Live Talk Ep. 28

The Week that Changed the World with Steven Brooks

This week on Live Talk Dwayne welcome Steven Brooks to the show. Steven is the author of the book The Week That Changed the World: Daily Reflections on Holy Week. Steven walks us through the events of Holy Week in detail from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday!

Watch the full video of this week’s show here!

LINKS:
Steven Brooks Website: worshipquest.net
Steven Brooks YouTube: YouTube.com/worshipquest
Next Level Worship: nextlevelworship.com

Ep. 28 Transcript

Live Talk Ep. 28: The Week that Changed the World with Steven Brooks

Dwayne:

Hey everyone, welcome to Live Talk. Today is unique. This is holy week. Everything about this week is unique. It ought to be. This is the week that Jesus was on earth for the last day. His final days, leading up to the crucifixtion, which is today Good Friday. Which climaxed as we know in the resurrection on Sunday. 

So today we have a special guest named Stephen Brooks. He wrote a book about the Holy Week and he’s going to share with us insights from what went on in the Holy Week. He’s going to walk us through that in a very devotional, powerful kind of way. You don’t want to miss this. Put away your phones, put all your distractions just listen and let this be a time of encouragement and revival for you. We’ll be right back. 

Hey everybody, we are back. Well, Steven Brooks, Steven is becoming a good friend. We’ve never really had a lot of conversation though, Stephen. But we run in the same circles of folks, and we have a lot of mutual friends. I think I saw that you just interviewed a Constance Cherry, didn’t you? 

Steven:

I did. Yeah. I’ve known constants for many years. She’s a good friend. 

Dwayne:

Yeah, she’s a good friend. Well, tell us about you, Steve and I didn’t say much about it before the show before had you on, I wanted you to talk more about yourself. Tell us about you. 

Steven:

Sure. I’m married. I met my wife in college. And we have two boys, one who is a freshman at Biola University. And another who’s a freshman in high school. We live in Los Angeles here in California. And I am a worship pastor at a church in Huntington Beach. And serve as an adjunct Professor of worship, theology and spiritual formation at a couple different universities as well as the local seminary. And I direct a ministry called worship quest ministries and our mission statement is that we encourage worship renewal and spiritual formation by providing training and resources for the global Christian church. And as I began that ministry back in 2007, it was just a way for me to provide some resources for worship leaders in helping them plan worship services that will really help the congregation dig a little bit deeper into what they’re doing on a Sunday morning. But over the years, it has really expanded the lord has really blessed us to be able to not just provide resources, but also to do some training within churches as well as seminaries that conferences and seminars. And in 2015, the Lord opened doors for us to start doing that globally. Through international ministry in Pakistan, Dubai, and Ukraine, primarily. 

Dwayne:

Okay. Well, I’ve seen that you work in Ukraine. I did not realize she’s working Dubai. 

Steven:

They do. 

Dwayne:

Wow, that’s awesome. And I also I’ve seen that you work in Pakistan. And that is our mutual connection. We also work there. We don’t really work in Ukraine except we have a couple of people there that we claimed as ministry partners because we just support them. We just want to help them. 

Steven:

Yeah, absolutely. 

Dwayne

And but we don’t have any deep relationships there. We work with a minister called music in world cultures, and we partner with them, and they help some people over there. So we kind of funnel them. We send them money to them, and they send it on over. But anyway, it’s so good to have you here. And I appreciate your ministry. I try to follow along and see what all you’re doing. You’ve got a lot going on. What is the name of the seminary where you work? 

Steven:

Ukrainian evangelical theological seminaries, the seminary that I teach at in Ukraine. I do a zoom course with them every semester. And then I’m usually with them twice a year in the spring and the fall. And the seminary that I work with here in California is Gateway Seminary. Of the Southern Baptist convention. 

Dwayne:

There is. Certainly. I’ve always heard good things about gateway.

Yeah, I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard good things. I was out at California baptist university, speaking, that’s in riverside, you know, and but that’s as close as I’ve ever gotten to gateway, I guess. It’s just a CPU out there, but hey, we do want to take some time to hear the story. This is holy week. Oh, this is good Friday when this is actually airing. Sometimes the information is important. So I want you to kind of weave it in and out with some just good information that we wouldn’t want to know. Some people aren’t even really aware of what Holy Week means. So I would say, help us understand that better, Stephen, because you wrote a book about holy week. Tell us about that. Let’s go ahead and start with tell us about your book and how one can order it. Let’s start with that. 

Steven:

The book is entitled the week of the change the world. Daily reflections on holy week. And it was written as a devotional book. Because I think a lot of us know some of the bigger events that happen during holy week. We just celebrated this past Sunday Palm Sunday. And we all know of that, at least those of us that grew up in the church. You know, we know that that’s the day that Jesus wrote into Jerusalem and people grabbed palm branches and waved the palm branches as a symbol of peace as he came in. As a symbol of victory that he wrote in on a donkey to signify that piece rather than a big horse or stallion. And the people cried out Hosanna blessed us to U chems and the name of the lord. And we know that story, we also know that on Thursday, he spent time in the upper room with his disciples, observing Passover and that he gave us that new element of worship through the lord’s supper or communion or eucharist. We know that on Friday he was crucified on the cross. And of course, we know that Sunday he rises from the grave. And it’s a great celebration. 

But a lot of important things happen during holy week. Sunday through Sunday. And so I wanted to give us an opportunity to think through what happened each day of Jesus’s last week here on earth, pre resurrection. And so that’s what this devotional does, is you can take the book from palm Sunday to Easter Sunday spanned 15, maybe 20 minutes every day, read through a devotional, it includes a prayer for that day, it includes hymn or worship song text that you can think through meditate on. And then it includes an application. Okay, so what does that mean for my life today? And so each day you go through and that is to help us prepare for the greatest celebration in human history. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

There have been times when I’ve been talking with worship leaders and pastors. And it’s maybe three weeks before Easter, and I asked them. So what do you have planned for Easter Sunday? And they said, oh, I haven’t even thought about that yet. And I think it’s only two weeks away. It’s three weeks away. And this is the greatest celebration, the biggest event in human history, and we’re three weeks away and we haven’t planned it. And I like to ask my students, you know, or in seminary, at least, to consider how long they took to prepare for their wedding. It probably took you more than two weeks to prepare for your wedding. And unless you eloped or something. But you had to book the florist. Do you had the book the photographer? You had to book the venue. You had to get the officiant and ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen and there’s a lot of planning, not to mention the honeymoon afterwards. And you probably started planning months in advance. Now, that’s just for our wedding. What about the greatest event in human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How do we plan? How do we prepare our hearts to be able to celebrate well? And so using a devotional through holy week, I think is a good way for us just to prepare our hearts. I’m very big on trying to help people understand that worship spiritually forms us. That as the apostle Paul says the second Corinthians that we all who with unveiled faces contemplate the lord’s glory are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the lord.  That everything that we do as we respond to the lord and worship will spiritually form us. Either for the good or the bad, depending on how we’re responding, right? And so I think that thinking through every day of Jesus Christ’s last week on earth will help us not only to form us spiritually but be prepared well to celebrate his resurrection. And so The Week That Changed the World is available on Amazon, B&N.com. It’s available through my publisher, west bow press. So you can find it in any of those locations. 

Dwayne:

Great. Well, we’ll put an address up, maybe an image of the book. By now, maybe up our producer comes and does that after our interview. Sure. So if you’re watching, you may have already seen the book right now. But we want we want everyone to know this is available. And we have people that watch, Steven, in other countries as well. So is this available as an ebook or is it only a hard copy or paperback? 

Steven:

It’s available as paperback, hard copy, hardback, and ebook. 

Dwayne:

So even someone in another country that might not be able to get a paperback, they could at least download an ebook of it. Yes, for sure. 

Steven:

Right, right.  Well, so everyone listening, that’s available. 

Dwayne

I would encourage you to check that resource out. Stephen, we are now listing by the time we’re watching this and we didn’t think it had a little bit more on our end. Are we gotten you in maybe a couple weeks earlier? But it is now good Friday. And it’s people watching and going, great. But you know, it’s a little late for me to order a book and go up to Easter. So I bet you that you could probably a person could order this book and use it in a different time of the year, even right? 

Steven

Absolutely. Yes, for sure. Again, it doesn’t really matter if you do it each day of holy week. Just understanding what Jesus went through, his teachings, how he interacted with people as well as disciples. I think that will really help us in how we respond to the lord is in our lives. 

Dwayne

Yeah, I think we need to, you know, we need to be reminded of his resurrection more than once a year. I think that’s celebration of that as a body of Christ is huge. But in a personal way, I need to be reminded just about every day that my lord is not only a lord that came back to life. He is alive today. 

Steven

That’s exactly right. 

Dwayne

Those of you who are watching, you know, this Jesus is not only our Jesus over here where we are in Los Angeles or in Alabama, USA. This Jesus is everywhere. And he’s alive and he’s right there with you right now. Wherever you are. He loves you and wants to give this life to you. So you have life too. 

Steven, you know, what I thought about doing today and I didn’t forewarn you on this, but this just oozes out of you. So I don’t think you’re probably going to need a lot of preparation on it. But I wish you would just walk through since we don’t have the luxury right now of looking at your book unless we just literally go right now or an ebook. We might not have the opportunity to do that all the emotions yet, but could you at least take whatever time you want, man. We’re not in a hurry. And just unpack the holy week in a way that not only is informational, but inspirational to us. And even before we do, I just want to pray over the people watching. And I want to pray for myself because I get busy. We all get busy. But we need to slow down and stop and realize the week that changed the world, right? I mean, that’s what you’re telling us. And so we need focus, we need to flip our phones over unless you’re watching my phone, but don’t check your messages for the next few minutes as Steven just unpacks this for us. And so can I just encourage us all to do that? Right now. And so why don’t we pray for the people watching? 

Father, I thank you so much for this opportunity. We don’t typically stop in the middle of an interview and pray. But this isn’t typical. We’re not on a typical week. This is what is been called a holy week. If we live through it, it didn’t probably feel very holy. Instead of what we’re about to hear from Steven, as he shares this, just give him the grace to share this from his heart. But Lord, I don’t think there’s any one. Isaiah did a really good job and honestly in 53, but even as he talked about how he was marred beyond recognition, even that doesn’t quite get it done in my mind. I can’t imagine what Jesus Christ went through. But yet by your Spirit lord, what you got us now and help us to imagine that to some degree, and if possible, could you help us sense the depth of your love? Because of what you demonstrated in what we are listening to, May it God may that may that renew us, refresh us, encourage us, convict us, change us. Thank you so much for Stephen. Thank you for his ministry. I thank you more than anything for Jesus Christ. I thank you, lord for holy week and what you did for us. And so we pray for those watching that don’t know user savior. I pray God that today they would trust you as their Savior. Invite you into their life and give you surrender a full reign to you. Surrender full reign to you and God we pray that wherever they are in the world, you are alive and we look forward to hearing that story in your name we pray. Steven, talk to us. 

Steven

So as holy week began, I already mentioned on palm Sunday, Jesus enters into Jerusalem. And this day has two names associated with it. Palm Sunday and passion Sunday. The palm Sunday I take as more of an element of praise. The reason the palm fronds are being waved and laid down before Jesus was to praise Jesus for who he was. Now, the people thought Jesus was coming to do something different than what Jesus was actually doing. They saw a king coming to be a temporary king of their land. To rule over the nation of Israel, of Jerusalem, the city of Jerusalem. But of course we know now Jesus was really coming because he wanted to rule over hearts and lives. Not just land and people. And so he rides into Jerusalem and their shouting out Hosanna blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord and that word Hosanna means lord save us. God save us. And this is where some of the passion Sunday comes in because Jesus knows that what they’re asking of him means that he must go to the cross. That’s the way he would save them. So unbeknownst to the people as they cry out Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord, they’re actually asking him, go die for us. They don’t understand that, but Jesus does. 

And as one of the gospel writers tells us that as Jesus gets through the city, he actually is up on a hill, and he looks over this city and he weeps. That happened when Jesus wept over Jerusalem. That happened on palm Sunday. That’s the passion side. And we know from maybe thanks to Mel Gibson with the passion of the Christ movie, we understand that that word passion means suffering. That Jesus Christ was suffering through this. He felt deeply for these people. He had compassion, so deep that he wept over the city, because he knew what they were asking of him. 

And Jesus traveled a lot with his disciples between Jerusalem and a city called Bethany. It was about four miles away from Jerusalem and they would walk back and forth. And so later on Sunday evening, he walks back to Bethany. As they’re coming back into Jerusalem, the very next day. And by the way, this chronology that I use, different biblical scholars believe different chronological events happen. But this is the one that’s mostly accepted by most scholars. 

So on Monday, Jesus comes back to Jerusalem with his disciples and he enters the temple, and this is when we know that story of Jesus cleansing the temple. That story of Jesus coming in and he sees the tax collectors. He sees the money changer. He sees the commotion that’s happening in the temple and he overturns tables in righteous anger. He gets upset that people, people’s worship is being hindered by the activity that’s going on in the temple courts and within the temple proper and a lot of times we think, oh, see, this is telling us that Jesus did not like that these money changers were there. That Jesus didn’t like that these interactions were happening, but in fact, money changers being in the temple courts was a very common practice. And I don’t believe that Jesus was upset that they were there. I believe that Jesus was upset because they were hindering people’s worship by overcharging people. For what needed to occur. Now remember during this time, people were offering animal sacrifices still. And so people would travel in. This was one of those times when it was a pilgrimage journey when they would come to Jerusalem from far off places. Being exiled out into different areas around Jerusalem. And the people would travel. Sometimes far distances to come to Jerusalem to celebrate. Well, one of the things they were coming to celebrate at this time would have been Passover. Passover was just a few days away here. And so they would come and instead of traveling with the animals that they had planned to sacrifice at the temple to the lord. They would just purchase the animals once they arrived. That was I think that was okay with Jesus. I think he was totally fine with that. 

The problem was that these money changers, because you had to use certain temple coins to be able to purchase these animals, were overcharging. The currency exchange rate was not a very good rate. And then the sellers of these animals were overcharging. The people. It’s like, you know, I’m a big baseball fan. And I just don’t understand why I can buy a hot dog outside the stadium for two bucks. I go inside the stadium and it’s 6 bucks. It’s like, what in the world? It’s the same hot dog, right? Well, that’s what was happening here in the temple. And Jesus didn’t like that, especially when you consider what happened the day before. All these people crying out Hosanna blessed to see who comes in the name of the lord. Lord save us and praising him and worshiping him as king and now the very next day. People are being hindered in their worship. This upsets Jesus. This is why he got angry and he overturned tables and he drove those money changers and the collectors out of the temple. That happened the day after his entry into Jerusalem on the donkey. 

And Jesus returns back to Bethany now on Monday he there’s a story in scripture of Jesus cursing a fig tree, Jesus is traveling with its disciples and he sees this tree and it has leaves on it and looks like it’s in full bloom and scripture tells us that Jesus was hungry so he walked up to grab a fig to eat, but there was no fruit on the tree. And Jesus cursed the tree. Well, the very next day on sorry on Tuesday as they travel back into Jerusalem. Again, Jesus and the disciples see that tree. And that tree is all withered up because Jesus said cursed it. And I think that was a really important teaching moment for Jesus with his disciples because they pointed, hey, master teacher, look at this, this tree that you cursed within one day, it’s all shriveled up, I mean, that’s just amazing. And Jesus talks to them about the kingdom of God. And this is one of those times when Jesus was teaching about fruitfulness in our lives. That it’s not a good thing for us to look and act like a Christian to or maybe I should say to look and speak like a Christian but not act like a Christian. If we say all the right things, sometimes even if we do some of the right things, like we go to church on Sunday and we lift our hands and worship but our hearts aren’t connected to those words and actions, God makes it very clear that your words are the right things, but your hearts are far from me. Yeah. He says that in the Old Testament, Jesus says it again in the New Testament. And that’s not a good thing. God wants us to worship him with all of our hearts. All of our minds, all of our strength – it’s the greatest commandment. Love the lord your God. All your heart soul mind and strength. And so here, on Tuesday, just a few days before his death on the cross. Jesus is saying, make sure that your life is fruitful. Make sure that you are living in ways that are fruitful to the lord. To plant seeds and other people’s hearts and lives. So they can live fruitful lives as well. 

And Jesus and his disciples enter back into Jerusalem after that teaching. And Jesus authority is questioned by the religious leaders. Now, their question is authority because of what he did the day before, right? He cleared the temple out. And they’re saying, what gives you the right to do this, who are you? And Jesus talks about the tearing down of the temple. You can tear down the temple, but in three days it will be rebuilt. And they think he’s talking about the actual building, the temple, right? Yeah, you’re not going to rebuild the temple in three days. I mean, by the time you hire the contractors and sign the contracts, you know, all that, right? No, Jesus was talking about his own life. Yes. Right? So all of this foreshadowing is happening during the week knowing that, man, wow, Jesus knew he was going to the cross. And what did he choose to do? What did he choose to say? He chose to clear the temple on Monday. Wow, that’s really important now to me when I know that this is happening during this week. He chose to talk about fruitfulness in the disciples lives and in our lives. 

And then on Wednesday as Jesus’s disciples are back in Bethany. This is a day that Judas decides to betray Jesus. He makes the arrangement with the religious leaders. And he sells Jesus out. He says, I’m going to do this. You give me some silver, 30 pieces of silver. It was. And I’ll let you know who he is. 

But also on this day, a really important event. It happened. And that was Mary anointing Jesus feet. The taking of the alabaster jar, the perfume. And anointing Jesus. Now, some believe it happened on Monday, some believe it happened on Wednesday. Others believe it was two different events and it happened both times. But on this day, Jesus is in Bethany and Mary takes out her alabaster jar of this oil, this perfume, and she opens it up and she just anoints Jesus, anoint his body. And the disciples, led by Judas, they question this. They say, man, that jar of ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor. It was worth a lot of money. Scripture says it was worth one year’s wages. That’s a lot. I mean, think, I think about that. And I don’t blame the disciples for questioning this. I may have been a part of them questioning this. Because we could have sold this. Imagine how many people this could have fed. One year’s wages? That’s a lot of food we could have bought and distributed to the poor. Think of all of the people that we could have helped pay their rent. Because they’re struggling to pay rent. That’s a lot of people that we could have helped. And yet she just poured it all over Jesus. Does Jesus need this? The poor do. And Jesus response, which I think is one of the most beautiful responses words spoken out of compassion as well as the foreshadowing of what’s to come. Jesus says to them, you’ll always have the poor with you. Yes. But what this woman has done is a beautiful thing and she has prepared my body. She is prepared me for my burial. Now, this is going to be important later in the week. The disciples, they don’t understand this. And we don’t understand it either if we don’t know the rest of scripture and the rest of the week. But we’ll come back to those words by Jesus. She is preparing me for my burial. 

So on Thursday, this is when Jesus and the disciples meet in the upper room. And they celebrate Passover together. They observe Passover. Now, this would not have been something out of the ordinary for the disciples. They would have done this every year together. You know, it’s like us saying, you know, we get together for Easter brunch on Easter Sunday afternoon, get our family together. We have a nice brunch or a nice meal together because it’s Easter or a birthday celebration and annual birthday celebration. You just, that’s what you do each year. And the disciples who were good Jewish boys. And Jesus, who is a good Jewish man. He would have done this every single year growing up. Get together for Passover. Because it was a big celebration, remembering how God had delivered the people of Israel out of the grip of Pharaoh out of Egypt with Moses. And so they gathered together and they remember God’s deliverance over the generations. 

But it was during this time that Jesus instituted what we now know as communion or the lord’s supper. That Jesus took the bread that was there, the bread that symbolized God’s provision for the 40 years in the desert, and he took that bread and he said, this now symbolizes my body. Which is given for you. And he takes the cup and the wine that was in that cup, he says, this symbolizes my blood. That shed for you. And I just can’t imagine what the disciples were thinking at this point. Maybe not sure exactly what’s happening, maybe some understood, but didn’t want to believe quite yet what was going to happen. 

It was in this upper room when Jesus actually called out Judas, and this was a, man, this was a tough one, too, because Jesus looks right at Judas and he says, he calls him Satan. Yeah. Yeah, you look at scripture and he says, you know, just do what you’ve come to do. Just go out, do what you’ve done. Because Jesus knew that it was time. 

And so they leave that upper room after observing Passover after this institution of the lord’s supper. After Jesus washes the disciple’s feet, giving the purest example of servanthood. Not that this was new. They had their feet washed every day. But Jesus in washing their feet shows them how to serve and how to love. Because it’s on this day, which is called Maundy Thursday. Maundy is the Latin word for mandate or command that Jesus gives the command to love one another. Again, that was in a new command to them. That’s in the Old Testament levitical law. To love one another. We see that in Leviticus, we see that in Deuteronomy, these men, these Jewish men would have heard this. They would have memorized this. Love the lord your God. Yes, love one another. Yes, I know that. But now Jesus is showing them how to love one another. Wow. By washing their feet by serving them. By the master becoming the servant. 

So Jesus and disciples leave the upper room, they go out. It’s a very important note. I don’t want to pass over this. Scripture tells us that after they finished in the upper room, that they sang a hymn together. Man, I just love that because that tells me that Jesus was a singer. You know, Jesus would sing, he would sing praise songs to the lord. To his father. So they leave that place. They go out to the garden, the garden of Gethsemane Jesus praying to disciples fall asleep, Jesus has to wake him up. You know, we know this as Christians. We know this part. And Jesus is struggling a little bit. And we know that because he asked his father, is there any other way that this could happen? Lord, take this cup from me. And so I think that the human side of Jesus knowing the pain that he would have to go through was struggling maybe a little bit. Not to the point of doubt, not to the point of disobedience. I’m not saying that. He just knew what was coming. And it was hard for Jesus. I mean, scripture tells us that he was praying so intensely that his sweat was like drops of blood. And he says, father, not your will, but mine. I mean, not my will. Sorry, not my will, but yours be done. Thy will be done. There will be done. 

And is that this time when Judas with the religious leaders, they come, they arrest Jesus now these are all charges that are false, false testimonies been given. They’re really, they want to crucify Hi, because they believe that he’s committing blasphemy against the Father. That’s what they see. That’s what they hear. They don’t see Jesus as the son of God. The true God. And so they arrest Jesus and this is hard. This is a really hard time for us to think about to consider, but we have to, because we have to realize what Jesus did for us. It helps us to know how better to worship him because of what he did for us. 

And so Jesus is arrested, he is treated very poorly. He is beaten. He is scourged. He is ridiculed and mocked. The Crown of thorns is made up and they press it down onto his head. So the blood streams down his face. They continue to beat him, they continue to mock him. His body is being torn apart. He’s brought before Pilate, Pilate doesn’t really want anything to do with it. He uses an excuse of who Jesus is and the region in which Jesus is from, so he sends him to Herod and Herod doesn’t want anything to do with him and he sends him back to Pilate and he says, I don’t see a reason to crucify this man. But they cry out, we want him crucified and Pilate says, okay, so we have a tradition that we release one person because of the Passover. And they cried out for him to release Barabbas, a known murderer, that’s who they wanted released other than Jesus. 

And so Jesus is sentenced to death. He has to carry his cross up the hill and he is crucified. Alongside two other criminals who were there and. This is pretty hard. I mean, Jesus was so. Beaten. In so much pain, he was so exhausted that he couldn’t even carry his own cross. All the way to Golgotha. The hill. And so another man is forced to carry his cross for him. And they get to the point where Jesus is nailed to the cross. He’s lifted up. Dropped into the position. And there are other people around. There are people around him watching this happen. Now, many scholars believe that this would have occurred between 9 a.m. and about 3 p.m. that it took about 6 hours. For Jesus to die on the cross. We think that that’s a long time, but in fact, according to Roman historical documents, sometimes it could take up to 6 days. 

And while Jesus is on the cross, he speaks some words. That’s a good study to do as well. If you look up the 7 last scenes of Jesus or the last words of Jesus, you can do a full study on that. Words like I thirst. Showing care and compassion to the thief on the cross next to him who cries out to him since today you will be with me in Paradise. Showing care and compassion to his mother, Mary, who is there at the cross, Jesus being the eldest son, would be the one to take care of his mother because it is assumed that Joseph had died already. Because scripture does not mention Joseph, and the fact that these words of Jesus speaks when he says mother behold your son, looking at John, the disciple who’s standing next to her. Son behold your mother, he was placing his mother in the care of John, so that would mean that Joseph wasn’t alive anymore, and Jesus knowing that he, the eldest son, was dying, needed someone to care for his mother. And so he has this compassion care for his mother. It is finished. Powerful words of Jesus and his last words, father and to your hands, I commend my spirit. And then he breathed his last and he died. 

Now, since this happened on Friday, and it’s approximately 3 p.m., the Sabbath, which was a special holy day for the Jewish people and community. Would have begun at sundown. That’s when the new day begins for the Jewish community. And so that would have been Saturday when the sun went down. And so since no work was to be done on the Sabbath they had to get Jesus body off of the cross into the tomb and the stone rolled in front of the opening of the tomb before sundown. That’s a lot to do within three or four hours, depending on when the sun would have set at that time of year there in Jerusalem. 

And we think about what happened. So Jesus breathes his last. We’re told in scripture that Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for Jesus body to be able to bury Jesus in Joseph’s tomb. Because Jesus did not have a tomb of his own. And so Joseph of Arimathea had to travel to where Pilate was. Ask permission of Pilate for the body and then travel back to the cross. But we also have to consider that Joseph of Arimathea isn’t just going to be able to walk in and get immediate access to Pialte. So he probably arrived said I’d like to speak to Pilate had to wait, you know, for how long we have no idea, had to then speak to Pilate and then had to travel back. Now remember, they’re not in a car either. So he’s traveling by foot to get to where Pialte’s palace would be and back and forth. And so it would take a while. And to get Jesus body down and then to transport Jesus body from the top of the hill of Golgotha to wherever the tomb was of Joseph, that would have taken a while as well. Remember, no cars.  And so with all of this happening, they had to rush and get Jesus into the tomb before sundown. They were able to do that. 

Now Saturday. Saturday’s the Sabbath. Jewish men and women were required to go to the temple to worship. On the Sabbath. It’s just part of their life. Part of their response to who they were as followers of Yahweh. But we’re told in scripture that the disciples were hiding out in a room. With locked doors and locked windows. They should have been worshiping God. Instead, they were hiding out. We don’t know what Jesus was doing on this day. Scripture doesn’t really tell us. Now that’s a weird question or comment to say, maybe. Because you’re like, well, Jesus was dead. Right? He’s laying in the tomb. Well, Jesus the man was dead laying in the tomb, but what was Jesus God doing? Remember, Jesus is God. The son of God, God, the God that we worship is a triune God. Father, son and Holy Spirit. Three persons, but one God. So yes, Jesus the man was dead. But what was Jesus the divine doing during this time? I don’t know if he was just sitting in the tomb, waiting for Sunday. I’m not sure about that, but scripture scripture isn’t really clear on what he was doing, what we do know is the disciples were hiding out. Scripture does tell us that. 

And so then we fast forward to Sunday. Glorious resurrection. Now, Sunday isn’t a part of holy week. Formally, because holy week is the last full week of the season of Lent. The season of lent is a time of cleansing of confession of sin of making sure that we’re right before the lord, so that we can then celebrate. During Lent season of Easter, this great celebration. But I just can’t stop on Saturday. So my book actually stops on Easter Sunday. So we go into the Easter season a little bit here. But we have this great celebration of the resurrection. And we have the women who go to the tomb. And scripture tells us that they were going with perfumes and spices. To prepare Jesus body. Now, why were the women going on Sunday to prepare Jesus body? Because they couldn’t do it on Friday. Friday, everything was too rushed, right? They were trying to hurry up, get them into the tomb before the Sabbath begins. Well preparing Jesus body would mean they would take the spices and the oils and they would rub it on the bodies because they didn’t have embalming back then like we do today that helps to preserve the body. So they would rub the oils in the spices all over the body, put it in the hair, and then they would wrap the body in cloth. That way the body was more preserved and quite frankly just wouldn’t stink too much. It would help to cover the decomposition that would happen to a body. So the women were going on Sunday morning day after the Sabbath. Now you can do some work again to prepare Jesus body. For his burial. When they arrived at the tomb, they find that Jesus has risen. Amen. He is not here. He is risen scripture says. And they run back and they tell Peter and John the disciples and Peter and John take off running and get to the tomb and sure enough Jesus isn’t there. He’s risen. And we know that Jesus appears to different people into different crowds in different groups. And that’s what we celebrate today, right? 

But one thing to think about. The women went to prepare Jesus body. For his burial. But they didn’t have to do that. Why? Not because he was risen, but because his body was already prepared with oils and spices. Remember back on Wednesday? When Mary anointed Jesus with that alabaster jar? And the disciples complained about it, oh, we could have given this to the poor and Jesus said, no, no, no. This was the right thing to do because she was preparing me for my burial. The women didn’t need to do that on that Sunday morning because Jesus was already prepared. And even if they would have had time on Friday to do it, they wouldn’t have had to have done it because Jesus body was already prepared for his burial. This to me is just an amazing thing to consider. That the forethougt of our God, the preparation of our God, to say, you know what? I know that on Friday, there’s not gonna be time to prepare the body, so let’s do it on Wednesday while I’m still alive. And knowing that the women are gonna try to do it on Sunday, but they’re gonna be too late. I’m gonna already be risen by then. That’s just amazing. That gives me goosebumps. To think of how God works in those amazing phenomenal ways. 

And so when we go through the week of holy week. And we think through every single day of holy week, including on this day, Good Friday. And what’s going to happen tomorrow on Easter Saturday or traditionally it’s called the Pascal vigil, Paschal and Easter, the vigil when we wait wait upon Jesus, these things are really important for us to help us have hearts that are ready for this grand celebration. Just ready to burst forth in praise that Jesus has risen from the grave. Christ is risen, he is risen indeed. 

Dwayne:

Thank you, Stephen. That was incredible. And it’s something that we need to be reminded of often. The sacrifice that Jesus went through in holy week. I loved how you stepped through that. With us all the way through to the end. And so here’s a question. How do we respond to that now? I mean, we’ve heard it. I mean, do we go into our church services on Sunday, you know, should we be contemplative, quiet? Should be exalting and out loud and singing loud. I mean, really, we’re blown away by what you’ve shared. How do we respond to that? 

Steven

Yeah. So one way that I like to look at it is I mentioned the season of Lent and a lot of people think, oh, that’s so foreboding, it’s so serious and somber. And yes, there are parts of that because we are reflecting upon death, right? We are remembering that scripture tells us that from dust you came into dust you will return. That we all will die one day. But that’s not where our story ends. Our story ends with resurrection with new life with eternal life in Jesus Christ. And that’s something to celebrate. It would be as if we were, you know, Dwayne, you and I say we were together and we decided after we have our meeting, we wanted to go to lunch. And so we walk outside and we’re going to cross the street because there’s a place to eat, you know, across the street. But there’s a semi truck, just barreling down this highway. And it’s lost its brakes and you don’t see it coming, but I see it coming. And I push you out of the way. And the truck hits me and I die. You’re going to have some feelings about that. Some pretty strong feelings. You’re going to struggle, I think, with some of those feelings. Of, you know, why did he die and not me? You know, you’re going to mourn, you’re going to grieve, and if you were then to go back to your house and decide that I’m just so heartbroken over the situation that I’m never going to come outside again. I’m just going to stay in my house for the rest of my life. I’m not going to do anything. I’m not going to work. I’m not going to bless people through my ministry. You know, any of that. I would say that maybe. You should have been the one hit by the truck event and not me. Because essentially now two people have died. 

Dwayne

Yeah, that’s a really good deal. 

Steven

Right? I mean, you’re shriveling up in your house. Yeah. Not living to your fullest. And that would be a really sad situation, but I think what would be more beneficial and a blessing in this world is if, sure, you grieve, you mourn, but we don’t mourn like people without people without hope. Oh, man. And you say, wow, I have a renewed vision, passion, view of what life is. And I’m going to go out and live my life to the fullest, as full as I can, serving God, loving God, and loving people. I want to make my life worthy of Steven giving up his life for me. Wow. I want to live in a way to where it would make him proud, essentially, right? Well, we all are living in that same exact situation. 

Dwayne

That’s true. 

Steven

Jesus Christ saw a truck barreling toward us that trucks called sin and he pushed us out of the way and he bore the weight of that sin. And he died for us to give us life, and he’s saying, get out. Go. Don’t lock yourself in your room. Don’t lock yourself in your own mind and in your own body, but go out, serve the lord your God. Love him. Worship him and love others. Go out and live life. 

And so I think that’s the way we approach an Easter Sunday morning. When we come together, we’re like, man, we just remembered through a whole season of lent and through a whole holy week that God loves us so much that he would give his life for us. And now I need to live my life as if it’s worthy of someone dying for it. Man, that just gets me excited to praise God. 

Dwayne

That’s a great analogy. Oh man. Well, we do have a lot of Christians that watch from week to week. We have some leaders of worship. Some are preparing for Sunday and they’re trying to, you know, they probably done all the big practice their songs. I mean, they’ve got their order. If not two days out, we’re probably struggling at this point. Surely by now we know the songs are singing and maybe the pastor’s prepared. There’s been a couple times when I wasn’t so prepared, but anyway, hopefully they’ll be ready. 

So here’s what I know typically on the time of each year we come to Good Friday. I’m working on myself. I’m just getting myself ready, ’cause I’ve got all the, you know, pretty much all the technical logistical things in order, and I know where the lights are going to go. And I know what people are going to stand and I know what they’re going to sing. But how does one leading others, whether it be the main leader, whether it be somebody in the choir, whether it be somebody in the sound booth, how do we personally prepare ourselves for this phenomenal experience where we’re going to encourage others to experience it too. I mean, I know you’ve shared a lot, but I bet you got something really specific for us leaders in the room. 

Steven

Yeah, what I would say is spend time with the lord. Especially over these next couple of days, Easter Sunday is a big Sunday, but every Sunday is a big Sunday. It is. Right? I mean, the people are coming to the lord turn their lives over to him. People are coming to interact with God on every single Sunday as we gather together and those are big ones, the difference with Easter Sunday is you may have a lot of visitors to your church, people that aren’t normally a part of your community, so that makes it special. And I view it that way. This is a special Sunday because we’re interacting with people that maybe we don’t normally interact with, that aren’t part of our normal week in and week out Sunday mornings. So just prepare your hearts through prayer through scripture, reading, spend time with God over the next couple of days. Really just a focusing your attention on what he is calling you to do this week, whether you’re the person up front or like Dwayne said the person in the choir or in the sound booth. Those that work tech, do you guys are worship leaders? You are helping helping people respond to who God is, which is what worship is. 

Dwayne

Absolutely. 

Steven

And so just spend time in prayer, spend time in scripture. 

Dwayne

That’s good. Yeah.  And what about a person watching that’s just, maybe there’s, maybe they’re in tears, honestly. Or at least in their heart, they feel like they’ve heard this and they need to respond. I feel like they need to respond to this Jesus. They’ve never really put their trust in him before. Why don’t you talk to us about how someone can can experience life on this Easter Sunday? 

Steven

Yeah, absolutely. That’s the thing is Jesus. Sacrificed himself so that you wouldn’t have to. There was a tradition throughout Christianity of having to sacrifice. And the apostle Paul says that we do that. Each and every day that we are living sacrifices. So that we must present our bodies our whole selves as sacrifice to the lord. And the way we do that today is through our praise. Through our worship, through offering our hearts to God. And so what I would encourage you today is to understand that you don’t have to sacrifice your life, Jesus did that for you already. And through his sacrifice for you, that gives you eternal life. Life with him forever. And so we have the opportunity today to say lord, I want to give you my heart. To give you all of myself, because you are a sovereign lord who is in control. This world is so crazy. There are so many things that are going on and you may be going through some really difficult times right now. Whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually even, you may be going through some difficult times, but God is there. This is not God’s design for this world. No. What’s going on today is because sin entered into the world and messed things up. That’s right. And so God sent Jesus Christ is one and only son to help to fix the problem of this world. And he offers that to you and to me, and so to me, right now, in this place, I just speak Jesus, I speak the name of Jesus because he is the only one who saves. He is the only one with the power to save he is the only one who can offer peace. He is the only one who can heal through the power of Jesus. We’re able to receive everything that the lord is offering to us, including eternal life with him forever. Amen. 

Dwayne

Thank you so much, Stephen. This has been very powerful. 

Steven

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. 

Dwayne

We’re going to put the information about your book back on the website. I mean, on the page now on the monitor and people are watching on TV. And it’s going to be your website address where they can go and people can go and find your book. But you can also you said find it on a person can find it on Amazon.com. They can find it on Barnes and noble. The website there. Their store. So clearly, this man understands the whole week at a very deep level. So I’m excited to read and go through the devotional Steven. So thank you. Thank you for that. 

Steven

You’re welcome. 

Dwayne

We’ll be back in a few moments with to wrap things up with Live Talk today, but this has been an incredible, incredible time. So we’re praying for you, wherever you are in the world. Jesus loves you very much. And he died for you. Not just not just us and our people long ago. He died for you. And he loves you. So we’ll be back in a few moments to wrap things up with that. But again, Steven, Steven Brooks, thank you, my friend. It’s been really good today. 

Steven

Yeah, thank you, Dwayne. 

Announcer

You’re listening to live talk with Dwayne Moore. International conversations on worship. 

Dwayne

As promised, today was a very powerful experience as Stephen walk us through the happenings of the holy week. The final week of Jesus walking on this earth. So as a, as a person before he had been resurrected and of course he was with us here on earth after the resurrection in his glorified body, but the holy week is what leads up to the crucifixion leads up to the resurrection. 

We pray that you know Christ is your savior if you don’t go to office@nextlevelworship.com  and let us know that you want to know Jesus in a personal way. And we would love to talk to you about that. Thanks so much. See you next week. 

Announcer

Thanks for listening to live talk with Dwayne Moore. Live talk is presented by next level worship international. To learn more about our global community and find great devotionals and other resources on lifestyle worship, visit nextlevelworship.com.