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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Matthew 27:57–66             

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door 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 what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would 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 with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (NRSV)

Reflection
The disciples did not leave Jesus behind. And despite Pilate’s order to guard the tomb, nothing could stop Jesus from leaving. Even though Jesus foretold that he would rise from the dead on the third day, Pilate still thought he was in control of the situation.

The need to be in control is often a pitfall that leads to inaction or even bad decisions. Why do we think we can outsmart God? Why do we think we can call the shots? God is always in control—just ask Pilate! Learning to listen to the will of God is a discipline that leads to the gift of inner peace. Practice makes perfect, as they say. Give it a try.

Prayer
Holy Father, we constantly try to call the shots. We think that we have all the answers and that things should be done our way. Help us to remember that you love us unconditionally and that your will is our will. Amen.

Written by Ellen Schaller, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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