Holy Week 2018

Holy week this year, March 25 – 31st, offers you a number of significant opportunities to finish strong your spiritual preparations for Resurrection Sunday.

  • Palm Sunday morning, March 25th – Morning Communion
  • Wednesday evening, March 28th – Night of Healing Prayer
  • Thursday, March 29th – Journey to the Cross and Worship Service
  • Friday, March 30th - Good Friday Service, 12:00 p.m.
  • Resurrection Sunday, April 1st - Worship at 8: 30 a.m. and 11: 00 a.m.

Devotional Reading - Week 5

40 Days of Preparation 
Preparing for Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday - 2018 
A Devotional for Wednesday, March 14 – Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

45 While all the people were listening, he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.” He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins.  “Truly I tell you,” he said. “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” Luke 20:45 - 21:4 CSB

Warning Against Religious People 

Luke 20:45–47

After Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Luke 19:28-44) some of the most remarkable teachings and events took place during the final days of Jesus ministry, even before His suffering and passion began at the end of the week. At the end of Luke 20, Jesus warned His disciples to “beware of the scribes.” With His arrest, torture and death just days away, Jesus sat in the temple courts and taught the disciples about His rejection of the false piety and the religious pride of the scribes.

The scribes were the legal scholars who interpreted the Jewish law found inside and outside the Bible. They also maintained a prestigious social status within first century society and were known for their corruption and graft in their business affairs. They acted crassly while promoting a life of pseudo-consecration in religious matters. As Robert Stein points out in his commentary on Luke, “The scribe’s ostentatious dress and self-aggrandizing social behavior led to a religion of hypocrisy which was scorned by Jesus (p. 507).”

Knowing His time was running out, Jesus shifted the disciple’s thoughts to abandonment of the first century religion to prepare them for the promises and good news created by the crucifixion that Friday, the resurrection that Sunday, the ascension forty days later, and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The old ways of empty, legalistic religion were passing away and a new day of discovering life filled with the joy and peace that comes from God’s love was dawning.

Offerings Given with the Spirit are Always 
Acceptable Worship to God 

In Luke 21:1–4, we find Jesus continuing His teaching ministry in the Temple. It is still early in the week of the Passion. As Jesus looked on, He began watching people placing their offerings in one of the offering boxes found at the entrance of the Temple. As He watched a poor widow enter the Temple and placed two “very small copper coins” into the treasury He taught the disciples the significance of a heartfelt offering. She did not have much to give, but she gave God the best should had. Jesus applauded her gesture and the spirit of her offering. The lady’s gift demonstrated her absolute dependence of God and her desire to have a heart of worship as she entered into the house of the Lord.

The others gave their offerings. Some gave no offering at all, and they missed the joy and grace of coming to God with the best they had to offer. When we have brought our best, we have brought our love and commitment to God.

In 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, Paul writes:

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (ESV)

The lady did not feel manipulated to give her offering. She sowed all she could, trusting that God would bountifully bless what she had given. She demonstrated the character of a “cheerful giver.”

In Malachi 3:8–10, the prophet writes:

Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (ESV)

While everyone else gave offerings that revealed they were “robbing God,” the poor lady held back nothing and generously worshiped God with an offering that honored Him. Again, God promised to bless a gift given with an attitude of love, humility and absolute surrender.

Both Stories Act as a Preamble to 
What Jesus Would Do on the Cross  

Later in the week, Jesus would be arrested, unjustly tried, and tortured, before being nailed to the cross. Jesus went to the cross, not to continue to establish and prop up spiritless and legalistic religion, but to establish a new day that was paid for by the sacrifices of the offering of His own life. Those who believe have a new day, a new life and the hope of a future that promised the blessings of God’s love and grace.

Bible Readings for the Fifth Week of Lent  

Wednesday – March 14th – John 4:46–54
Thursday – March 15th – Luke 21:5–38
Friday – March 16th – Matthew 6:25–34
Saturday – March 17th – Matthew 25:1–13
Sunday – March 18th – John 5:16–30
Monday – March 19th – Matthew 7:15–23
Tuesday – March 20th – John 20:21-23

What is Lent?

Throughout the history of the church, many Christians set aside the 40 days prior to Resurrection Sunday for a time of spiritual discipline, prayer, fasting, repentance, time in the Bible, reading devotional classics and making spiritual preparations to observe the Passion of Jesus and to celebrate the resurrection. 

Lent this year takes place from Wednesday, February 14th – Sunday, April 1st.

Lent at Neptune

Here are some simple ways to spend the next 40 days spiritually preparing to go deeper with Jesus and to prepare to authentically Celebrate Resurrection Sunday:


Check here each Wednesday for a new Lenten Devotional. Set aside a time for these devotional readings and additional time in the Bible to draw you closer to Jesus and to be prepared for the experiences of Holy Week 2018.


There are many ways to incorporate spiritual disciplines into your life this Lenten season. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Fast. Take a fast from food each Wednesday during Lent. That means that from sunrise to sunset on Wednesdays, February 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21, and 28 you will focus your attention on prayer, Bible reading and/or serving others. If you feel led to pursue a food fast, please check with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to undertake a time of fasting.
  2. Fast. Choose a day, or a portion of a day, to exclude television, texting, social media or other electronic activities.
  3. Fast. Choose something in your life that you can strip away for forty days and in its place you will focus on the spiritual devotions discussed in the section above.
  4. Add. Add to your life more time in prayer.
  5. Add. Add additional time in reading God’s word.
  6. Add. Add a time to incorporate the devotional directions that we have described in the Devotional Section.


Pray individually. Set aside time every day, or a time during the week for additional times of concentrated prayer. Focus on personal repentance and revival. 

Join us in the worship center every Wednesday, February 14 through March 28, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., for an authentic time of prayer.

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