The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Tag: Death

Easter Devotional: John 20:1-29

John 20:1-29 (click here)
Simon Peter… went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. (John 20:6-7)

Reflection
Peter and John have just been told that Jesus’ body is gone! They race to them tomb, John gets there first and peers in, but as soon as Peter has caught up he barges into the cave-like grave. Then we are given some interesting details… the grave cloths have been left behind and the face cloth has been folded like a freshly washed towel.

Why do we need to know these tiny details?

I believe there is a practical reason and a symbolic reason. First, on a practical level, this story is true… it is not and myth, and small details like this help affirm that “realness.” Why did John tell us about the grave clothes?…Because they were really there! He’s describing the situation as they found it.

Secondly, John has mentioned grave clothes one other time in his gospel. In John 11, he tells us the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus and in verse 44 the text says this, “The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.'” Lazarus came out of the tomb still bound up in his grave clothes. It is almost as if he brought them out because he would need them again one day.

But, when Jesus rose, he left behind the grave clothes. He wouldn’t need them anymore! He was alive forevermore! Death defeated! It’s almost like he folded up death and left it in the grave! Hallelujah, what a savior!

Jesus has permanently defeated sin and death! He has no need of grave clothes and neither do we…for through him we are promised life eternal! This Easter…remember that Jesus resurrection guarantees you resurrection. You have been freed from the grave so that you can live fearlessly for Christ!

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Job 34-35

Job 34-35 (click here)
Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding: far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong. (Job 34:10)

Reflection
Is it ever “right” to accuse God of wrong? Is it ok for us to be angry with God?

We must answer these questions carefully and not be overly simplistic. Scripture tells us that God is never in the wrong, he never acts wickedly, he never sins, etc. Therefore, it IS sin to accuse God or be angry with him. There is no such thing as justified anger at God, for he never does anything wrong…he never does anything worthy of our wrath.

Yet…as soon as I say that, people begin to get upset because there are many times in their life they have “felt” wronged by God. Perhaps you have felt this way. Anger towards the Lord has festered in your heart. Are we just supposed to suppress that anger and put on a hypocritical face of love towards the Lord? No.

If we are angry with God, we should be honest about it. He knows anyway. Confess it, pray for comfort, and help… and eventually… repent. He is faithful and just to forgive. When we sin by being angry with the Lord, we don’t sin again by hypocritically hiding that anger.

Ultimately, we need to see that our anger is pointed in the wrong direction. Typically when we are angry at the Lord, it IS because some injustice has taken place, but such injustice should make us angry at sin, death, and Satan! We should not be angry with the only solution to those problems! The Lord is the solution! He has promised to deal, in a real/final way, with sin, death, and Satan. When we are angered by injustices, let us not aim that anger at the only one who has promised to bring us the justice we desire.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Job 29-30

Job 29-30 (click here)
Then I thought, “I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand, 19 my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches, 20 my glory fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.” (Job 29:18-20)

Reflection
Job reflects on his life as it was in all his prosperity. He reveals to us why he was known as a man who was blameless and upright, fearing the Lord and turning away from evil. Job was not just a wealthy man who offered sacrifices, but he offered his very self to all.

Job helped the poor and the powerless, the blind, the needy, the lame, the widowed, the orphaned, etc. He used his blessing to bless others. Job was not self-centered, but God-centered. Yet…in all his material wealth, certain unhealthy thoughts crept into Job’s mind as expectations of how God would/should act towards him.

Job thought that life would continue on as always until the day he died peacefully in his sleep. Trouble, bankruptcy, sickness, were not a part of Job’s future calculations. He may have known they were possibilities, but they were not his expectation.

For how many of us is this the dream ending to our lives? To die “in our nest,” peacefully, in our sleep after a long life that has had days/years like the sands. This is our expectation, but it is not what we are promised. Most of our disappointments with God are due to unmet expectations which we un-rightly place on God, not unmet promises which he has graciously held out to us.

God has promised us that we will experience suffering and trouble and hardship. The odds of dying peacefully in our sleep are not very high for the Christian. Yet, he has promised to be with us amidst our suffering…all the way up to death’s door and even on the other side of it! That is the kind of promise which brings true peace. Job will soon learn much about the peace brought about by the presence of the Lord.


*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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