Party Time!

I’m hiding in a back room getting this out as guests arrive for my daughter’s birthday party so I’ll make this quick. I won’t bore you with details of my party. This is to remind you of the party we’ll all have tomorrow.

You won’t want to miss church tomorrow. It’s going to be great. Family services are always fun – maybe interesting is better – and tomorrow won’t be an exception. Each year around this time our one church on many campuses has our Annual Celebration and Business Meeting. Last year we closed the Branch doors and went over to Cypress. This year we’re doing something different.

We’ll have a celebration service of our own at our regular time. We’ll have testimonies, worship, and a family message. … And then the next party starts. After service we’ll head to Grace Christian School – it’s in Cypress, but I think it’s actually closer to us than the Cypress campus! We’ll have maps for you tomorrow morning.

Why would we go there? A few reasons.

  • Free taco truck.
  • For those who are members, that’s where we’ll hold the business meeting, which consists of voting on budget, new elders, and new trustees.
  • If you’re not a member, but still want to see what’s going on, you’re more than welcome to attend. And fill out a Connection Card letting us know you’d like to be a member and we’ll get you started on that process.
  • Free tacos.
  • Bounce houses, lots of green space, and playground equipment.
  • Did I mention the free tacos?

It’s going to be a great time. I hope you’ll join us. And invite friends and neighbors, too. Let’s make it an event!

One more thing …

  • If you can’t make church for whatever reason, but still want to join us at Grace Christian School, come on over! The address is 4545 Myra Ave, Cypress, CA 90630 and we should get started around noon!

Brace Yourself

It happens each year. As some of you know, I read through the Bible each year, interacting with Him prayerfully along the way (most of the time!). I do a psalm each day until I’ve gone through all 150. After a couple months in, I’ll see it looming: Psalm 119. If you’re not familiar with it, Psalm 119 is the longest “chapter” in the Bible – 176 verses. Usually a psalm will take me 1 minute to get through, maybe 5 for a long one, but Psalm 119 … settle in.

Settling in really is the key. If you’re in a hurry, it’s tortuous, but if you can give it some time, it’s incredibly rich. I made the right choice yesterday – and I was rewarded. Two verses were subjected to my pink highlighter yesterday.

I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! – Psalm 119.32 (ESV)

We don’t have the capacity to live the life God wants us to live until He changes our hearts. When we learn to love Him with all that we are and others as ourselves (Matthew 22.37-39), running in the way of His commandments will be second nature. But this isn’t something that just happens. We don’t get zapped with this ability to love God and neighbor with a new power.

It starts when God gives us a new heart (2 Corinthians 5.17), but we also commit ourselves to a course of growing in this new life. Much of this journey is learning to deny ourselves (Matthew 16.24) and place ourselves before God to let Him shape us. There are many exercises we can commit to, but the most basic are prayer and engaging the Scriptures. Let’s look at Psalm 119 again

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119.11 (ESV)

So how do we store up God’s Word in our hearts? Neither you or I have the time for that on a Saturday, but how about I give a few ideas to get us thinking in that direction, at least.

Obviously, we can have a personal devotional time in the Scriptures. I read awhile back that a daily, reflective time in the Bible is the single greatest indicator of someone growing spiritually. I want to encourage you to get in the Word each day. If you’re not sure how to do that, let’s talk. It would be my pleasure to walk you through a simple method of daily Bible study. Also, if you go through our next Rooted group in the fall, it will help you build some basic Bible reading skills. Incidentally, I was also listening to a podcast yesterday and they highlighted a daily audio devotional. They cover a chapter per day and they’re 5-10 minutes long. I shouldn’t recommend it until I’ve listened to it, but the founder sounded like a really solid guy. Check it out and let me know if it’s any good.

The next thing we can do to store the Bible up in our hearts is to memorize it. If you’re like me, you’re not disciplined enough to do this consistently on your own. That’s why it’s important to be in a Life Group. Most are taking a break for the summer, but resolve to get in one in the fall. Our fall campaign as well as Rooted each have a weekly Bible verse for memorization.

Finally, we proclaim God’s Word each Sunday morning. I can’t wait for tomorrow. We’re covering one of the most liberating and empowering passages in the Bible – Romans 8.31-39. If we can get the truths of this passage from our heads to our hearts, there will be no stopping us.

If you’re willing to take up this challenge to get in the Word, brace yourself. God’s going to do some amazing work in and through you.

See you in the morning,

Pastor Justin

 

Reminders

  • Annual Celebration is next Sunday! After our services next week we’ll be meeting with all the other campuses to celebrate what God has done over the last year with a wonderful carnival at Grace Christian School (4545 Myra Ave, Cypress, CA 90630).
  • Father’s Day is June 21. Come for breakfast at 9:00. We’ll also have a car show. If you have an antique, or even interesting car, let us know and we’ll keep a place for you.
  • We’d like to have a baptism soon. If you want to take this step of faith, please fill out a Connection Card indicating so on Sunday morning or email me.

Remembering

It’s Memorial Day Weekend. It’s a beautiful weekend. Monday’s off, the kids’ activities are winding to a close, resulting in a little margin for our lives, and the school load is starting to lighten as well. Advertisers use this weekend, too. Pandora’s trying to get me to upgrade to commercial-free so I can kick back on this lazy weekend. They won’t get me that easy!

But in the midst of all these wonderful things – and they are wonderful – it’s easy to forget about what Memorial Day is all about. I have a friend, a veteran of the Navy, mention on his facebook that there’s no need to thank him for his service on Sunday. While he appreciates the sentiment, the time for that is Veteran’s Day.

Memorial Day is the day to remember those who have died in the service of our country. We too often take our way of life for granted. But the cost was high. Thousands upon thousands have died for the freedom of our nation – and for the freedom of other nations. The cost could not have been higher. The reward is amazing – even if we do take it for granted at times.

But as wonderful as this gift is, it is not the greatest gift ever given. But, if we’re looking, it will point us to that greatest gift – Jesus who died and rose again that we could not just have freedom in this life, but eternal freedom and joy in Him. Last week we touched on this passage from Colossians:

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. – Colossians 2.13-15

Our enemies have been defeated by Jesus on the cross. And not only are we given life in Him, but Jesus’ glory is so astounding that all creation will find its place under His Lordship.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1.15-20

Pastor Brett’s going to lead us in delighting in His Lordship tomorrow morning. I hope to see you there!

And after church, thank God for those soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom and the freedom of others all around the world. And let that be a reminder that Jesus has died for your freedom and that of your brothers and sisters all over the world.

See you in the morning,

Pastor Justin

 

Reminders

  • Annual Celebration is coming. After our June 7 services we’ll be meeting with all the other campuses to celebrate what God has done over the last year with a wonderful carnival at Grace Christian School in Cypress.
  • Father’s Day is June 21. Come for breakfast at 9:00. We’ll also have a car show. If you have an antique, or even interesting car, let us know and we’ll keep a place for you.
  • We’d like to have a baptism soon. If you want to take this step of faith, please fill out a Connection Card indicating so on Sunday morning or email me.

Victory Awaits

You thought I forgot, didn’t you? I know you’ve been lost without the weekly email this week, but here it comes … and it’s purposely on Saturday. We’re trying something new this week to help prepare us for Sundays on Saturday evenings. We’ll see how it goes. Your input is appreciated.

I can’t believe it’s not yet been a week since Mother’s Day. I hope yours was a good one. As we transition to this Sunday, we’re continuing our series, Revived by Resurrection. Tomorrow our theme is “Victory.” We love winning. I just won a thrilling bocce ball game. Victory was sweet J. Perhaps a little sweeter even for Preakness Stakes winner, American Pharaoh. The stakes were a bit higher.

But victory takes even more significance when we’re talking about real life. And if we’re honest, we’re all dealt disappointments and heartbreak. It could be personal defeat, it could be the tragedy we see all around us. Sometimes the burden of life’s defeats are overwhelming.

Where do you need victory in your life now?

What difference does Jesus make in the trials of our life? What does the resurrection have to do with it?

Tomorrow we’ll look at Jesus’ Victory at the cross and resurrection and the difference it makes in our lives – in the present, and what it guarantees us for the future.

Victory Awaits!

See you in the morning,

Pastor Justin

Reminders

  • We’d like to have a baptism soon. If you want to take this step of faith, please fill out a Connection Card indicating so on Sunday morning or email me.

Love Your Neighbor

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Or should I say, “¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!” It’s quite a week. Some of you may have missed yesterday’s holiday as well – Star Wars Day.

[Disclaimer: Before I get into my story, let me confess something. God’s doing something in me and I need to share it because I think He wants to do it in our congregation. Some of us already have “it,” but others of us need to grow in what I’m talking about. I know I do. I’m miserable at it, but God’s been growing me in it lately and I feel like I should share my process with y’all. And if the Branch is going to flourish, we all need to grow in this. What is it?]

Loving our neighbors.

Our neighbors have a couple dogs named after Star Wars characters. I’ll let you guess which two. Anyways, we were having our regularly rushed evening last night. I’m trying to get my daughters home in time for dinner, but something I read today made me stop at the pet store, endure my girls’ appeals for a puppy, and pick up a treat for the neighbors’ pooches to celebrate this most important holiday – “May the Fourth be with you!” Get it? Punny, eh?

I’m always working on a book that I might help me move forward as a pastor and/or us as a congregation move forward in the mission God has given us. Next on my list was Life-Style Evangelism by Joe Aldrich. I’ve heard it’s a classic, but the world has changed since it was written. Ronald Regan had just started his first term. We’re talking about a different world. I wondered if it was worth the time or if I should get something a little more “cutting edge.” I’m sure I should, but I decided to give it a chance. It hooked me out of the gate.

I’ll have my antennae out to avoid those things that are out of date, but when he listed the barriers to evangelism in our world, it couldn’t be more timely. Specifically, the author notes that we are overwhelmed with people contact – there’s no way we can care for every need that crosses our path. We’re too busy to really invest in relationships, to care. There were a couple more, but these jumped off the page at me.

I don’t know about you, but these were direct hits on me. The images of suffering around the world have numbed me, I’m sad to say, to a certain degree. And my schedule is absurd at times. But Aldrich’s response isn’t to give up. I’m not sure what his response is yet, but I suppose his book’s title is a good indicator.

We have a hope worth sharing. Aldrich was discovering 35 years ago what is perhaps even more true today. People don’t want to be projects, they don’t want to be preached at, they don’t want to be some spiritual checklist. They want to be loved. They want to be cared for. They want to be genuine friends.

Friendship takes time. It doesn’t fit tidily into a schedule. It’s living life and caring for those God brings across our path – wherever they are, or end up, in life.

So we went to the pet store and delivered our Star Wars Day gift. It took a little bit of time, a little bit of effort, but maybe it will be the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

Forget the force, the Spirit is with us. Let’s love our neighbors.

Reminders

  • Mother’s Day is coming on Sunday! You’re welcome. Get to work.
  • We have a fun element in our service on Sunday. We’ll have flowers available to give to the ladies in our lives who have played a motherly role. So be thinking about which ladies of the Branch who have blessed you in some way. We’ll have a flower available for you to give them as an encouragement and a small toke of gratitude.
  • We’d like to do a baptism service soon. If you’re interested, please fill out a Connection Card on Sunday.

Centriptetal and Centrifugal … I know, read it anyways!

Good afternoon Branch Family!

I just received the best email. It turns out I’m not the only one having inconvenient encounters that are divine appointments (see last week’s post/email). I just received an email from a Branch family member. She was sharing how she was serving in the community recently and the conversations ensued that have opened the door to a great ministry opportunity. It’s not comfortable for her, but she’s walking through this open door.

This opportunity came as she was out in the world showing Jesus’ love. In some of the nerdy missiology books, they call this centrifugal mission. It’s ministry that happens outside of the church gathering and in the wider world. The church is sent out to make disciples in this context. The Great Commission is one example of this “going” style of mission:

“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.” – Matthew 28.19-20

This is why we started the Branch to begin with – to “go” to Los Alamitos so people would find their hope in Jesus above all else. This is the heart of God’s mission to the world – go out there and show and tell Jesus’ love.

But there’s also another trajectory to mission – centripetal. This is the idea that Jesus teaches about in the Sermon on the Mount and at the Last Supper:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5.14

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13.35

This is more or less what the Jewish mission was. Live out God’s blessing and anticipate the nations being drawn to worship God as they see the wisdom of living His way through the life of His people. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out so God sent Jesus.

It’s easy to pit these two trajectories against each other. It’s hard not to. But while we should have a bias towards “being out there,” God has called us to be a community on mission that loves each other and builds into each other and that is attractive to those around us because we love God and love each other.

Each Sunday we gather at the Community Center and there are people at the park or going to play soccer. Sure, parking can be a hassle, but are we taking advantage of opportunities to love and bless people who are coming to our doorstep and even beyond (if they need to use the bathroom!) to show them Jesus’ love? May we grow and embrace this centripetal trajectory of ministry, to bless those who are coming to us.

And we also need to get out there (centrifugal) and point people to Jesus as we prayer walk and hand out fliers, or as we serve in the community. Our God is a missionary God. He’s on the move looking for people who want to be in His family. And He uses us to point them to Him.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited as God has opened doors for me to point others to Him, personally, and to hear how He’s opening great opportunities for dialogue and service among so many at the Branch as well.

Keep your eyes open. God’s at work all around us!

Pastor Justin

 

Reminders

  • We’ll be doing baby dedications on Mother’s Day this year – May 10. So if you want to dedicate your child (which is really a dedication of yourself as a parent to raise the child in the Lord), let me know by this Sunday!

Everyday Inconveniences or Divine Appointments?

Why not both?

Within the last week my wife and I have both had odd, seemingly chance encounters with strangers (or virtual strangers). Neither was convenient. They were both a little uncomfortable. I would have rather not had to engage the person I ended up engaging. She’s a far better person than I, so I won’t speak for her!

As we debriefed our respective situations, we acknowledged the inconvenience, but we were also able to reflect on the opportunity to “love our neighbors.” We love loving our neighbors when it’s convenient and when we like them. When it’s more challenging, we look for other Bible verses. As we reflected, we were able to recognize these encounters not as inconveniences (though they were inconvenient), but divine appointments.

I don’t know what, if anything, will come of these “appointments.” That’s God’s decision. It may be that friendships develop that end up pointing all of us to Jesus. It could be that we never see these folks again. Who knows? That’s God’s decision. But I have a decision in this. Am I willing to engage life’s inconvenient moments, trusting that God may have a divine appointment for me in this.

On our end, it’s not always easy to tell the difference. In fact, we can rarely be sure. Since this is the case, it’s always important to fight that battle against our flesh and trust the Holy Spirit to direct us and use us to bless those people who cross our paths.  For us it was strangers needing something. For others it may be changing another diaper or helping that person at work who you really don’t much care for. The opportunities are legion.

Unfortunately, we live in a busy world. I wish I could say I always handle these “appointments” well. Too often I treat them like they feel – inconveniences. (I think the only reason I’m writing about it is because I actually did the right thing this time!) But my eyes are opening. I’m praying they stay open.

Inconveniences are always emerging all around us. My prayer is that I’ll seize them as “divine appointments.” I’m praying that each of us will!

 

Reminders

  • We’ll be doing baby dedications on Mother’s Day this year – May 10. So if you want to dedicate your child (which is really a dedication of yourself as a parent to raise the child in the Lord), let me know!

More Happy Birthdays, please!

I’m actually not talking about the Branch Birthday Celebration on Sunday, which was wonderful, by the way! Special thanks to Hannah Stonoha and Christine Theodore (and their teams) for making it a wonderful success.

I had a wonderful opportunity to talk with someone who attended one of the Cypress campus Easter services earlier today. They were visiting from out of town, but were deeply touched and recognized their need for Jesus. She saw the testimony video and wanted what Jeanette had in her life (the same video we showed at the Branch). I was privileged to lead her in a prayer to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. (I’m now looking for a good church to plug her into in Corona. If you know of any, be sure to contact me. )

The reason I’m telling you this is that it was a unique opportunity where God used me in spite of me. I had just played basketball with my son for over an hour so I was exhausted. I had put it off for much of the day because I didn’t know what this person was looking for, but I knew they were hurting. That was going to take emotional engagement on my part, which I put off. Finally, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer so I made the call. Hardly the ideal situation to “set myself up for success.”

Despite my reluctance and procrastination, God worked. It was a wonderful, hope-filled conversation where we discussed sin, regret, repentance, and new life … and then my new friend prayed to receive that new life in Jesus. It is her New Birthday today!

The reason God has called us to Los Alamitos/Rossmoor is to reach people with the message of Jesus’ love. Certainly we do that by showing God’s love in action with our interactions. We had a few great connections with community folks at the park last Sunday – one person even contacted me online and said she’s coming by because we seem to be a church that likes kids!

But we also need to stick our necks out there from time to time in our conversations and relationships. I was tempted to pray for my new friend and not explore to see if she wanted to make a decision for Jesus – what a tragic missed opportunity that would have been! We don’t want to be those people who are jamming a gospel presentation into every conversation – whether it’s the right time or not. But we also don’t want to miss opportunities.

I’m encouraged and challenged anew. God worked in spite of me today. I want to be a little more cooperative on a regular basis. Will you join me for praying for opportunities to point people to Jesus and the courage to actually do it?

May God bless you as you’re on His mission this week!

 

Reminders

  • This isn’t so much a reminder as a pre-Sunday announcement. We’ll be doing baby dedications on Mother’s Day this year – May 10. So if you want to dedicate your child (which is really a dedication of yourself as a parent to raise the child in the Lord), let me know!
  • Pastor Ron Jackson, our Pastor of Counseling, will be preaching a message of Forgiveness in our new series, Revived by Resurrection. I’ll be preaching at the Cypress Campus, but I look forward to seeing y’all in two Sundays!

He is Risen … So Pray!

Easter Sunday was amazing! The refreshment team put a veritable feast together. Garrick and the worship team were fabulous. I hope God challenged you through His Word, and we had plenty of guests. Above all else, Jesus was lifted up and recognized as the resurrected King that He is.

I like to begin each month’s weekly email on prayer, specifically praying a psalm. This week I want to focus on Psalm 21. It’s a psalm that begins by praising God (verse 1) – fitting for us after such a wonderful Easter celebration. The psalmist praises God because He has delivered the king (verses 2-7) – also appropriate as God shows His faithfulness by giving all authority to the risen Jesus in Matthew 28.

Not only does the psalmist celebrate what God has done, but he is confident of what God will do – continue to save (verses 8-12). Why wouldn’t he be? God has already proven his character.  The final result is the praise of all God’s people (verse 13). Give it a look.

TO THE CHOIRMASTER. A PSALM OF DAVID.

O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!

2 You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.

Selah

3 For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.

4 He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.

5 His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.

6 For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

7 For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

8 Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you.

9 You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.

10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man.

11 Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.

12 For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13 Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.

What does this ancient poetry have to do with our lives? I’m glad you asked.

Let’s pause here. You were praying for friends and family members during Easter. You prayed that they would make it to church and, if they didn’t, that God would somehow make Himself known to them. In many cases it worked. We had several guests on Sunday and I know that God was working in the lives of some who weren’t even at the Branch on Sunday. God has been answering our prayers as we lifted up the King of Kings on Sunday.

But this psalm isn’t just about what God has done, but what He will do. For us, this encourages us all the more to keep praying. Pray that the person you brought will be encouraged to take the next step in their relationship with God.

Pray that God would continue to work in that person who didn’t accept your invitation. God’s not on the same timeline we are. Keep praying. He is faithful and we never know what He’s really up to … but our prayer will be time well spent.

I can’t wait to see you again on Sunday!

Reminders

  • Branch Birthday Party this Sunday after church! Come on over to Rossmoor Park after service. We’ll have lunch, a bounce house, games, and a great time to hang out and celebrate what God has done and what He will continue to do at the Branch!
  • We begin a new series this Sunday – “Revived by Resurrection.” I hope you join us!

 

Anticipation Amid the Grind

I’m not sure how your day’s going. Mine’s fairly normal. A bit busier, I suppose, than usual. I was up too late last night, but adrenaline is keeping me going today. This is a big week at church – Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services coming in addition to Easter Sunday – the most important day in human history! But it doesn’t seem like it, does it? If you have kids (and maybe even if you don’t), Christmas Day seems to have more anticipation.

I realize Sunday’s coming – and Thursday and Friday, but it’s just Tuesday. Seemingly, an ordinary Tuesday. Paperwork. Diapers. Tool belts. Staff meetings. Expense reports. Life just keeps grinding on.

It needs to. The world keeps turning. But I want to help today. I’ll keep it brief, but I want to help you keep your head, as much as possible, in what is called Passion Week (passion is drawn from the Latin word for suffering). Below you’ll see the chart that shows us what Jesus’ final week looked like – it’s the same one from last week’s email. Take a moment to consider what Jesus was doing on Tuesday of His Passion Week.

Last Sunday we saw how God is often working in a deeper way than we could have hoped as we relived the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday – with the help of our kids walking through the service waving palms! A thriving life is available, but it isn’t easy.

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are fast approaching, but I want to make sure you take some time today to thank God for the work He did in Jesus some 2000 years ago. Thank Him for saving you by paying for your sins on the cross, which we’ll celebrate on Friday evening.

So can I ask you to do something for just a couple minutes today? Amid the grind, pause today for a couple minutes to give thanks and ask God to help you really enter into this week of worship.

There are a few ways to do that. We will be combining forces with the Cypress campus at the Cypress campus (6143 Ball Road, Cypress) on Thursday and Friday. The Maundy Thursday service relives the Last Supper on Thursday at 6:30 and Good Friday, which focuses on the cross, is on Friday at 7:00. Maundy Thursday is a great family-friendly event. There are some intense scenes on Friday so we will have appropriate children’s programming for ages/grades …

And, of course, we’ll be back at the Los Al Community Center on Sunday morning at 10:00 celebrating Jesus’ resurrection! We hope you’ll join us for as many of these services as you’re able.

We also need some help in preparation. As the Branch we’re responsible for set up for the Maundy Thursday service. Join us at the Cypress campus at 6:00 on Wednesday evening (we’ll have pizza) to help set up. Many hands should make light and fun work. There will be work for the kids, too! This is a family service event for our family church.

One more thing! Don’t forget that you have friends who need Jesus. Encourage them to join us for one of these services. It will be a great opportunity for them to see what Jesus has done for us and to hear the Good News!

Can’t wait to see y’all,

Pastor Justin

 

 

Modern

Calendar Days

Event

 

·    Arrival in Bethany (John 12:1)
Saturday ·    Evening celebration, Mary anoints Jesus

(Matthew 26:6-13; John 12:2-8)

Sunday ·  Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1-9;

John 12:12-18

·  Jesus surveys the temple area (Mark 11:11)

·  Return to Bethany (Mark 11:11)

Monday ·  Cursing the fig tree on the way to Jerusalem (Mark 11:12-14; cf. Matt. 21:18-22)

·  Cleansing the temple (Matt. 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17)

·  Return to Bethany (Mark 11:19)

Tuesday ·  Debates with religious leaders in Jerusalem and teaching in the temple (Matt. 21:23-23:39; Mark 11:27-12:44)

·  Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:1-25:46; Mark 13:1-37)

Wednesday ·  “Silent Wednesday” – Jesus and his disciples remain in Bethany

·  Judas makes arrangements for the betrayal

(Matt. 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11)

Thursday ·  Preparations for Passover (Matt. 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16)

·  Passover meal and Last Supper (Matt. 26:20-25;

Mark 12:17-25)

·  Upper Room discourses (John 13-17)

·  Prayers in Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36-46;

Mark 14:32-42

Friday ·  Betrayal and arrest (Matt. 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50)

·  Jewish trial

Annas – John 18:13-24

Caiaphas – Matt. 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65

Sanhedrin – Matt. 27:1-2; Mark 15:1

·  Roman trial (three phases)

Pilate – Matt. 27:2-14; Mark 15:2-5

·  Crucifixion (approx 9:00am to 3:00pm; Matt. 27:27-54;

Mark 15:16-39)

Sunday ·  Resurrection witnesses (Matt. 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8;

Luke 24:1-12)

·  Jesus’ resurrection appearances (Matt. 28:9-20;

Luke 24:13-53; John 20-21