Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday in Holy Week

Posted on April 3, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 27:57-66 (NKJV)
27:57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
Jesus had performed many miracles, even raising the dead. And now Jesus Himself was dead. Fittingly, the skies all around turned black.
Matthew writes that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man, but, most importantly, that he also had become a disciple of Jesus. Luke 23:50-51 tells us, “Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.” John 19:38 confirms that Joseph was a disciple, and adds, “but secretly, for fear of the Jews.” The Pharisees and teachers of the Law were intimidating everyone and putting out of the synagogue anyone who showed any favor toward Jesus. Nicodemus, too, according to John 3, came to talk with Jesus secretly, in the middle of the night.
So, note here that Joseph is called a disciple. He is asking for Jesus’ body to give a proper burial. This was risky indeed. Even though his and Nicodemus’ faith was perhaps not as bold as the other disciples, they did demonstrate that they had faith in Jesus as the Messiah of God’s kingdom.
Jesus’ death on the cross for you is a powerful statement of God’s love and dedication to you. God’s love for us moves us to show our love for Him and others.
Prayer: O God, who didst enlighten this most holy night with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection, preserve in all Thy people the spirit of adoption which Thou hast given, so that, renewed in body and soul, they may perform unto Thee a pure service; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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