Lord, Your people have always carried out acts of loving service. May I have a servant heart, also.
Read Mark 15:42-16:8
 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached,  Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.  Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died.  When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.  So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.  When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb  and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'”  Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy were the women so surprised at the tomb?
Joseph of Arimathea was wealthy and influential in Jewish society. Since Pilate agreed to see him without an appointment, he was probably also well-connected in Roman society (44). Until now, he had been a secret disciple of Jesus. Now, when the danger was greatest, he boldly associated himself with the Lord. He had to work quickly to buy the linen cloth (46), walk back to the crucifixion site, take down the body, remove the nails from the wrists and ankles, anoint, wrap and carry the body to the tomb, all before the Sabbath. Joseph was Jesus’ undertaker, which became his greatest act of service. He gave his Lord a proper burial and set the scene for the resurrection. The women had been serving Jesus throughout his ministry (Luke 8:2,3), but now is the moment for their greatest act of service. Going to the tomb at the first opportunity (16:2), they had the privilege of being the first witnesses of the resurrection. They must go and tell the disciples (7) the greatest news that that the world will ever hear. It is a special act of restoring grace that Peter is mentioned by name (7).
Consider what the Lord might be asking you to do today or in the week ahead. How do you feel about it?
Tell the Lord that you are willing to do whatever he asks. Then pray for help to faithfully do it.
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