The women were faithful to the very end. They were there when Jesus died. They were there when His body was placed in the tomb. They were ready to finish the task off preparing Jesus’s body for the grave on Sunday morning. God was faithful to His promises. The grave would be empty and Jesus alive the next time the women would return.
Jesus’s body was taken from the cross and buried in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. Tombs in ancient Israel were sometimes used to hold multiple bodies or re-used. Not Jesus’s tomb. No doubt He was dead and buried in that one particular tomb so there could be no doubts about that being Jesus’s empty tomb on Easter. Jesus died and was buried on Friday. But Easter Sunday was coming that would change everything.
Joseph of Arimathea was a risk taker for Jesus. He risked not going along with the condemnation of Jesus. He risked asking Pilate for Jesus’s body to bury. Faith isn’t always easy. Sometimes we have to take risks to live out our faith. But the Lord will always be with us. We can’t risk ignoring or denying the Lord. We can risk being known as a Jesus follower.
Jesus died on the cross to forgive sins. People in the crowd at the cross saw and mourned. Some of Jesus’ friends and followers were eye witnesses too. The Muslim faith that says Jesus was not crucified is wrong. The Gnostic teachings that God’s Spirit left Jesus before the crucifixion is wrong too. Jesus true God and true man died on the cross to take away the sin of the world.
It took the Roman soldier in charge of Jesus’ execution to recognize that He was someone special. One criminal and one one Roman soldier see Jesus for who He really is on the cross. How do you see Jesus? Is He just another religious leader, a morals teacher? Or is He the innocent Son of God who took away our sins on the cross? No one else can answer that question for you.
We want to know people’s last words. We know Jesus’. “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” Jesus trusted God the Father to the very end. So can we every moment of every day.
Giving thanks can give us joy. Try thinking of 5 things you are thankful for every day. They can be little things like an unexpected smile. Develop an attitude of gratitude and you may find out that you are happy too.
When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the temple that separated the most holy place from the rest of the Temple was torn in two. That room stood as a symbol of God’s presence. The High Priest entered that place only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people. Jesus died to remove the barrier between God and people. The curtain was torn in two and the barrier is gone. We have direct access to God in Jesus Christ.
Darkness covered the land when Jesus hung on the cross. The darkness of sin was attempting to overcome the light of God’s love. Jesus, the light of the world, overcame the darkness of sin on Easter morning. God’s love continues to shine on us even in the darkest days. Darkness cannot overcome God’s light.
I am out early today for the final morning of the Christmas Shoe Box project. Thanks to all who helped in any way to bring the joy of Christmas and the love of Jesus to kids all around the world.