This Week’s Theme
Jesus Is Buried
After Jesus had suffered upon the Cross at Calvary, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Since it was the day of Preparation, so the bodies would not remain on the crosses on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate to have their legs broken so that they could be taken away. The soldier broke the legs of the two thieves that had been crucified. When they came to Jesus, however, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs, but rather pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
After these events, Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus, asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, which Pilate granted. So Joseph came, took away Jesus’s body, and with Nicodemus they brought a 75-pound mixture of myrrh and aloes and bound the body of Jesus in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. They placed Jesus in a new tomb (where no one else had ever been laid) in a garden adjacent to where he had been crucified. And all this was done because the Jewish day of Preparation was close at hand.
How tragic it must have appeared to the disciples of the Lord. Jesus of Nazareth of Galilee, the very one they had believed to be the Messiah, was crucified, and now buried in a tomb. What appeared to be defeat and shame would surely be transformed into victory and vindication. As the creed affirms, Jesus was crucified, he died, and he was buried.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Almighty God, who sees that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us, both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. [Amen.]
~ The Gregorian Sacramentary (Suter, p. 77)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Saturday: Pss. 68-70; 86; 101
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Holy Saturday: Matt. 27.62-66; Luke 23.56b
Easter Vigil Readings
Gen. 1.1-2.4a; Ps. 136.1-9, 23-26
Gen. 7.1-5, 11-18; 8.6-18; 9.8-13; Ps. 46
Gen. 22.1-18; Ps. 16
Exod. 14.10-31; 15.20-21; 15.1b-13, 17-18
Isa. 55.1-11; 12.2-6
Prov. 8.1-8, 19-21; 9.4b-6; Ps. 19
Ezek. 36.24-28; Ps. 42, 43
Ezek. 37.1-14; Ps. 143
Zeph. 3.14-20; Ps. 98
Rom. 6.3-11; Ps. 114
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
O Most loving Saviour, Who has loved us and washed us from our sins in Thine own blood, we love Thee for all Thou hast done for us, and we desire to love Thee more and more with all the powers of our heart and soul. Help our weakness, and pour Thy grace into our hearts, that we may henceforth love Thee above all things, and seek to do Thy will; for Thine own Name’s sake. Amen.
~ The Narrow Way, A.D. 1869 (Fox, p. 225)
Affirmation for the Day
Our Lord Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, and was buried in a borrowed tomb.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
You died and were buried, O Savior of the world. Yet, no power of hell nor scheme of man can prevent the fulfillment of your true promise – the power of your resurrection and the vindication of your person.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
If I Be Lifted Up, John 12.20-36
Barrett, None Greater