After Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body to be buried. Pilate, though he was surprised Jesus died so quickly, gave the body to Joseph. In Mark 15:46-47 we read about what Joseph did with Jesus’ body, 46 So Joseph brought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in the tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. So… Today we wait. But tomorrow is coming.
Jesus gave His disciples a great example of what His suffering would look like and why it would all be worth it in John 16:21, A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. Through the suffering of birth comes so much joy that a mother will forget what happened moments earlier. This is what Jesus’ suffering was like. I anguish over the thought of what Jesus endured for each of us on the cross. Yet, on Sunday, we will rejoice to know He is risen from the dead for the forgiveness of all our sins. The joy of knowing He is alive and that He suffered for me is overwhelming.
Easter is my favorite day of the year and we are one week away! But before we get to Resurrection Day, we must first remember one of the most difficult weeks in the history of the world. I pray you do not let this week pass you by without think of Christ’s sacrifice for all of us. May you have a blessed week.
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In today’s reading Matthew 17:22-23 stood out to me because of the Disciple’s limited understanding of why Jesus came, 22 When the disciples came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief. The disciples were upset because they did not want Jesus to be betrayed or to suffer, but they missed the bugger picture of the resurrection. Jesus came to earth for one reason and that was to save us. Jesus did this in the most difficult of circumstances, but He did it anyway because He loved us all so much.
When we say “Happy Easter”, we should be over-joyed by what this day represents. The picture below was taken this morning from my backyard. Every time I see a sunrise I want to be reminded of what Jesus did for me and that He is alive; He rose from the dead for me and now I have eternal life because of Him. Jesus endured a tremendous amount of suffering for each of us so we could experience eternal life. Earlier this week we talked about the beginning of Luke 24:6 where the angel of the Lord says to the women who went to Jesus’ tomb, “He is not here; He is risen!” Imagine the emotions of going from “all is lost” to “He is alive!!”.
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Most people can only believe when they see physical evidence. It is one of the reasons why some have a hard time believing in who Jesus is. But this is where faith comes in. In Matthew 16:4 Jesus said, A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Jesus then left them and went away. Jesus used Jonah as an example of resurrection since Jonah was swallowed by a fish for 3 days just as Jesus would later be resurrected after 3 days. Jesus gave the people around Him plenty of information and signs about who He was and what He would do. But without ears to hear and a heart that is willing to believe, they missed the truth, just as people still miss the truth today.
In today’s reading in Hosea we come across a verse Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 15:55, which describes our resurrection from death. Hosea 13:14 says, “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?” (last few words in the verse omitted). Death does not have victory over us when God provides a savior. This is comforting news knowing that none of us will ever get out of this life alive. But there is peace in knowing the end of our earthly bodies does not signify the end of our lives in eternity. There is a lot of peace there.