important and intimately tied to his identity. He made this identity manifestly known by word and deed during the week leading up to his death and resurrection. Today’s name is no exception, but one could argue that it is uniquely exceptional because here we focus on the name that Jesus handpicked for himself, the one he used most frequently during his earthly ministry: the Son of Man.

A word study of this name could (and does) occupy volumes of academic research, but I hope you will find here a useful, albeit abbreviated, summary of three key understandings of his self-designation, “Son of Man.”


It is simply Jesus illuminating the human side of his dual nature. In fact, “Son of Man” simply means “human,” in the Old Testament, an example we see throughout Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1).


It underscores Jesus’ divinity and authority through alignment with Daniel 7:13-14, showcasing his eternal authority and role as the divine judge over all kings and kingdoms, a truth further emphasized in Mark 2:10 (forgives sins) and Matthew 25:31-46 (final judge). This title transcends humanity and affirms Jesus as the fulfillment of messianic prophecy.


It embodies Jesus as the crucial link between heaven and earth, a role alluded to in his conversation with Nathanael through reference to Jacob’s Ladder (John 1:51; Genesis 28:12). Not only is the Son of Man human and divine, but he is the link that brings them together.

So where do we see the Son of Man revealed in today’s passage? Well, there’s no shortage of places to look! Tuesday was a busy day for Jesus. Documented in 211 verses across nearly five chapters (Matthew 21:23-26:5), the third day of the Holy Week represents 20% of the entire Gospel of Matthew. From teaching in the temple and demonstrating his authority before a rotating carousel of crafty religious and civic leaders to revealing a prophetic glimpse of things to come in the late stillness on the Mount of Olives, these dense chapters serve as his de facto closing arguments as the plot to kill him takes its final form. For the Son of Man, there could be no “senioritis” on his last day of public ministry.

We see his humanity generally displayed in his physical appearance and actions, but also more specifically in Jesus’ active engagement in teaching (Matthew 21:23-27, 22:15-46), in the depth of emotion of his lament for Israel (Matthew 23:37-39), and implicitly in the plot to kill him, which was an effort to rob him of his humanity (Matthew 26:3-4).

We see his divinity displayed in his authoritative teachings and parables (Matthew 21:23-22:14), his wisdom in confronting religious leaders (Matthew 22:15-46), and his prophetic insights from the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25). He is the divine authority, judge, and fulfillment of messianic prophecies.

We see him displayed as a mediator in his discussions on the greatest commandment, bridging God’s law and human action (Matthew 22:34-40); his prophetic lament for Jerusalem, expressing a desire to gather his people as a hen gathers her chicks (Matthew 23:37-39); and in his query to the Pharisees on whose son is the Christ (Matthew 22:41-45). Anywhere we see the intersection of God and man, there we see Christ!

We all understand that what Jesus says is important, but remember that Jesus is the Word, and it was by the Word that creation was formed. So, when the incarnate God chooses words to reveal himself to us, words so unique that no one else in the New Testament uses them in direct reference, we should savor them. The gravitational pull of their holy weight draws us closer to him and into the expressed intimacy by which he has always known and identified his person in the eternal, triune Godhead. The incarnate Son of Man—fully human (he knows us), fully God (he provides for us)—and the perfect mediator between both realms (he is for us). What a joy it is to know our Lord on his terms!

The realization that Jesus fully embraced his humanity alongside his divinity is a profound reminder of his intimate connection with us. His deliberate choice of a title that encapsulates both aspects invites us to ask: How does acknowledging a God who truly understands our human experience transform our dialogue with him, influencing both our requests and our expressions of faith?

Day Two | Holy Week 2024

The Son of David

Devotional by Raegan Wolff

Read Matthew 21:12-22

Matthew 21:12-22

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies
    you have prepared praise’?”

17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


The next event that Matthew records in his gospel after Jesus’ triumphal entry is the cleansing of the temple. Following the humble ride on the foal of a donkey, we read about our Lord’s righteous acts of indignation in response to the disdain and disrespect of the religious elite regarding the temple.

The temple was a representation of the holiness of God. It was where Jews went to be cleansed from their sins through sacrifices performed on their behalf by the priests. It is interesting that the place where cleansing for the people took place required cleansing itself.

After flipping tables of sacrificial animals and rebuking the moneychangers, we see the blind and the lame coming to Jesus in the temple, and he heals them, while children in the temple are crying out, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

The title, Son of David, was synonymous with The Messiah, the anointed one promised long ago and highly anticipated by the Israelites. This Son of David would be from the lineage of the greatest king Israel had ever had, King David. This Son of David would set up an eternal kingdom that would reign forever. There are other times in the New Testament where Jesus is called Son of David, and all such references address healing, the cleansing of diseases or illnesses, and acknowledgments of Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah.

When the chief priests and the scribes heard the name that Jesus was being called, they were indignant and asked Jesus to answer for it, which he does by quoting Psalm 8:2, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise.”

Who but the Messiah, the Son of David, had the authority to rebuke the unsavory activities and dishonest and greedy vendors taking advantage of the people coming to the temple? This Son of David would soon replace the physical temple needed to cleanse people from their sins by making the ultimate sacrifice. He would throw out the structures in place given by Moses by fulfilling the requirements of sacrifice. He, the Son of David, would open up direct access to the temple through his coming death and resurrection.

Jesus, the Son of David, took regard with what the temple had become, he took action to show how it was wrongly used for greed and misconduct, and then he healed the very ones who weren’t allowed in the temple because of their uncleanliness. Jesus protested that all belonged in the temple. What a beautiful picture of the cleansing that Jesus does for us today. Only he can cleanse us of our sins, only he can heal us from our infirmities, only in him are we found worthy, and only the Son of David, the Messiah, can set things right.

In what ways does Jesus’ actions in the temple foreshadow his ultimate sacrifice and the establishment of a new way for humanity to approach God? How does this relate to our understanding of salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ?

Day One | Holy Week 2024

King of Zion

Devotional by Tony Gonzalez

Read Matthew 21:1-11

Matthew 21:1-11

The Triumphal Entry

21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


Over the next eight days, we will journey together through the final days of Jesus’ ministry, culminating in his death, burial, and resurrection. Each day, we will consider different names or titles of Jesus and uncover what they reveal about him and his character.

In Matthew 21:1-11, we witness a pivotal moment in Jesus Christ’s ministry as he enters Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, amidst cheers of “Hosanna to the Son of David!” The crowd lays down cloaks and palm branches, recognizing Jesus as their King. This event fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, which declares, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The significance of Jesus being hailed as the King of Zion lies in the fulfillment of ancient prophecies and the establishment of his divine authority.

First, Jesus’ way of entry aligns with Zechariah’s prophecy, symbolizing humility and peace. Unlike earthly kings who ride on horses, Jesus chooses a donkey, showing humility and servanthood. This signifies his kingship not as one of earthly power and domination but of righteousness and salvation. The designation “King of Zion” holds profound theological meaning. Zion, often synonymous with Jerusalem, symbolizes God’s presence and reign among his people. By proclaiming Jesus as the King of Zion, the crowds affirm his divine authority over all creation. He is not merely a political leader but the Sovereign of the spiritual Kingdom and the foundation of a new era of salvation and restoration.

Furthermore, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem marks the beginning of his journey to the cross. Despite the praise of the crowds, Jesus knew the path ahead would be one of suffering and sacrifice. As the King of Zion, he willingly embraced his role as the sacrificial Lamb, offering himself for the redemption of humanity. His kingship transcends temporal power, focusing instead on eternal salvation.

Additionally, the crowd’s response highlights the Jewish people’s expectation of the Messiah. They recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of their long-awaited hope, the promised King who would deliver them from oppression and establish God’s kingdom. However, their understanding of the Messiah’s mission was limited to earthly deliverance, whereas Jesus came to offer spiritual liberation from sin.

Ultimately, Jesus’s kingship extends beyond the boundaries of time and space. He reigns as the King of Zion not only over a physical territory but also over the hearts and lives of believers all over the world. As we acknowledge Jesus as our King, we submit to his authority, surrendering our lives to his lordship and participating in establishing his kingdom on earth.

As you reflect on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, how can you acknowledge Jesus as King, embrace his reign in your life, and eagerly anticipate his glorious return?