Grow Deep - Anchored Hope Edition Week 1
Week 1: April 14-20
Anchored Hope in the Face of Jesus
Memory Verse: “For God ... made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Misunderstanding. Mis-placed trust. Insecurity. Confusion. Chaos. John’s passion-week eyewitness texts provoke feelings in us of the world, our lives— indeed the entire cosmos— spinning out of control. Stirring up themes from Genesis to Moses and the prophets, John reminds us that the patiently, trudging pace of 4,000 years of history has now arrived at “the” very hour— catapulting us forward at warp speed into the fulfillment of “that” seed of promise, the sure hope given to God’s first children in the Garden of Eden.
But all is not as it seems. God’s ultimate redemption of the cosmos and us does not look the way we imagined it. With the disciples, the religious leaders and Pilate, we cannot see God’s work in real time, if at all. Because of the fallen nature we inherited from Adam, God’s glory is veiled from us, even when He is in plain sight. When the truth is not spiritually evident, we, too, become insecure. We speak and act rashly. Only when our eyes become unveiled, do we see this is not so with Jesus. He speaks with the authority of the Father, acts with the authority given Him from the Father, knows who He is in relationship to the Father, shows us at every step what the Father really looks like, that we may behold our God.
Moses veiled his face after he met with God, because the Israelites could not bear the sight of God’s reflected glory. So very far they, like us, had fallen. This week, we pray with Moses, “Lord, show me your glory (Ex. 33:18).”
May Your countenance, O Lord, shine upon us. Unveil Your face, Lord. Anchor us in the certainty You have secured for us on the cross. Reflect Your glory through us to this broken world.
Sunday, April 14
Read: John 12:12-16
Even as they shouted their hosannas, the “multitudes” pouring into Jerusalem for a “feast” did not recognize the face of Jesus as their Savior. They saw only what a fallen people were able to see. Even the disciples did not comprehend fully the life and work of Jesus until they saw His glorified face.
Reflect: What did the people of Jerusalem see as Jesus entered the city? What role does “being glorified” play in our understanding of these verses? Recall a time when you have missed God in plain sight (For further inspiration or help, read Romans 1:17-20).
Monday, April 15
Read: John 12:20-33
Greeks coming into the city asked to see the face of Jesus. However, when God’s chosen people looked at the face of Jesus, they did not see the long-expected seed the Messiah promised to them.
Reflect: When Jesus discusses wheat grains, what or about whom is He talking? Recall yesterday’s reading. Why is Jesus asking God to glorify His name? What confidence can we “Greeks” glean from this text? Share the hope you have in Jesus with a family member or friend today.
Tuesday, April 16
Read: John 13:1-17
In today’s text, Jesus shows us clearly the kind of unexpected King He really is vis-à-vis His betrayer, His enemies, unbelievers, the spiritually blind, the least and the dirty. Jesus washes His disciples’ feet and shows them, and us, the face of a servant.
Reflect: As God’s chosen, how will we reflect the hope we have in Him and His glory to others? When we look into the face of another or ourselves, do we see the face of one made in the image of God, or do we see only the fallen Adam who repulses us? How does today’s reading equip us to partner with God as His bride to make Him really known to all people?
Wednesday, April 17
Read: John 14:1-14
When we look into the face of Jesus, we see the face of the Father. Jesus, like a bridegroom, has gone ahead to prepare a place for us (His bride) in heaven. He is the exclusive way to the Father; only in Jesus can the face of the Father be known to us.
Reflect: Of whom is Jesus the exact image? How does seeing Jesus clearly as the bridegroom change everything and give us hope that anchors us? What are your own places of spiritual blindness? What does Jesus imply about His name? For extra anchoring today, read Hebrews 1.
Thursday, April 18
Read: John 18:1-14
Jesus enters the garden with His disciples, ready to do battle again with Satan for the redemption of mankind. Betrayed by Judas, Jesus willingly identifies Himself as the one for whom an arresting army is searching. Even in betrayal, we see in Jesus the face of grace; we see the face of hope in His ultimate victory over death.
Reflect: What unexpected thing happens when Jesus proclaims, “I am He!”? How does Jesus show us who is in control of this frenzied scenario? When it seems like Jesus and His Word are in mortal danger, what is our role in this amazing story of grace?
Friday, April 19
Read: John 19:1-30
Today’s reading details the story of Jesus’ humiliation and crucifixion beginning with His appearance before Pilate. Though Pilate found Jesus to be guiltless, he nonetheless ordered Him to be flogged and crucified.
Reflect: What truth in verse 30 of this reading anchors everything—the whole point and purpose of creation, Adam, the children of Israel and us? With His last breath, how does Jesus demonstrate His control even over His own death? What’s so good about this Friday? Make a list for yourself and share it with someone.
Saturday, April 20
Read: John 19:31-42
Roman soldiers confirm Jesus’ death and refrain from breaking His legs. Two of His followers then take His body, prepare it for burial, and lay Him in a tomb that has never been used. Jesus’ face was veiled, and His body was wrapped in cloths in the tomb.
Reflect: Soon, His face will be unveiled. We will see His glory; we will speak with Him face-to-face, and we will not die. In fact, we will live! Write a prayer thanking Jesus for what He has done for you. Thank Him for the ways He has unveiled His face and anchored you with His hope this Holy Week.