(Voice of the Persecuted) To all our brothers and sisters across the world, be blessed, our God is faithful and true. REJOICE!
Consider those who are persecuted and suffering for the sake of Christ. We, the Church, are one body with many members. Remember our persecuted brothers and sisters as if you were suffering with them. Please keep our persecuted family in your hearts and daily prayers. They’re counting on us to pray for them. May the Lord give us all the strength, wisdom, and faith to endure every trial. May our Holy Father bless the us as we continue to seek Him. May HE grow His love in our hearts for others, including our enemies. Look up and stay focused on Him…come what may.
Happy Easter from Voice of the Persecuted and the Persecution Watch Prayer Warrior Team
The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; John 20:1–9)
1On the first day of the week,a very early in the morning, the women came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were puzzling over this, suddenly two men in radiant apparel stood beside them.
5As the women bowed their faces to the ground in terror, the two men asked them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’”
8Then they remembered His words. 9And when they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But their words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women.
12Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. And after bending down and seeing only the linen cloths, he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
The Road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12–13)
13That same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven milesb from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15And as they talked and deliberated, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them. 16But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.
17He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stood still, with sadness on their faces. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in recent days?”
19“What things?” He asked.
“The events involving Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet, powerful in speech and action before God and all the people. 20Our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and they crucified Him. 21But we were hoping He was the One who would redeem Israel. And besides all this, it is the third day since these things took place.
22Furthermore, some of our women astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23but they did not find His body. They came and told us they had seen a vision of angels, who said that Jesus was alive. 24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had described. But Him they did not see.”
25Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?” 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.
28As they approached the village where they were headed, He seemed to be going farther. 29But they pleaded with Him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So He went in to stay with them. 30While He was reclining at the table with them, He took bread, spoke a blessing and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus—and He disappeared from their sight.
32They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He spoke with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem.
There they found the Eleven and those with them, gathered together 34and saying, “The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to Simon!”
35Then the two told what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples (John 20:19–23; 1 John 1:1–4)
36While they were describing these events, Jesus Himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 37But they were startled and frightened, thinking they had seen a spirit.
38“Why are you troubled,” Jesus asked, “and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at My hands and My feet. It is I Myself. Touch Me and see—for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet.
41While they were still in disbelief because of their joy and amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42So they gave Him a piece of broiled fish,c 43and He took it and ate it in front of them.
44Jesus said to them, “These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.” 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
46And He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and in His name repentance andd forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.
49And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The Ascension (Mark 16:19–20; Acts 1:6–11)
50When Jesus had led them out as far as Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51While He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53praising God continually in the temple.