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Serve However You Can

Daily Reading: Luke 23

Scripture Focus: This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (Luke 23.52)

Devotional Thought: Joseph of Arimathea wasn’t a disciple of Jesus. He wasn’t one of the twelve who were selected to accompany him for three years. He was certainly sympathetic and supportive of Jesus, but he wasn’t a conspicuous admirer or high-profile adherent … in large part because he was a member of the Jewish ruling council—the Sanhedrin—the group who called for Jesus’ crucifixion. Luke tells us Joseph was a “good and upright man” (v. 50) who opposed the decision to crucify Jesus (v. 51). But in this prominent group, his fondness for Jesus made him a minority presence. As a result, there were a number of things in support of Jesus that he couldn’t do.

Normally the bodies of crucified criminals were left on the crosses to rot or be eaten by animals. But, the Jews didn’t want a reminder of what had just happened to be visible during Passover. In addition, Rome was known to periodically grant friends or relatives the corpses of victims for proper burial. So it was that Joseph, at great risk to himself and his reputation, went and asked Pilate for Jesus’ body (v. 52)—a request which he granted.

There were a number of ways in which Joseph didn’t or couldn’t serve Jesus, but he did serve him in a way nobody else would or could. By asking for the body and providing a tomb, he did what he could with the resources he had at his disposal. And, his heroic action set the stage for the landmark event that serves as the anchor of our faith.

God asks each of us to serve him in whatever way we can.

John Whitsett

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me not to worry about the limitations in my life or the ways that I can’t serve you. Help me, instead, to focus on what I can do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. (Psalms 145:1-9)

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