Joseph Wrapped Him in Clean Linens

“Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean linens, put it in his own tomb, a new tomb only recently cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the entrance.” The Message

He wrapped Him in linens just like Joseph did when He was born! I went to and did a little research on the meaning of their names.

His earthly father, Joseph, was a just man and noble. He determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced, (see Matthew 1:19). When Jesus was born He wrapped Him in linen cloths, called swaddling clothes, (see Luke 2:7).

Joseph means “to add, increase.” The first Joseph was from Galilee which means “to roll.”

  • He was poor.
  • He lived in Galilee, Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth.
  • He took care of things quietly.
  • He saved Mary from disgrace.
  • He carried out the duties of a father, raised Jesus as his own.
  • He wrapped Jesus in linen cloths.
  • They described him as faithful to the law (NIV); a good man (NLT); a just man (ESV); a righteous man (NASB); an honorable man (GWT); a kind-hearted man (WNT); and noble (TM).

Luke 23:50, 51, “There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God.” The Message

The second Joseph was from Arimathea, which means “The Heights.”

  • He was rich.
  • He lived in Arimathea.
  • He quietly asked Pilate for the body of Jesus.
  • He stepped in to save Mary from disgrace. She had no place to bury Jesus.
  • He carried out the duties of a son, preparing His body for burial.
  • He wrapped Him in linen cloths.
  • He was described as good and upright (NIV); righteous (NLT); just (KJV); kind-hearted (WNT); good heart and good character (TM); lived in alert expectation of the Kingdom of God (TM).

God is looking for more “Josephs.” He needs men to be a father to the fatherless and a son to the widows who are alone.

God is also looking for “Simons.” Simon means “to listen or hear.” Simon the Cyrene didn’t play the part of a father or a son. He just carried Jesus’ cross for a while.

Tomorrow there will be fatherless, widows, and widowers at church. If you can’t take them home and feed them, like Joseph, be a Simon! Listen, carry their burden for a while.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Who Are You After?

I’ve never seen an angel. Those who have described them as pretty impressive. Imagine having the authority to command an angel to appear!

Jesus had that authority. Two days ago, we read about it in Matthew.

Matthew 26:53, “Do you think I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will at once give Me more than twelve legions of angels?” Modern English Version

A legion was 6,000 soldiers. Jesus had 72,000 angels ready to fight for Him!!!

The soldiers who came to arrest Him could tell He was a man of authority. The Jewish soldiers brought Roman soldiers with them.

Neither group walked into the garden and grabbed Him. They hesitated. He asked them twice, “Who are you after?” He gave Himself up and went with them willingly.

John 18:7, “Jesus asked again, ‘Who are you after?’ They answered, ‘Jesus, the Nazarene.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * * *

“The presence of a ‘detachment of soldiers’ in the garden (John 18:3) indicates that Roman as well as Jewish authorities were responsible for the arrest. John underscores Jesus’ royal authority by recording a hesitancy and trepidation on the part of the soldiers at the moment of encounter (John 18:4-9)….Matthew reminds his readers that Jesus was not powerless to prevent His seizure, but allows it in fulfillment of God’s will (Matthew 26:52-54; see John 18:11).” Chronological Study Bible Notes

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Stay Alert!

I don’t get out much.

I was excited to go to “Applebees” for a birthday dinner. (Olivia is seven!)

I was to meet her “Nana” at the Packwood turn off. There’s a spot on the side of the highway where people temporarily park their vehicles. I think it’s where the farmer turns his tractor around. It was muddy and I parked in the grass on the side.

Nana pulled up behind me. I didn’t want to keep them waiting. I was too lazy to put my keys in my purse. In one hand was my keys with 3 bags and my purse in the other. Two bags were gifts and the other held an Easter surprise.

Nana peeked in the last bag and stated, “You might want these later.” She was holding my van keys!

Did I mention I don’t get out much?

Mark 14:38, “Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” The Message

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Hard But Important

When we are hurt, things change. We can pretend it didn’t happen but then we don’t heal. We can learn from how Jesus handled Judas’ betrayal.

Matthew 26:21, “During the meal, He said, ‘I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.’ ” The Message

Jesus didn’t play games.

Matthew 26:25, “Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, ‘It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?’ Jesus said, ‘Don’t play games with me, Judas.’ ” The Message

He didn’t pretend everything was okay.

Matthew 26:50, “Jesus said, ‘Friend, why this charade.’ ” The Message

Jesus never stopped loving Judas. He acknowledged that their relationship changed. It would never be the way it was before.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Excited to Become a Slave?

Jesus knew He would suffer. He did not think of the day as His doomsday. He anticipated the Passover meal with joy. He knew the next time they ate together would be in the kingdom of God.

Luke 22:15, 16, “…You’ve no idea how much I’ve looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. (16) It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Luke 22:22, “It’s true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out – no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday.” The Message

Jesus set aside his royalty and became a servant. No, a slave! The lowest of slaves – performing a task reserved for a foreign slave.

John 13:3-5, “Jesus knew that the Father had put Him in complete charge of everything, that He came from God and was on His way back to God. (4) So He got up from the supper table, set aside His robe, and put on an apron. (5) Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His apron.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“There was no precedent for a footwashing at the Passover ritual. Indeed, even a Jewish slave could not be required to wash his master’s feet: such an act was only required of a non-Jewish slave! This abject deed demonstrates the sacrificial humility and love of Jesus, which is subsequently interpreted by the new commandment (John 13:31-35). The washing of the disciples’ feet is a demonstration of the love that Jesus’ disciples are to have for one another.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * *

Luke 22:26, “…Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of a servant.” The Message

Jesus even used a humble servant to show them where they would share the Passover. Men didn’t carry water, women did. A man carrying a water jug was an unusual sight.

Luke 22:10, “He said, ‘Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him….’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Galatians 5:13, 14, “…use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself.” The Message

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Children Running and Shouting

The flavored popcorn salt was a few years old. I tossed it. The Raspberry Tea bags fit on the organizer with the black tea bags. I recycled the box.

I was cleaning out the organizers to move the rest of the spices there. I read on Pinterest, “Chill kills.” Some things are best stored on the counter or in a cupboard. (My spices were in the freezer.) The apples are now in a fruit bowl. Derek’s hot sauces are with the oils.

When Jesus cleared the temple of money changers, He was making room, too, –

for us!

“Herod’s temple,…consisting of four courts. The large outer Court of the Gentiles…was the only part of the temple open to Gentiles (non-Jews). Each of the three remaining courts…Court of Women, Court of Israel, Court of Priests…stood in the middle of the Court of Gentiles, but only Jews were allowed to enter its first court – Court of Women. Only Jewish men were admitted to the Court of Israel…He was standing in the Court of Gentiles. Only in this area were the merchants allowed to sell sheep and doves for sacrifice at Passover, and to exchange foreign currency for the required temple offering. This outer court was the site of Jesus dramatic temple cleansing.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * *

Matthew 21:15, 16, “When the religious leaders saw the outrageous things He was doing, and heard all the children running and shouting through the Temple, ‘Hosanna to David’s Son!’ they were up in arms and took Him to task. ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ ” The Message

The “outrageous things” Jesus did were:

  1. Cleansing the temple of the money changers,
  2. Making room for the blind and disabled to get in, and
  3. Healing them!

He emptied the Gentiles Court to give non-Jews a place to worship. I’m sure the children enjoyed running around the “Gentiles Court” circle. Of course, they would be shouting praises.

“Both Matthew and Mark relate the cleansing of the temple to the cursing of the fig tree. The activity in the temple, like the fig tree, had the appearance of life but could be as fruitless as was the greed of the money changers.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Jesus made room in His house for the non-Jew, the hurting, and children. This Easter let us do the same.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Jesus was Storm-Tossed

The worst part of suffering is knowing it’s coming. The fear of the needle is worse than the prick.

Today we switch from the suffering of Job to read of the suffering of Jesus. It is Palm Sunday – the day Jesus rode in triumph through Jerusalem.

Jesus knew it was His last week on earth. He knew He would be the Passover Lamb that year. He knew He would suffer and die. He was not looking forward to it. He warned His disciples what would happen.

John 12:27, 28, “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this?’ No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * * *

“Faith’s work is to sustain us through those days…the only alternative to desperate faith is despair. Faith holds on and prevails.” “Streams in the Desert” 3-25

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Learn How to Live

Yesterday we learned religion and tradition did not bring Job comfort. Today we read Job’s words of anguish as he asked God, “Why?”.

Job 10:1, 2, “I can’t stand my life – I hate it! I’m putting it all out on the table, all the bitterness of my life – I’m holding nothing back. (2) Job prayed: ‘Here’s what I want to say: Don’t, God, bring in a verdict of guilty without letting me know the charges you’re bringing.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * * *

“Ancient people believed that gods governed the universe based on some principle of right and wrong…..When misfortune struck, they would consult the gods to discover the cause of their misfortune. If innocent, they would seek divine justice from the gods. So Job, not understanding why he must suffer, calls on God, ‘Tell me what charges you have against me’ (Job 10:2).” Chronological Study Bible

We receive comfort from the words of Jesus.

Matthew 11:28, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Farmers in ancient Israel used to train an inexperienced ox by yoking it to an experienced one with a wooden harness. The straps around the older animals were tightly drawn. He carried the load. But the yoke around the younger animal was loose. He walked alongside the more mature ox, but his burden is light. In this verse Jesus is saying, ‘I walk alongside you. We are yoked together. But I pull the weight and carry the burden.’ ” “A Love Worth Giving – Living in the Overflow of God’s Love” by Max Lucado

* * * * * * *

Job 12:13, “True wisdom and real power belong to God; from him we learn how to live, and also what to live for.” The Message

Am I stuck because I’m trying to take a wrong turn? Yoked to Jesus, He waits patiently until I turn the way He’s facing.

“Make your requests earnestly and specifically, if you desire definite answers. It is the aimlessness of prayer that accounts for so many seemingly unanswered prayers.” “Streams in the Desert” 3-24

* * * * * * *

“…Your Father…offers authentic love. His devotion is the real deal. But He won’t give you the genuine until you surrender the imitations.” “A Love Worth Finding – Living in the Overflow of God’s Love” by Max Lucado

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


He’s Famous for Great and Unexpected Acts

“Job’s second friend, Bildad the Shuhite, discards all pretense at offering comfort (ch. 8). Bildad’s whole purpose is to defend the traditional wisdom teachings that had been passed from generation to generation. Job’s own experience of injustice is unimportant to Bildad, compared with the time-honored teachings of ‘the former generation’ and ‘what their ancestors learned’ (8:8).

Bildad takes one step beyond the wisdom teaching that the righteous prosper and the wicked suffer. Turning the teaching around, Bildad concludes that Job’s children must have been wicked since they died (8:4)….While biblical wisdom writings, such as appear in Proverbs, do teach that the wicked will suffer, they never permit the reverse reasoning that everyone who suffers is being punished for wickedness.” Chronological Study Bible

Job stated his friends were ‘…as fickle as a gulch in the desert.’ Job 6:15. The Message

Job 6:19, “Merchant caravans from Tema see them and expect water, tourists from Sheba hope for a cool drink.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…Tema was at the crossroads of three important trade routes running through northern Arabia….Caravans passing through Tema (Job 6:19) would have been familiar with streams that run during the rainy season, but dry up when they are most needed. Such streams were an appropriate illustration for Job to employ in describing his ‘undependable’ friends (Job 6:15-20)….Tema in northwest Arabia worked closely with the Sabeans from Saba (or Sheba) in southwest Arabia to dominate the incense trade. It is natural then that Job should mention Tema and Sheba together (Job 6:19).” Chronological Study Bible

Job is desperate and feels helpless. We are not! His questions in the Old Testament were answered in the New Testament.

Job 9:2, “…The question is, ‘How can mere mortals get right with God?’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 John 1:9, “…if we admit our sins – make a clean breast of them – He won’t let us down; He’ll be true to Himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Job 9:32, 33, “God and I are not equals; I can’t bring a case against Him. We’ll never enter a courtroom as peers. How I wish we had an arbitrator to step in and let me get on with life.” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Timothy 2:5, 6, “There’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us – Jesus, (6) who offered Himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Coal is produced by the tremendous heat that burned the ancient forests. In the same way, spiritual force is stored in the depths of our being and is brought about by the very pain we cannot understand.” “Streams in the Desert” 3-23

* * * * * * *

Job 5:8, 9, “If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight to God, I’d throw myself on the mercy of God (9) after all, He’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to His surprises.” The Message

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.

Job Sat Among the Ashes

I love how God ties everything together. We started reading the book of Job. It is the textbook on suffering. Suffering was the subject of more than one source today.

March 22, 2018, “1-Min Motivation”

“If you read the Bible like a magic rulebook you will never fully understand the extent to which it is meant to speak to your situation and guide your life. God is not scared to walk right up in the details of your situation…you think He doesn’t know about your loneliness, your tears, your heartbreak, your questions? You think He’s intimidated by your skepticism? You think your broken heart can chase him away?…But if you open yourself, even with your face downcast…”  “God is in the Details,” Steven Furtick

* * * * * * *

“…We do right and get knocked down. We do the best we are capable of doing, and just as we are reaching out to receive our reward we are hit from the blind side and sent reeling….Job says boldly what some of us are too timid to say….He shouts out to God what a lot of us mutter behind our sleeves. He refuses to accept the role of a defeated victim….Job does not curse God, as his wife suggests he should do, getting rid of the problem by getting rid of God. But neither does Job explain suffering. He does not instruct us in how to live so that we can avoid suffering. Suffering is a mystery, and Job comes to respect the mystery.” The Message Introduction to Job

* * * * * * *

Job 2:7, 8, “Satan left God and struck Job with terrible sores. Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot. They itched and oozed so badly that he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself, then went and sat on a trash heap, among the ashes.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Ashes. Symbolic of mourning (see 42:16; Esther 4:3; cf. Jonah 3:6, which speaks of sitting in dust).” New International Version Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * * *

“Job rejects wisdom’s view that the world is orderly, that all is arranged according to just principles. His tragedy is not just. Righteousness does not always result in good fortune. Bad things do happen to good people. His friends argument – that Job must have sinned to deserve such suffering – only indicates the poverty of this particular aspect of wisdom teaching. Job also rejects the idea that wisdom is to be sought from tradition….Nevertheless, Job does not give up his search for enlightenment and never completely gives up his hope for justice. Nor does he surrender his faith in knowledge by experience.” Chronological Study Bible Introduction to Job

* * * * * * *

“The most difficult ingredient of suffering is often time….Without the grace of God, the heart is sure to sink into dismal despair….As Joseph did, we should be more careful to focus on learning all the lessons in the school of sorrow than to focus anxious eyes toward the time of our deliverance….Then we will know we could never have served in our place of higher service without having been taught the very things we learned during our ordeal. God is in the process of educating us for future service and greater blessings….” “Streams in the Desert,” March 22

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.