Trust Come Sunday Morning – Shattered or Sacred? #5 in the Series
Let’s pick up where we left off yesterday, Saturday. (Please click the link if you have not read the previous post and read it FIRST. Trust me, it’s important.)
We were walking in the shoes of Jesus’ followers the days after he had been killed on the cross. They are in hiding and afraid for their lives.
The 3rd Day
Today, is the third day after Jesus died. It was so late after we got Jesus’ body in the tomb no one was able to wash him or put any of the embalming spices on his body. As soon as the Sabbath was over several of the women started preparing. They have been up all night. Just before sunrise some of us plan to go to the tomb and anoint his body.
But everyone is frightened for their lives. How are we going to get there and back safely? Not to mention the fact that somehow we have to get the soldiers to roll the stone away from the entrance and not arrest us!
I’m frightened, but these other women . . . they’re spiritual giants! They are all so much stronger than I am. Plus, some of them are Jesus’ family so surely the soldiers won’t arrest them. They include two of his Aunts, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Salome, the mother of James and John Zebedee, Mary Magdalene, a woman Jesus healed, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza (Luke 24:10), and maybe even Mary, his mother. But I can’t imagine how she could help embalm her own son.
They are determined to do this for Jesus.
Oop, the others are heading out.
Come on, let’s go.
To The Tomb
The path is rocky because the tomb is in an abandoned limestone quarry. A wealthy man, Joseph of Arimathea owns the tomb. Rumor has it he had to pay Pilate under the table to get Jesus’ body. After they took Jesus off the cross they put his body in Joseph’s tomb. As soon as they put it in there, Pilate had his soldiers roll a giant stone in from of the entrance so no one would steal the body. Right! Who would steal a dead body? Even Jesus’.
It’s barely light out but we’re moving quickly so fewer people see us. Mary Magdalene is crying. Joanna takes her arm and comforts her. I can’t believe these women are doing this. They are so brave.
After about ten or fifteen minutes we round a corner and see the tomb.
But wait, the stone is already rolled away from the entrance? And the doorway has a strange light coming out of it? What’s happened?
And where are the soldiers?
Mary Magdalene runs ahead of us and looks into the tomb.
She calls back, “His body is not here.”
What? No body?
His body isn’t in the tomb? What could have happened? Did the soldiers steal it?
Oh no! Tell me this isn’t happening!
I think I’m going to throw up!
You, crowd to the front and look inside the tomb. Is it true?
Someone behind us screams.
We spin around and see two men in brilliant glowing white garments standing beside Mary Magdalene!
Everyone is terror-stricken!
We all hit the ground.
Then one of the men calmly says, “Why are you looking for living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen. Remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again,” Luke 24:4-8.
My heart pounds in my ears so I’m not sure but I think he said Jesus is alive.
After a moment I hear Mary Magdalene boldly state, “Yes, I remember that. I didn’t understand it then.” I hear her get up, “I will run tell the disciples.”
But I’m so afraid I can’t move. How about you? Have you ever seen an angel before? Or heard one speak?
The other Mary is in the dirt right beside me. She gets up and runs after Mary Magdalene.
They are running to tell the others and I’m laying here on the ground too scared to move. How embarrassing.
I can see the rest of us are looking around as best we can from our ground facing vantage points.
I don’t see the angels, do you? No? Let’s sit up and see if they’re gone.
Peter and John
We all sit there bewildered. Still afraid.
The others talk about getting out of here before anyone sees us. But you and I sit here dazed.
Peter and John come running up. Peter gets there first, runs to the tomb entrance and looks inside and steps back looking bewildered. John runs right past him into the tomb.
Let’s go see what he’s doing.
Emboldened because of Peter and John we run to the entrance of the tomb.
John is standing there looking at the burial clothes. The sudarium, the cloth which covered his face, is carefully folded and placed to the side. The others are in a pile. Empty.
How can this be?
Jesus is dead. Everyone watched him die on the cross. They carried his body here.
But the angel said he is alive.
What could this mean?
What could have happened?
I’m so confused.
So very confused.
This can’t be. He’s dead.
Stone, Cold, Dead.
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And if you have missed the previous posts in the trust series, here are the links: