Holy Week Daily Devotion for Thursday                         

Scripture Sentence – Psalm 116:12-13

What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.

Collect for the Day

Almighty God,
in your great love you gave your only Son
to die for our sins
and for the sins of the whole world.
Help us by your Holy Spirit
to worship you with reverence,
and to enter with joy
into the celebration of those mighty acts
whereby you bring us life and immortality;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reading John 17:1-10

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said,

‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

 ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.  I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.

Reflection

Good Friday is tomorrow. It is a very dark day for the Christian Church. Not only is it the beginning of the end, but it is also the beginning of something wonderful.

Jesus lifted up his eyes up to heaven to speak to God the Father. He knew that the time was near when he would suffer unimaginable pain and eventually, death, in order to take away the sins of the world, our sins, so that we may live.

Jesus knew that his time on earth was very much limited and he was explaining to the disciples that those who believed in Him would be saved; they, the believers. To believe in Jesus Christ is at the core of our faith. Without faith, life becomes a struggle.

Jesus is explaining that those who believe are “those whom you have given me”, followers of Christ. Jesus asks that those who have been specially given to Him will be kept to the end. Since it is Jesus who intercedes for His disciples, His petition will most certainly be answered. These believers will be kept to the end and will have eternal life.

Jesus knew it was his time to leave the world and go to the Father. It is the fact that he promised to come and dwell with all who love him (John 14:21,23) reflects Jesus’ humanity, (which is in one place at one time), and his deity, (which is everywhere present), both of which are true of Jesus as one divine-human person.

In the words, “that they may be one, even as we are one”, Jesus is showing the kind of profound unity that should be the norm among genuine believers. It is a reflection on the unity that exists between the Father and the Son; a unity of common mind and purpose and an unqualified mutual love. Although individual Christians tend to fall short of the fulness of unity that that the Lord intends, whenever such unity is even partially realised, the result will always be deep joy, a persuasive witness to the world, and a display of God’s glory.

God is with us through this week and the next; through the good times and the bad times. Follow Him. Experience the joy and remember His suffering has given us life. May God bless you all.

Prayer

Almighty Father,
Whose Son suffered on the Cross for us,
grant us the Joy and Peace at the knowledge
that He died for our sins so that we may live.
O God our Father, who gave your only Son
for the salvation of mankind:
look mercifully upon us, your servants,
as we bow in penitence before his cross.
Give us faith to behold Him in the mystery of His Passion,
and to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings.
Let His wounds be our healing, His death our Life,
his shame our glory,
that we may partake of the victory of His resurrection.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You,
and the Holy Spirit;
one God, now and evermore,
Amen.

Thanks to Liz Lowrie for today’s devotion.