Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, April 16, 2022 — Holy Saturday


The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, April 16, 2022
Holy Saturday
Job 14:1-14; Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16; 1 Peter 4:1-8; Matthew 27:57-66
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

On Holy Saturday, the church continues in prayer, waiting with the women at the Lord's tomb. The meditation continues to focus on the themes of redemptive suffering and death. Good Friday and Holy Saturday are traditional days of fasting. The whole church may be invited to fast along with those on prayer vigil or on retreat during this period. Historically, these hours were the last period of intensive preparation for those persons who were to be baptized at the first Easter service—in ancient times, always the great Easter Vigil. There should be periods of common prayer and reflection on scripture, with times for personal solitude throughout the day.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Romans 13:8

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
As a nation, the United States has ignored these truths. It is not unusual to hear of people who are standing on the brink of bankruptcy. Many individuals feel as though they are no more than sixty days away from becoming homeless or in dire financial need. Sadly, our society has bought into a buy-now and pay-later philosophy.

We have believed a lie, and now we are choking on it. But God does not want His people to be in unnecessary financial debt. The only thing we are to owe others is our love, which we are to give freely and in tangible forms. Why is the Lord concerned about our debt? The price of indebtedness is steep. God knows that when we are in financial bondage, we are not completely free. We are bound to those who hold the deed to our debts.

God wants us to learn how to live free and not be enslaved to debt. You can do this when you apply His principles to your life. Begin by setting a goal to spend less, manage a budget—no matter how meager your income seems—and obey God by tithing your income. When you obey Him in these matters, you are saying, “Lord, I trust You. I want Your best. And I believe that You will show me how to live correctly.”

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Books of Wisdom
Job 14:1-14
Hope for a Tree

1 “Mortals, born of woman,
     are of few days and full of trouble.
2 They spring up like flowers and wither away;
     like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
3 Do you fix your eye on them?
     Will you bring them before you for judgment?
4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure?
     No one!
5 A person’s days are determined;
     you have decreed the number of his months
     and have set limits he cannot exceed.
6 So look away from him and let him alone,
     till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.

7 “At least there is hope for a tree:
     If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
     and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Its roots may grow old in the ground
     and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
     and put forth shoots like a plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
      he breathes his last and is no more.
11 As the water of a lake dries up
      or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
12 so he lies down and does not rise;
      till the heavens are no more, people will not awake
      or be roused from their sleep.

13 “If only you would hide me in the grave
      and conceal me till your anger has passed!
   If only you would set me a time
      and then remember me!
14 If someone dies, will they live again?
      All the days of my hard service
      I will wait for my renewal to come.

Job speaks of man's life (vv. 1-6); Of man's death (vv. 7-15).

Verses 1-6: Job enlarges upon the condition of man, addressing himself also to God. Every man of Adam's fallen race is short-lived. All his show of beauty, happiness, and splendor falls before the stroke of sickness or death, as the flower before the scythe; or passes away like the shadow. How is it possible for a man's conduct to be sinless, when his heart is by nature unclean? Here is a clear proof that Job understood and believed the doctrine of original sin. He seems to have intended it as a plea, why the Lord should not deal with him according to his own works, but according to His mercy and grace. It is determined, in the counsel and decree of God, how long we shall live. Our times are in his hands, the powers of nature act under him; in him we live and move. And it is very useful to reflect seriously on the shortness and uncertainty of human life, and the fading nature of all earthly enjoyments. But it is still more important to look at the cause, and remedy of these evils. Until we are born of the Spirit, no spiritually good thing dwells in us, or can proceed from us. Even the little good in the regenerate is defiled with sin. We should therefore humble ourselves before God, and cast ourselves wholly on the mercy of God, through our Divine Surety. We should daily seek the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and look to heaven as the only place of perfect holiness and happiness.

Verses 7-14: Though a tree is cut down, yet, in a moist situation, shoots come forth, and grow up as a newly planted tree. But when man is cut off by death, he is for ever removed from his place in this world. The life of man may fitly be compared to the waters of a land flood, which spread far, but soon dry up. All Job's expressions here show his belief in the great doctrine of the resurrection. Job's friends proving miserable comforters, he pleases himself with the expectation of a change. If our sins are forgiven, and our hearts renewed to holiness, heaven will be the rest of our souls, while our bodies are hidden in the grave from the malice of our enemies, feeling no more pain from our corruptions, or our corrections.

From the Psalter
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
Take Me Out of the Net

1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
     let me never be put to shame;
     deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
     come quickly to my rescue;
  be my rock of refuge,
     a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
     for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
     for you are my refuge.

15 My times are in your hands;
      deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
      from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
      save me in your unfailing love.

Confidence in God (vv. 1-4); Prayer in trouble (vv. 15-16).

Verses 1-4: Faith and prayer must go together, for the prayer of faith is the prevailing prayer.

Verses 15-16: God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best, to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. The time of life is in God's hands, to lengthen or shorten, make bitter or sweet, according to the counsel of his will. The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's. In this faith and confidence he prays that the Lord would save him for his mercies's sake, and not for any merit of his own.

From the Epistles
1 Peter 4:1-8
The Gospel Proclaimed Even to the Dead

4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

The consideration of Christ's sufferings is urged for purity and holiness.

The strongest and best arguments against sin, are taken from the sufferings of Christ. He died to destroy sin; and though he cheerfully submitted to the worst sufferings, yet he never gave way to the least sin. Temptations could not prevail, were it not for man's own corruption; but true Christians make the will of God, not their own lust or desires, the rule of their lives and actions. And true conversion makes a marvelous change in the heart and life. It alters the mind, judgment, affections, and conversation. When a man is truly converted, it is very grievous to him to think how the time past of his life has been spent. One sin draws on another. Six sins are here mentioned which have dependence one upon another. It is a Christian's duty, not only to keep from gross wickedness, but also from things that lead to sin, or appear evil. The gospel had been preached to those since dead, who by the proud and carnal judgment of wicked men were condemned as evil-doers, some even suffering death. But being quickened to Divine life by the Holy Spirit, they lived to God as his devoted servants. Let not believers care, though the world scorns and reproaches them.

From the Gospels
Matthew 27:57-66
The Burial of Jesus

27:57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

The burial of Christ (vv. 57-61); The sepulchre secured (vv. 62-66).

Verses 57-61: In the burial of Christ was nothing of pomp or solemnity. As Christ had not a house of his own, wherein to lay his head, while he lived, so he had not a grave of his own, wherein to lay his body, when he was dead. Our Lord Jesus, who had no sin of his own, had no grave of his own. The Jews designed that he should have made his grave with the wicked, should have been buried with the thieves with whom he was crucified, but God overruled it, so that he should make it with the rich in his death (Isaiah 53:9). And although to the eye of man the beholding a funeral may cause terror, yet if we remember how Christ by his burial has changed the nature of the grave to believers, it should make us rejoice. And we are ever to imitate Christ's burial in being continually occupied in the spiritual burial of our sins.

Verses 62-66: On the Jewish sabbath, the chief priests and Pharisees, when they should have been at their devotions, were dealing with Pilate about securing the sepulcher. This was permitted that there might be certain proof of our Lord's resurrection. Pilate told them that they might secure the sepulcher as carefully as they could. They sealed the stone, and set a guard, and were satisfied that all needful care was taken. But to guard the sepulcher against the poor weak disciples was folly, because needless; while to think to guard it against the power of God, was folly, because fruitless, and to no purpose; yet they thought they dealt wisely. But the Lord took the wise in their own craftiness. Thus shall all the rage and the plans of Christ's enemies be made to promote his glory.

Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

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