“Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.
Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” ~John 19:38-42 NLT
Today is the day before Easter...the day before Resurection Sunday.
As I reflect quietly with God over what this day must have been like over 2,000 years ago, it's hard for me to think about Jesus in the tomb and not feel the deep pain that death has delivered to my own heart.
Death is such a boastful thing...it cares not if you are rich or poor...loved or lonely...Death always boast a loud victory over all of life...and Death's greatest desire is to destroy forever the hope and joy in those who are brushed aside in its wake.
I can too easily imagine the great sorrow felt in Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus as they wrapped Jesus' body in linens and laid our Lord inside that tomb. I imagine that before they left the tomb's cold walls, they briefly looked back and saw their Hope and Joy was laid beside Him as well. The stone was rolled and death covered over their hearts with crushing force.
Dark days...dark thoughts...darker future. It seems death has conquered the Unconquerable...Life loses to Death.
Than something amazing happened! Three days from Jesus’ last
Hope and Joy left that grave too...both revived thru the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need not fear death's sting nor believe its deceptions that our loved ones are gone from us forever. Jesus made the way for us to be forgiven of all our sins and dwell with God our Father. How?
By simply accepting Jesus is the Son of God...who died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins...that whomever will believe in Him...shall not perish but have eternal life!
"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!
- Bill Gaither Because He Lives lyrics
“Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” ~ Matthew 28:1-6 NLT