I plan to get up about 5 am tomorrow morning. I don’t want to miss celebrating the most significant event in world history. Everything and everyone was dying. There was no hope. The world was spinning out of control. Evil wrapped its dirty tentacles around the creation and it died. Beyond the grave there was no assurance of a better world. There was no way to get cleaned up, no way to get rid of the filth. Men studied the stars looking for a sign that would point the way out, but somehow the celestrial bodies never lined up quite right until one day…
they pointed to a manger in a cave-stable on the outskirts of a little town called Bethlehem. Hmmm…just like the prophets said would happen. Some people realized who this baby was and the story began. God had come to earth to talk to us up close and personal about Who He was and what it was He wanted. He came to Israel so He was Jewish and spoke Aramaic. We learn about God through this cultural lens until the day the powerful Jews got tired of having Him around, and crucified Him on trumped up charges. Well, so they thought. Actually, God gave Him(self) up to them as the blood sacrifice needed to save the world. His death happened on Friday.
Friday at lunch my mother’s husband, Terry, asked where Jesus went from Friday after his death till Sunday morning. My husband, the Preacher, said the Scriptures and church tradition have Him going to the dead to preach to them before He showed Himself again to His followers. I hadn’t thought much about it before, but Jesus was busy during his grave days. He wasn’t just lying around in grave clothes. Could it be that behind the stone that blocked the entrance to His tomb no one was there? Was Jesus somewhere else?
At what point was Jesus risen? Joseph of Arimathea, to his own peril, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ dead body. He wrapped the body in a linen shroud and placed it in a tomb chiseled from rock that had never been used. (Luke 23:50-56). The same Scripture says the women followed Joseph and then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. I remember when I was a kid I would think that my toys and stuffed animals would come alive after I left my room. I would run back quickly to try to “catch” them at it. I would love to have been a mouse along the wall of this hand-hewn tomb after the stone had sealed it shut, to have seen what went on in the tomb from Friday after Joseph and the women left until Sunday morning! Jack, over at http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/does-the-bible-tell-us-where-jesus-was-the-three-days-between-his-death-and-resurrection/ goes through a thorough exegesis of what Christ might have been up to on Saturday, but wouldn’t it be marvelous to know?!
I DO know that He came to earth to die for the sins of the whole world and He did die. I DO know that He came out of the tomb on Sunday morning, and when He did that, He showed us that He had conquered death. The whole world changed that Sunday morning. My whole world changed that Sunday morning! I want to celebrate!
He is risen!