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What Are You Asking For?

Daily Reading: Matthew 27

Scripture Focus: He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (Matthew 27.58)

Devotional Thought: I've been 'packing up' my office the last few weeks, moving library and files to my home office. I quickly discovered that I have accumulated a lot of books and papers in over thirty-one years of ministry! And, I have also found that I need to be selective about what to keep. There's just not space for everything. Lana certainly doesn't want me to clutter up the house with all my 'work stuff'!

Times come when we have to ask ourselves, do I want that? Do I need it? Those questions are hard, but necessary.

In Matthew 27, Joseph of Arimethea wanted something - the body of Jesus. So, he went to Pilate and asked for it. I'm sure Pilate found that an unusual request. Often the bodies of condemned criminals were simply discarded in a pit near the place of execution. When they were taken, it was by grieving family members. But, here was a respectable and well-to-do Jewish citizen - unrelated to Jesus - asking for the body of the Lord. Why would he want the body of the Lord? "Oh well," Pilate thought, "I guess he can have it."

How about you? Do you want the body of Jesus? Will you identify with the stigma of the cross? The sign of weakness? The symbol of death? It is easy to want the resurrected body of Jesus. But, the body of death? The Apostle Paul said, that we are "always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies" (2 Corinthians 4.10).

Prayer: Jesus, how incredible that you, the Son of God, would die for me. I gladly identify with you in your death so that your life may be manifested in me. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 96.7-13

7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! 8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

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