40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Six: Friday)

Friday

Confession: Psalm 86:1–5

Incline, O Yahweh, your ear and answer me,

because I am poor and needy.

Watch over my life because I am faithful.

You are my God; save your servant.

I am the one who trusts you.

Be gracious to me, O Lord,

because I call to you all day long.

Make glad the soul of your servant,

because I desire you, O Lord.

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,

and abundant in loyal love for all who call to you.

Reading: Mark 15:42–47

And when it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the council who was also himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, came acting courageously and went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate was surprised that he was already dead, and summoning the centurion, asked him whether he had died already. And when he learned of it from the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And after purchasing a linen cloth and taking him down, he wrapped him in the linen cloth and placed him in a tomb that had been cut from the rock. And he rolled a stone over the entrance of the tomb. Now Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was placed.

Reflection

Consider that gratitude and thankfulness is the best service—being the end of all other worship—and is God’s due. It is the end why God gives matter and means by which, and for which, we should be thankful. Nothing is more beneficial than thankfulness, nor anything more mischievous than unthankfulness. Consider also that hearty and constant thankfulness is a testimony of uprightness; it excellently becomes the upright to be thankful. It is all the homage, and all the service which God requires at your hands, for all the good that He bestows on you. It is pleasant and delightful. It is possible and easy through the grace of God’s Spirit.…

Thankfulness elevates and enlarges the soul, making it fruitful in good works beyond any other duty. For the thankful man is often consulting with himself what he shall render to the Lord for all His benefits to him. This spiritual praise and thanks to God by Christ is the beginning of heaven upon earth—being part of that communion and fellowship which saints and angels have with God above. It is that everlasting service, which endures forever.

—Henry Scudder

The Christian’s Daily Walk

Response

Is thankfulness your first response to Christ’s saving work? Spend time today—Good Friday—reading and reflecting on Mark 15. Then, turn to God in prayer.[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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