Apr 2, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

April 1, 2022
Lent

Today’s Readings: 

  1. MORNING: Exodus 12:21-27, Passover instituted to celebrate the exodus
    • Lesson: Christ’s Paschal sacrifice saves us
  2. MIDDAY: The Parts of True Repentance
  3. EVENING: John 11:45-57, Plotting against Jesus during Passover
    • Lesson: Christ, our Passover

Invitatory

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,

    the Father, the Almighty,

    maker of heaven and earth,

    of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

    the only Son of God,

    eternally begotten of the Father,

    God from God, Light from Light,

    true God from true God,

    begotten, not made,

    of one Being with the Father.

    Through him all things were made.

    For us and for our salvation

        he came down from heaven:

    by the power of the Holy Spirit

        he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

        and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

        he suffered death and was buried.

        On the third day he rose again

            in accordance with the Scriptures;

        he ascended into heaven

            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

        and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

    who proceeds from the Father [and the Son].

    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

    He has spoken through the Prophets.

    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

    We look for the resurrection of the dead,

        and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Hymn

“Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above” 

By Charles Wesley

Lyrics:

Come, let us join our friends above, who have obtained the prize, 

And on eagle wings of love to joys celestial rise. 

Let saints on earth unite to sing with those to glory gone, 

For all the servants of our King in earth and heaven are one. 

One family we dwell in him, one church above, beneath, 

Though divided by the stream, the narrow stream of death; 

One army of the living God, to his command we bow; 

Part of his host have crossed the flood, and part are crossing now. 

Ten thousand to their endless home this solemn moment fly, 

And we are to the margin come, and we expect to die. 

Even so by faith we join our hands with those that went before, 

And greet the blood besprinkled bands on that eternal shore. [1]


Morning Prayer

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world didst rest from all thy works and sanctify a day of rest for all thy creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of thy sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to thy people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [2]

Short Verse

But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

Luke 13:3

Morning Reading

Exodus 12:21-27, Passover instituted to celebrate the exodus

21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down. 24 You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. 25 When you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this observance?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed down and worshiped.

Morning Lesson

Christ’s Paschal sacrifice saves us

“The hyssop speaks of Christ’s garments that were whiter than snow in the Resurrection, and of the purity bestowed by the remission of sins in baptism” (St. Ambrose). [3]

“Christ’s Paschal sacrifice saves us from death, for He trampled down death by His death and bestowed life on those in the grave. In the eucharistic cup, His precious Blood saves us from death.” [4]

“Passover mark[ed] a new era for the people of Israel and foreshadows the new, spiritual Israel in Christ, the perfect Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (1Co 5:7; Heb 7:27). • O Lord, I am in need of a Shepherd to seek and save me, for I am a straying sheep. You are the Good Shepherd, who seeks and saves the lost. Save me, O Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Amen.” [5]


Midday Prayer

Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his Cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [6]

Short Verse

Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

Psalm 62:4-5

Midday Reflection

The Parts of True Repentance 

(Excerpted from St. Augustine’s Prayer Book [7])

1. Contrition—awareness of sin and its effect; sorrow and intention to amend one’s life. 

2. Confession—an honest accounting before God or in the confessional of what has been done and left undone. 

3. Satisfaction—action that, as possible, makes amends to others and changes one’s behavior.


Eventide Prayer

O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of all enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. [8]

Short Verse

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:21

Eventide Reading

John 11:45-57, Plotting against Jesus during Passover

45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place[a] and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. 53 So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus[b] was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

Eventide Lesson

Christ, our Passover

“Caiaphas, being high priest, is given the authority to speak prophetically… Here, Caiaphas means only that the death of Christ will spare the Jews from Roman intervention. God’s meaning, however, is that all people will be saved through the death of the Son… Because Jesus is the Lamb of God (1:29), the connection between the Passover, when lambs were slaughtered to save the Jews from Death (Ex 12:1-13), and the death of Jesus, which saves mankind from sin and death, is continually emphasized.” [9]

Let’s dig deeper into the ways in which Christ is our Passover.

“Passover, the central rite and symbol of Judaism, is based on the experience of the liberation of the Hebrew people from bondage in Egypt (Ex 12:1-15:21). It is called Passover both because the Lord passed over the homes of the Hebrews, sparing them from the death that came to the first-born in Egypt, and because the Hebrews passed over the Red Sea as if it were dry land. Passover celebrates God’s steadfast love and devotion to His people and their freedom in Him.” [10]

“Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, Passover preeminently signifies God’s rescue and forging together of His chosen people, Israel. The Lord repeatedly brings this event to mind as He encourages and exhorts His people to return to their covenantal responsibilities…” [11]

“Through His saving work, Christ becomes our Passover (pascha in Greek). Through Him we experience liberation from sin, death, and the devil. St. Paul exclaims, “Christ, our Passover, was sacrifice for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast” (1Co 5:7, 8). He is the Paschal Lamb (Is 53:7; Jn 1:29; Rev 5:6-14) whom gave Himself up in sacrifice “once for all” (Heb 10:10-14) to reconcile us with God…” [12]

“In many typological details, the Passover of the Jews clearly points towards Christ as our Passover.” [13]

  1. “The Passover lamb, whose blood was smeared by the Hebrews on their doorposts in the sign of the Cross, was a male without blemish; Jesus was a male without blemish who died on the Cross.” [14]
  2. “The blood of the Passover lamb saved the first-born of the Hebrews from death; the blood of Christ saves all those believing in Him from eternal death (Rom 5:8-10; 1Pt 1:17-19).” [15]
  3. “The Passover lamb had none of its bones broken (Ex 12:10, 46); Jesus also had no bones broken as He was sacrificed (Jn 19:31-36).” [16]
  4. “The Hebrews escaped from the burden of slavery in Egypt by passing through the Red Sea; Christians pass “from Egypt, from the burden of sin,” being “set free and saved” through the waters of Holy Baptism [Gregory of Nyssa]. For in the waters of Baptism, we are “baptized into His death,” “crucified with Him,” and raised up “in the likeness of His resurrection” to “walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-11).” [17]

“St. John Chfrysostom marvels at the power of Christ’s blood: ‘If the type of it had such great power… in the midst of Egypt, when smeared on the doorposts, much more the reality… if death so shuddered at the shadow, tell me how it would not have dreaded the very reality? This blood is the salvation of our souls; by it the soul is washed, and made beautiful and… more gleaming than gold (see Rev 7:13, 14).’” [18]

Sustained and strengthened by the blood of Christ our Passover, we resume daily our journey to the eternal promised land, the promised kingdom to come.” [19]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

We give you thanks, O God, for revealing your Son Jesus Christ to us by the light of his resurrection: Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day, our joy may abound in the morning as we celebrate the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [20]


Citations:

[1] Tickle, P. (2006). March. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 210). New York, NY: Image Books

[2] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite I. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 56). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[3] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Exodus. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Ibid. 3

[5] A., E. E. (2016). Exodus. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 759). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[6] http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/07-Midday-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[7] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Basic Instructions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 25). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[8] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite I. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 69). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[9] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1479). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[10] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Christ Our Passover [Article]. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[11] Ibid. 10

[12] Ibid. 10

[13] Ibid. 10

[14] Ibid. 10

[15] Ibid. 10

[16] Ibid. 10

[17] Ibid. 10

[18] Ibid. 10

[19] Ibid. 10

[20] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite II. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 134). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

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