Six Days to Easter -- Day Six

Salvation Saturday --

After the crucifixion, a wealthy Jewish leader named Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could have Jesus’ body to bury it. Surely Joseph grasped the huge risk in requesting Rome’s permission to provide proper burial for a criminal convicted of treason. Undoubtedly, he realized that his reputation and status in the religious community would be endangered.
What gave Joseph, a secret follower of Jesus, the courage to come forward while the Lord’s closest friends stepped back in fear? Was it because Joseph had been living expectantly, on the lookout for God? (Mark 15:43)

Christ’s sacrifice changes everything—both our forever destiny and our daily life—allowing us to live with a sense of boundless hope and resolute anticipation. Yet, sometimes I wonder, how often do I ignore, overlook, fail or refuse to recognize God’s presence? Am I truly on the lookout for Him? How expectantly am I living, between “the already but not yet”?

These are important questions, today and every day of my life. Because where Jesus appears and how Jesus thinks and what Jesus says oftentimes aren’t what I expect. And I’m not alone. Consider Joseph of Arimathea, Peter and John, and the women who discovered the empty tomb. Despite Jesus’ guarantee, they did not anticipate His death. After He was buried, what did they expect? Their shock and disbelief when He reappeared provide the answer.

It may not be easy to live expectantly between present and future realities, but I believe it’s the best approach. A mom grieving the death of her son explained, “I’m discovering how grief and hope dance together, often exchanging the lead. Yet without Christ’s sacrifice, there would be no hope—and what a cruel dance that would be.”

Thankfully, He did go to the cross and sacrifice Himself so you and I could have the hope of salvation. It doesn’t stop with hope though. Hope does not save us. Faith becomes the substance of what we hope for. Faith propels us to receive salvation. Salvation begins by believing He is Lord and following the steps He gave us through Peter on the day of Pentecost. Through repentance, baptism in Jesus name and the infilling of His Spirit, we become His children. His Word says that being born of the water and the Spirit allows us entrance into the Kingdom. What a promise! Because of the cross, our expectation can be salvation through obedience.

Saturday’s Challenge — The Bible says, today is the day of salvation. Have you acted out your faith by obeying His Word? We are saved by grace and His grace reaches beyond our faults and failures and promises us eternity with Him. If you have obeyed the salvation plan, what are you doing to be more like Him? Are you daily drawing closer to Him and becoming sanctified? Take time today to search yourself and make your election into the Kingdom sure.
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