Saturday Eucharist Readings

Job 14:1-14 | Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 | John 19:38-42

“38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” –John 19:38-42

Thoughts on this Text

Two lesser-known characters, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, are examples of what Theologian Sam Wells calls “disciples by night.” These men have day jobs in touchy political situations, and open knowledge of their faith in Christ would threaten their special positions. So instead, Nicodemus approaches Jesus under the cover of darkness to learn from him, and Joseph of Arimathea, who was a member of the jury who convicted Jesus, didn’t show his true allegiance until he offered his personal plot as a burial cave for Jesus’ body.

Can one be a Christian on the quiet? Can one be a ruler by day and worshiper by night?


Ezekiel 37:21-28 | John 11:45-53 | Psalm 85:1-7

“45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary andhad seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, andthe Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.”  –John 11:45-53

Commentary on this text

     “The pain that Jesus confronts is that while some are brought to faith by miracles, others harden their hearts in the face of such a challenge to their sense of reality. They do not want to see; they are blind to reality; they cannot believe that Jesus is really from God, then God will look after them as God has done so often in the past. Their refusal to believe in Jesus makes them refuse to believe in God’s love for the Jewish people.

Why do they refuse to Trust Jesus?

Is it their fear of an uprising and retaliation of the Romans? Is it a fear of change? Is it a fear of losing power and control of the situation? Is it jealousy of Jesus, because so many are going to him?

It is probably a mixture of all these things, which find a home in the dark areas of our own hearts. We, too, can refuse to look at and listen humbly to reality, to read the signs of the Holy Spirit in what is going on in the world and in the church around us. We can also refuse to trust the power of God within us and in others” — Jean Vanier (from Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John)