This week, you’ll be reading through the books of Acts, having family devotions around the cross and Easter, and spending time looking forward to the resurrection Jesus has won for all who follow Him.
PERSONAL BIBLE READING
Days 8-14 will get you through the book of Acts, which is the only historical book in the New Testament (the Gospels, though covering historical events, are closer to biographies).
The book of Acts is actually a shorthand for the original name: The Acts of the Apostles. It is written by the same Luke who penned the Gospel bearing his name. Luke was a top-notch historian who traveled with the Apostle Paul, interviewing the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection. He completed this work sometime in the 50’s AD, meaning he likely recorded Acts within weeks or months of the last chapters happening.
FAMILY BIBLE READING
This week, our focus is on Jesus. Namely we want to focus on His death and resurrection.
Why start here?
“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”1 Corinthians 15:16-19
Everything in the Bible goes through the cross and Easter!
Reading about Moses? He was an imperfect foreshadow of Jesus.
Same for David, Joshua, Daniel, Ruth… Same for every story.
Red Sea parting to allow God’s people through the water while drowning the evil chasing them? That’s Jesus’ work for us in baptism.
Burning bush, Jacob’s ladder, the fiery furnace… all pointing towards the cross and Easter.
Because of this centrality we see everything through resurrection eyes!
This means your prayers can focus on:
-Those who are sick, because everyone following Jesus is healed in the resurrection.
-Those who mourn, because there is a certain reunion for all who follow Jesus.
This also means you can encourage your family to think about loved ones, either living or dead, and thank God that you never truly say goodbye to those who trust in Jesus!
After reading the Bible story of the cross and Easter, you may use the following devotion for your family. The basis comes from the Second Article of the Apostles Creed.
Imagine there was a peasant living in within the walls of a Lord’s city. He looked around the plains beyond and knew those crops belonged to the king. Same for the animals in the forest and the trading inside the market.
The king would provide for all his subjects, including those who lived within the city’s walls and those who lived beyond them.
But though he had what he needed, the peasant one day choose to take a chicken from the market without paying. When the crime was found out, the peasant was brought before the king.
In order to make things right, the peasant had to restore to the king the chicken he had taken. But that chicken was yesterday’s dinner! He couldn’t restore it, so he’d have to repay.
But how does a peasant go about repaying a king? If he went to the market and bought a chicken to give the king, well that chicken was in the king’s market so it was already his.
If he went to the forest to look for a replacement fowl, well those woods are already the king’s too and so are any animals caught within.
If he went to the fields and tried to work off his debt, well all his labor is already owed the king as a citizen.
In truth, the peasant can’t repay the king.
But the king can pay for himself.
Instead of asking us to pay for our sins and be perfect (which we could never do), God became the king who pays for our sin. He sent Jesus, True God and True Man, to pay the price for our sin.
He didn’t pay with gold or silver, with chickens or cookies, but with His precious blood on the cross.
Because we deserved death for our crimes against the king.
But not only did Jesus pay the price we never could so that we might be close to God, our king, again, He also loved us so much that not even death could hold Him back from being with us!
That’s why Easter is the most important part of the Bible and the only pillar our faith is built on! Without Jesus’ death, we are still in our sin and always will be. Without Jesus’ resurrection, we wouldn’t have the proof that His love really does overcome everything standing between us and God… death and chickens included!