Count your blessings
About the author: Pat Foster has been a member at ZPC since 1985. She states she enjoys this church community and her faith; summers in Maine, arts and crafts, and flowers (among other things).
About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals for Holy Week. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc devo to 39970. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
Jesus’ Side Is Pierced
Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”
The Burial of Jesus
After 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. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now 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. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
The scripture for this devotional is difficult as are all the circumstances around Jesus' crucifixion. As I read the scripture, the fact that many things happened in order for scripture to be fulfilled stands out. And it says to me that God is in control of all my circumstances always; even when they are very difficult.
At age 80 I have lived a wonderful life. I count my blessings every day. I have traveled Holland, the British isles, Germany, and coast to coast in our country. I am a nature lover and Indiana, Florida, Oklahoma, and Maine cover a lot of nature.
I have, however, seen some difficult years. I have experienced three close family deaths. First, our 22 year old son, then my daughter-in-law, and, 6+ years ago, my husband of 53 years. All sad, heartbreaking, difficult, life-changing years. However, in a very real way I was not responsible for any of those deaths. I know they are all three in the place Jesus provided for them and for us when he died on the cross. I believe I am responsible in a way for Jesus' death. He took our (my) sin and died on the cross in order for us (me) to abide with him forever. I count that the most anyone has ever done for me (and you!).
Among the things I am thankful for are: my three remaining kids and their families; three excellent ministers (Glenn McDonald, Scott Shelton, and Jerry Deck); companions who were my help in difficult years and who belong to the same bible study for more than 40 years; a 40-year bridge club; Second Half folks; Loose Threads ladies; the Great Banquet Community...and I could go on.
Counting my blessings as I get out of bed helps me to start the day with "the glass running over." God Bless you each and every one and remember how much he loves you.
Help us to remember the events of the Easter season each day and how much you love us!
Count ten blessing as you rise each morning! You might start with the events of the first Easter!