Daily Devotion for September 20, 2022
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.
The wonderful Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir reminds us that, come what may, our lives are in good hands!
George Washington's Monday Morning Prayer
O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.
Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life. In the name of Holy Christ, I pray,
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.”
~ Psalm 146:2
I pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with the voice of your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.
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.
Isaiah 53:7, 9 (ESV)
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth. . . .
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Matthew 27:57-66 (ESV)
Jesus Is Buried
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.
And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Notes on the Scripture
The four gospels contain great narrative detail about Jesus’ burial. All four recount that a man name Joseph of Arimathea, who held some position in the Jewish religious establishment, claimed Jesus’ body and buried it in a tomb cut into rock; John adds another Jewish official, Nicodemus, who brought myrrh and aloe to prepare the body. (John 19:38-42; See John 3:1-21 for more about Nicodemus.) Jesus was wrapped in a linen shroud made of multiple cloths; John, who gives us the most detail, adds that His head was wrapped in a separate “napkin” or face cloth. (John 20:5-7)
(Side note: Remember the Shroud of Turin? Anyone who has read John 20 must wonder how even the most gullible Christian could believe it was Jesus’ burial shroud. The Shroud is a single cloth with the imprint of a face and body, but John tells us, in plain clear language, that Jesus’ head was separately wrapped; and all gospels except Matthew tell us it was made of multiple parts.)
Someone who has spent time reading the Gospels will eventually notice an oddity: the degree of physical detail given here is missing in almost every other aspect of Jesus’ life. Matthew has been following Jesus for three years, without once recording details of his clothing. Yet, he describes the cloth in which He was buried. In fact, the details of the burial are not particularly important in themselves; the critical point of the story is that He was buried. He was a human being, and he was dead. Matthew (and all the gospels) seeks to give credibility to the fact of his burial by reciting details, for a detailed story is more credible than a cursory statement.
Christ’s burial proves that He actually died. Opponents would fabricate any possible hypothesis to discredit Christ’s divinity, and one foreseeable attempt to discredit the Resurrection was (and still is) that the crucifixion did not actually kill Jesus. His Jewish enemies claimed that He was taken from the cross, unconscious but alive, and that his subsequent appearances were no miracle, but a fraud.
Hence such details as a guard of Roman soldiers who seal the tomb. Even if one believed He was alive when He was taken down from the cross, He would hardly have survived his burial. It also, as the Scripture states, forestalled fabrications of his body having disappeared by theft.
Finally, His burial is important symbolically, for it realizes prophecy, both of the Old Testament and of Christ himself: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 13:40)