The Nighttime Visitors 040712
Today, in historical time, is the day when Jesus body was laid in the new and unused tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph, though a prestigious and wealthy man, had become a disciple of Jesus and asked for the body of Jesus.
Nicodemus, another secretive disciple of Jesus, supplied herbs and perfumes for burial preparation.
Strangely, both these mean had been secretive and hidden followers of Jesus, and both came forward at his death to care for the body of Jesus. Perhaps Jesus’ death led then to finally feel ashamed of their prior silence, and to come forward in the time of death to care for Jesus’ body.
Will it take such catastrophe and death for us to stand up and confess our love for Jesus? Do we now just visit Jesus in the secrecy of the night, like Nicodemus?
But today is also a day of great expectation. Do you expect Jesus to rise tomorrow morning?
Pray for peace.
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
1 Peter 4:1-8
14“A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, 2comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last. 3Do you fix your eyes on such a one? Do you bring me into judgment with you? 4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one can. 5Since their days are determined, and the number of their months is known to you, and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass, 6look away from them, and desist, that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.
7“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. 8Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump dies in the ground, 9yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant. 10But mortals die, and are laid low; humans expire, and where are they? 11As waters fail from a lake, and a river wastes away and dries up, 12so mortals lie down and do not rise again; until the heavens are no more, they will not awake or be roused out of their sleep. 13Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14If mortals die, will they live again? All the days of my service I would wait until my release should come.
Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24
3I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath; 2he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; 3against me alone he turns his hand, again and again, all day long. 4He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones; 5he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago. 7He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me; 8though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; 9he has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked. 19The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! 20My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.
21But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
1In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.
2Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.
3You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
4take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
15My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.
1 Peter 4:1-8
4Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), 2so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. 3You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.
4They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme. 5But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.
7The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.
57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60and 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. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. 62The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64Therefore 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.” 65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” 66So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
38After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Jesus’ Burial (sharinhislove.wordpress.com)
- Readings for Good Friday (alcplatteville.wordpress.com)
- Why Christianity Is the Only Religion That Makes Sense; “An Empty Tomb” (verticalviewer.wordpress.com)
- Why did the angel roll away the stone? (sueannporter.wordpress.com)
- The Passion of the Lord (tvaraj2inspirations.wordpress.com)
- Good Friday (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com)
- It is Finished. (all4ryan.wordpress.com)
- Good Friday (pumabydesign001.com)
- Jesus Faces Pilate on the Day We Call Good Friday (vineandbranchworldministries.com)