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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, March 26, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Darkness covered the entire land for about three hours in the middle of the day. All nature seemed to mourn over the stark tragedy of the death of God’s Son.
The Galilean women followed Joseph to the tomb, so they knew exactly where to find Jesus’ body when they returned after the Sabbath with their spices and perfumes. These women could not do “great” things for Jesus—they were not permitted to stand up before the Jewish high council or the Roman governor and testify on his behalf—but they did what they could. They stayed at the cross when most of the disciples had fled, and they got ready to anoint their Lord’s body. Because of their devotion, they were the first to know about the Resurrection. As believers, we may feel we can’t do much for Jesus. But we are called to take advantage of the opportunities given us, doing what we can do and not worrying about what we cannot do. (NLT)
Luke 23:44-56 – By the time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the thick veil hanging in the Temple was torn apart. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.
When the captain of the Roman soldiers handling the executions saw what had happened, he praised God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” And when the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw all that had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.
Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he had been waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation for the Sabbath.
As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where they placed his body. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to embalm him. But by the time they were finished it was the Sabbath, so they rested all that day as required by the law.
David Turner (Texas) titled his story “SATURDAY;” here is a portion of David’s story:
“. . . When our daughter Leslie was an adolescent, she drew a cartoon of Jesus sitting in the tomb before the large stone had been removed. . . . The caption read, ‘Saturday.’ Although that seems like a much-too-innocent view of the crucified Christ, it described the anticipation we feel just before Easter. We who know the rest of the story can look forward to the joy and celebration of the Resurrection. But because we already know what happened next, we may not appreciate the grief and futility that Jesus’ followers experienced on Saturday. . . .
“Without experiencing the darkness, we cannot fully appreciate the light.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Experiencing the darkness of sin and grief helps me appreciate the light of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father God, help us dare to dwell in the darkness of the tomb for a while today so that we can experience the full joy of Easter morning. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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