I thank You, Father, for Jesus’ readiness to suffer for my sake, for the redemptive passion that filled his heart.
Read LUKE 23:47-56
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Let this verse guide your prayer today: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).
The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter makes me feel like I’m in spiritual limbo. Yesterday was a somber reflection on the cross; tomorrow will be a joyous celebration of the empty tomb; but today feels flat. In some ways this feeling reflects the reality we live with all the time as “Already–not yet” Christians, as John Stott puts it. We are those “who give equal weight to the two comings of Jesus … It is this combination of the ‘already’ and ‘not yet,’ of kingdom inaugurated and kingdom consummated … which exemplifies that balanced biblical Christianity which is so urgently needed today.”
This passage describes what happened immediately following the death of Jesus. Given what we know is coming, it would be easy to miss the significance of the eyewitness observations it contains: a centurion praising God, the crowd leaving the scene, faithful women standing at a distance, watching where the body was laid. The eyewitness factor gave the gospel accounts added credibility and Jesus’ followers uncommon conviction. “It is no moderate approbation of Scripture that it has been sealed by the blood of so many witnesses, especially when we reflect that they died to render testimony to the faith” (John Calvin).
The hero at this in-between moment is Joseph of Arimathea. Even though he was a member of the group that condemned Jesus, Luke describes him as “a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action” (50-51). It reminds us not to write off those who seem antagonistic to the Gospel: God may be working in ways unseen. How does Joseph respond to this time of spiritual limbo? By taking action. He talks to Pilate, wraps Jesus’ body and provides a decent burial for the Savior. The secret to getting out of spiritual limbo is to take the first step.
What practical action could you take today that would demonstrate that you too are “waiting for the Kingdom of God” (51)?
Lord, I look forward to the coming of Your kingdom in all its fullness, yet I pray I will be Your faithful servant today.