Daily Devotion for April 5, 2021
Burnand (whose style seems to be influenced by Van Gogh) treats a rare subject, John 20:3-4, capturing the emotion on Peter and John’s faces. They have just been informed by Mary Magdelene that the tomb is empty.
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.
“I will not boast in anything, No gifts, no power, no wisdom. But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.”
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away;
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life;
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom.
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart:
His wounds have paid my ransom.
Music and Lyrics by Stuart Townend
Prayer to Live this Day with God
Dear Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank you that I can see or hear your Word this morning. Let me give thanks all day for what I have, especially your eternal love, and forgive me this day when I go astray, by my thoughts or actions; my only aim is to please you, to know and do your will. Guide my every step.
Help me to live this day with wisdom and discretion so that I may not fall short of your glory. Protect me from danger, both in the world and in my attitude. Give me the gift of a clear mind, that I might hear the quiet voice of your Spirit. Help to massage away resentments and blame for things gone by, that would eat my energy and poison my mind; but instead, help me to look to the moment, to what I can do, to work for the future. And let me never become frustrated where I lack control of events, for you are in charge, not me; and I put my entire faith in your power, your knowledge, your plan for humanity.
You are my leader and my coach, Lord. I am on your team. Help me to keep this in mind for just today, in Christ’s name I pray,
For our restful sleep at night,
for the rain and sunshine bright,
For the love that Thou dost send,
For our homes and for each friend,
For the day and all its pleasures,
Grateful thanks I render now.
May our lives pass on the blessings,
None can give to us, but Thou.
“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.”
~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Is there no other way, Oh God,
Except through sorrow, pain and loss?
To stamp Christ's likeness on my soul,
No other way except the cross?
And then a voice stills all my soul,
That stilled the waves of Galilee,
“Cans’t thou not bear the furnace
If midst the flames I walk with thee?
I bore the cross, I know its weight,
I drank the cup I hold for thee.
Cans’t thou not follow where I lead?
I'll give thee strength, lean hard on Me.”
Luke 24:1-12 (ESV)
ut on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
Notes on the Scripture
Of the four Gospels, Luke is the most comprehensive, and we see this reflected in his account of the events after the resurrection. We used John’s account for our Easter Scripture — and John does describe events not found in Luke — but the Road to Emmaus is such a wonderful story, we want to read it at Easter.
John concentrates on Mary Magdelene, in describing the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb. She is a special person, because she represents a fallen woman, and in the larger sense, a person who had abandoned any pretense of compliance with God’s laws. John’s special emphasis on love and forgiveness finds in her a model for those of us who have strayed so far from God’s path that we have simply abandoned efforts at a righteous life.
Luke gives more of a straight history, and lets us know that Mary Magdalene was not alone. Jesus had a cadre of devout women who were sufficiently concerned to go to the tomb at the break of dawn. One might speculate that women, who normally attended to the dead, would not draw as much attention as men; for Peter, say, to have gone straightaway to Jesus’ tomb would have been noticed and perhaps put himself in danger.
The two men “in dazzling apparel” are certainly angels. We might imagine that this is the description from the mouths of one or more of the women who saw them; who knows what they looked like? A brilliant ball of white light? A regular man in absolute white clothing? Or something in-between? One might speculate that the disparate descriptions in the Gospels were different versions of people trying to describe a being outside their experience. Plus, they were frightened by the angels and didn’t stare at them!
“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” the angels ask them. And with these words, they announce the greatest miracle of all history to humanity, to a group of humble women who loved Jesus.” The angels then inform them that the prophecies have been fulfilled.
It is, of course, Peter who is the first among the men to run to the tomb. One can only imagine the tempest of emotions: doubts, hopes, elation. Can such a wonderful thing really be true? (John adds that he also ran to the tomb, but it is Peter who is critical. John was “the apostle Jesus loved,” but it is Peter who was always “first among equals” and will rise to become the lightning rod of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.)