Jesus’ final eight days in Jerusalem changed history, the world, and all of humankind, one person at a time. In those final days, Jesus proclaimed His identity as God’s Son. He established His mission as the promised Messiah. He revealed His role as Prophet. He entered the city as King to humbly become our sacrificial offering.
 
Eight Days in Jerusalem, a forty-day devotional, will help you appreciate anew the gift of Jesus’ deep love for you. Eight Days in Jerusalem will help you piece together the significance of everything that happened in those brief and redeeming days. This Easter, celebrate your resurrected life in Christ.

Day 24 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Fear and panic

Verse – Matthew 26:75, And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

The passage found in Matthew 26:69-75 is unfortunately one of the top three experiences that we remember from Peter’s life with Jesus. Out of all the interactions and events that are chronicled in Scripture concerning Peter, it is his moment of failure that is most remembered. Unfortunately, this is all too common in our own experience. Therefore, we tend to operate out of fear and anxiety when it comes to our failures. We avoid them at all costs! We do not want to talk about them or deal with them; we just want to forget them. Fortunately, this is not the end of this story. After Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus restores Peter to full fellowship. And when we confess our sin, He restores us to full fellowship as well. Ponder today the forgiveness that you have received from Jesus. If you struggle with past failures, understand that they do not have to be part of your future story with Jesus.

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, thank You for the forgiveness of my sin and for restoring me back to full fellowship with You. Help me not to break Your heart by sinning. But when I do sin, help me not to break Your heart by staying distant from You. Help me to confess quickly and stay close to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 23 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Dealing with Dread

Verse – Matthew 26:39 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.”

The dread of what was soon coming must have been an overwhelming burden to carry. As Jesus knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed like few have ever prayed in human history. Matthew 26:36-46 describe a scene of dread, despair, and surrender. Jesus’ request was not one of avoidance or hesitancy. His request was an indication of His complete surrender to the will of God. Jesus’ example gives believers a model to follow when the journey forward is filled with possible persecution, heartache, fear, anxiety, stress, and dread. Complete surrender to the will of the Father is the safest path forward.

Prayer for Today
Dear Lord,

Help me to ponder the passage today and how it applies to my own journey. I recognize there are situations and circumstances today that are going to be unpleasant and difficult. Help me to approach these conversations and interactions with solid surrender to Your will instead of avoidance or hesitation. Thank You for allowing Jesus to take My place, to bear my cup, to my penalty for my sin. I am committing today to live my life surrendered to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 22 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – The Final Meal

Verse – Luke 22:19-20, And He took the bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”

Luke 22:14-22 represents Jesus’ implementation of the Lord’s Supper. He redefined the elements of the Passover Meal to point to His upcoming torture and sacrifice on the cross for the sins of humanity. Please take the time to read Isaiah 53 to get a more robust picture of the Lamb of God that was to be sacrificed for the sins of the many. Jesus used the elements of the Lord’s Supper to help the disciples remember why He was doing what He was about to do. He would sacrifice Himself for the remission of sin. He was establishing the New Covenant that was promised in Jeremiah 31 where mankind’s relationship with God would change from Immanuel – God with us – to God in us (Jer 31:33). Jesus’ body and blood would be sacrificed once and for all for the sins of the world. Oh What a Savior!

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the gift of salvation. And thank You that I did not have to pay the penalty for my sin. Thank You for sending Jesus to take my place and to pay my price. It is overwhelming to ponder the depth of love and sacrifice that was made on my behalf. Help me to live a life worthy of His sacrifice. In Jesus’ Name, amen.


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Day 21 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Leaving with a Purpose

Verse – John 14:3, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”

John 14:1-7 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure. He wanted to encourage them in this difficult moment. Jesus uses Jewish wedding imagery to help the disciples understand that the separation will only be a temporary one and that they can look forward to His return. A Jewish man betrothed to his bride would leave her for a short period of time to go and prepare a home for them to live in together. Once he was done making the preparations for their future home, the groom would come back to the bride and taker her to their home. Then they would be together again for the rest of their lives. It is a beautiful illustration of Jesus’ Ascension and 2nd Coming for His bride. The church is His bride. Jesus our bridegroom is coming again! Soon! Get ready!

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord, Thank you for Your love for me. I am unworthy and undeserving. Help me to wait eagerly for You by obeying and following Your Word closely. Thank you for the hope that is only found in You. Help me to share this Hope with others. In Jesus Name, Amen.


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Day 20 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – The Coming of the Holy Spirit

Verse – John 16:13, When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

I will encourage you to pick up your bible and to read John 16:5-15. We need to understand the context of this conversation that Jesus is having with His disciples in the last moments of His ministry. Jesus is about to be separated from the disciples for the first time in three years. They are going to be alone, and they will begin to suffer because of their faithfulness to Him. (John 16:1-4) Jesus encourages them to not lose heart because of the presence of the Holy Spirit who is coming after he leaves. Jesus tells them that it is better for them that He leave so that the Holy Spirit will come! (John 16:7) Jesus lists benefits of the companionship of the Holy Spirit, which included dealing with sin, righteousness and judgment (16:8-11) Jesus also said that there were many other things that He wanted to teach them but that they were unable to handle these teachings at this time. So, the Holy Spirit would teach them these things at the right time. The Holy Spirit was His Spirit and would speak and teach as if it were Him speaking and teaching. The presence of the Holy spirit should be a comfort and encouragement to us today in the same way. As we are taught and led by the Spirit of God, it is the voice of Jesus that is directing us as we “Go.”

Prayer for today

Dear Lord,

I am so thankful and grateful for Your presence in my life. You are so good, so patient, so full of grace and mercy. The promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit to teach and guide me is an overwhelming blessing that I never want to take for granted. Please help me to live according to the Spirit and my life to bear fruit of this relationship as described in Galatians 5:22-23. In Jesus Name, Amen.


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Day 17 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Stay Ready

Verse – Matthew 24:44, Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:36-44 is a great passage to explain what will be happening when Jesus comes. People will not be expecting His return when it happens. It reminds us of our need to be ready for the event before it happens. We cannot wait until it happens and then try to prepare. So the question is simple, “Are you ready?” have you received forgiveness of your sins by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? Are you following Him? Have you surrendered your life to Him? If not, please do not let today pass you by. Because Jesus could come at any moment.

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, I pray that everyone who reads this devotion today will settle once and for all their relationship with You. If they have one, then Lord, help them to live a surrendered life. Lord, if they do not yet have a relationship with You, may they today ask for forgiveness of their sins and trust You with their eternity, In Jesus’ name, Amen.  


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Day 16 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – God’s Details Are in the Plan

Verse – Matthew 24:30-31, Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other.

The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ will cause an emotional response in all mankind. There will be those that believed in Him, “the elect” who will be celebrating, praising, and worshipping because of the fulfilled promise of our Lord’s return. Now, they will be with Him forever. Conversely, there will be many who will respond to the 2nd Coming of Christ with mourning. They are mourning because they did not follow Christ. Now they will recognize Him to be the Son of God, the Messiah. And because of their unbelief, they will be separated from God for eternity. Jesus spoke these teachings to the disciples to help them understand God’s plan for the nation Israel in the last day. But the universal application for us here is simple to understand – Believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved. Now, it is our responsibility to tell the world – the four winds – that Jesus Christ is Lord and today is the day of salvation.

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, thank You for Your promises. Thank You for always keeping Your Promises. Help me to tell as many as possible about Your plan for redemption and about Jesus. Today, help me tell just one. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 15 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – What are the signs?

Verse – Matthew 24:3, As He sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”

The passage in Matthew 24-25 represents one of the greatest teachings about the end times and the future of Israel. The disciples asked Jesus about these events because of His comments about the Temple being destroyed. (Matt 24:1) Jesus wanted the disciples, and all of those that would believe the Gospel message they would share, to have faith in the redemption plan of God. It would surely come to pass. The events of the last days described by Jesus look similar to today’s headlines. I believe that we are living in the latter end of the last days. I believe Jesus could come back for His church anytime. Jesus did not want the disciples or you or me to be surprised and caught off guard. The question becomes, “Are you ready?”

Prayer for today –       

Dear Lord, as we ponder the passage of the day, it causes us to look forward to the fulfillment of Your promises. Today could be the day! But Lord, this also causes me concern. I know that there are many that will be left behind because they do not know You. Lord, please give me the opportunity to share the Gospel with someone today. Thank You for Your grace and mercy and for the assurance of salvation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  


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Day 14 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Jesus’ Authority

Verse – Luke 20:8, And Jesus sad to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

In this passage, authority comes from the Greek word exousia, which means power, right, or jurisdiction. When we look at the authority police officers have been given, we understand that they are limited to exercise that authority in the jurisdiction that they serve. The Pharisees were given authority in the Temple to regulate activity and to protect their customs and traditions. So, when Jesus came in and threw out the money changers from the Temple, the Pharisees demanded to know who gave Jesus the authority to do what He had done. When we surrender our lives to Jesus and receive the forgiveness of our sins, we surrender the authority or jurisdiction of heart to Jesus. He now has jurisdiction of our heart. Paul said this well in Galatians 2:20, ““I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Prayer for today –

Dear Lord, I recognize this issue of authority is the greatest issue of the heart. As I live Lord, help me to live in and under Your authority, Your jurisdiction. Forgive me when I try to take Your authority as my own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  


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Day 13 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – God’s House of Prayer

Verse – Matthew 21:13, He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

When Jesus entered the Temple complex during His 8 days in Jerusalem, He was appalled at the unrighteous behavior and the blatant disregard of reverence for the Lord. The Temple priests had allowed the Temple to become a place of business rather than a place of worship. And to make matters worse, the businessmen were exploiting the poor and needy by overcharging for worship supplies and undervaluing the trade value of the Temple coins. Jesus responded with righteous indignation and threw the money changers and businessman out of the Temple. What behaviors do you observe in church that get in the way of worship? What about your own personal worship? What value do you place on worship? Is there any attitudes or behaviors that you need to throw out of your life to refocus your worship on God? Spend time today asking the Lord to help identify one area in your life that could be addressed to improve your worship of God.  

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, thank you for another day to worship You. You alone are worthy. Please help me identify areas of my life that are interfering with my relationship with You. Help me to turn away from anything or anyone that is distracting me from worshipping You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 10 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Jesus’ Anticipated Arrival

Verse – John 12:13, “So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

The scene must have been exnihilating and confusing at the same time. The crowds gathered to welcome a conquering hero. This was the customary welcome for a military leader who had secured a victory on behalf of the people. They would gather to congratulate the victor and celebrate the victory. The military leader would ride in on his large white horse looking regal and impressive. But here was Jesus riding in on a donkey, humbly and unimpressive. Yet, there was something about Him. Jesus had a purpose and mission about Him. He was headed somewhere. He had something to do. The people were shouting a victorious message. But Jesus’ victory was still to be won. The people had heard of Jesus’ miracles and how H had raised Lazarus from the dead. Thy were hoping and expecting Him to overthrow the Romans. They would soon turn on Jesus because He did not meet their expectations. Jesus’ mission was so much higher and more important that thy could ever imagine. His victory was not just for them; it was for all humanity.

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that Hs mission was not just to please the people. Thank you for a Savior who took my place, paid my price, saved my soul. Forgive me when my expectations of You do not align with Your mission for me. Change my heart to love like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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