Awaiting the King

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, in the darkest hour, I wait in hope for You. I know that You are God even over death.

 

Read: LUKE 23:47-56

[47] The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” [48]When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. [49] But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. [50] Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, [51] who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. [52] Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.[53] Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. [54] It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. [55] The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. [56]Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. 

 

Reflect: WHAT PROVOKED THE CENTURION'S RESPONSE?

Although Jesus was mocked during his crucifixion, the responses to his death are different. A Roman soldier declares him righteous and praises God (47). The people beat their breasts in sorrow (48). A member of the Jewish Council treats Jesus’ body with honor, removing it from the cross rather than leaving it hanging for all to see and scorn (50-53). The ridicule by the soldiers gives way to praise; the derision of the crowd to mourning; and the vilification by the Jewish leaders to respect. The transformative power of Jesus’ death is evident in each response.Meanwhile, Jesus’ female disciples remain loyal. They watch Jesus’ death, follow Joseph to the tomb, and look to see how the body is laid out (49,55). Then they get ready to play their role: they prepare spices for Jesus’ body and await the conclusion of the Sabbath. Watching, preparing, waiting. They too will experience transformation, but by an even more astounding event than Jesus’ death. At this point, they don’t understand what is coming, but they remain faithful. They will play a role, but not the one that they expect. Faithfulness to Jesus is often like that. We can’t see what is coming. All we can do is watch, prepare, and wait, trusting in God.

 

APPLY

Journal about an area in which you are waiting. What might it mean for you to be faithful to God while you wait?

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, I trust You. Even when my eyes do not see and my mind does not understand, I know Your heart is good.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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