Daily Devotion for April 1, 2018
Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Is this the greatest work of Christian music in history? I only allow myself to listen to it one day each year. It’s the best Easter present I could possibly get. “And He shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!”
Turn up the volume!
Prayer of Praise for the Resurrected Christ
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world is become;
the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
And He shall reign forever and ever.
Prayer for Renewal
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection. Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that I, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Prayer for the Benefit of the Resurrection
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that I, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord's resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit. Send me into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
John 20:1-18 (ESV)
ow on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb.
He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Then the disciples went back to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” and that he had said these things to her.
Notes on the Scripture
The Gospels refer to different times and name different women who arrived at the tomb. Matthew states that “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” came to the tomb as it “began to dawn.” (Matthew 28:1) Mark adds Salome to the group and claims that they came “very early in the morning.” (Mark 16:1–2) Luke agrees that it was “very early in the morning” and names “Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women” as those who came to the tomb. (Luke 24:1-10) John wrote that “Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark.”
Anti-Christian blabbermouths use these apparent discrepancies to discredit the Bible. How could it be correct, they proclaim, when different parts say different things? Christian apologists, on the other hand, show that the accounts are not contradictory, merely different. John says Mary Magdelene visited the tomb and saw two angels; Mark says three women visited the tomb and saw a man dressed in white. So what? They could both be true. The mode of speech is eyewitness testimony, not pronouncement.
Almost anyone who has practiced law or worked in law enforcement will agree about an odd phenomenon concerning eyewitnesses: If they are telling the truth, their stories will be different. The only time eyewitnesses tell exactly the same story is when they have colluded, distorting the truth to serve an ulterior motive. One account may leave out facts reported in another, but this is to be expected in a true telling.
Even more important, however; I am firmly convinced that no person has ever believed, or disbelieved, in the resurrection of Jesus because the four Gospels tell varying accounts of the events surrounding it. These are arguments made by people who have already made up their mind.
When we believers hear any of the accounts, we come to realize that it is true, sometimes immediately, sometimes slowly. God came to earth and defeated death. It is not our mind that leads us to salvation, but the call of the Holy Spirit.
I do not believe that Christ rose from the grave. I know it.