April 21, 2022
HAPPY EASTER, EASTER PEOPLE!!!!!!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Do we live our lives like we believe that?
We celebrated on Sunday that the tomb where Jesus was buried was vacant when the women went to care for the body. Jesus had been raised from the dead! Let us picture the garden tomb in our minds for a few moments. In a peaceful garden outside the city gates, there was a new tomb hewn out of the rock. An incredibly heavy chiseled round stone had been crafted to cover the opening. We learn from scripture a little about who owned the tomb. "As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away."
In researching a bit about the tomb, (there is still not a definitive location) the tomb was indicative of one belonging to a rich man since it had a stone that rolled in front of the opening. Most tombs at the time would have had a rock that plugged the opening as only the wealthy could afford a stonemason to chisel a round stone. The stone was probably about 4.5' in diameter and 1' thick. Tomb openings of the time were usually about 3' high and 2.5' wide. Visitors to the tomb would have to stoop to look in or crawl into the small opening. As time passed and the tomb was used by the family, more chambers and niches would be carved out of the stone. They would hold ossuaries (stone boxes that held the bones of loved ones).
What do the women see when they go to the tomb following the sabbath to prepare the body for burial? " On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright, the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he had risen!" Luke 24:1-5
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened."
Jesus was forever teaching. He had told his followers what would happen to him and that he would rise from the dead but they had to see with their own eyes that it happened. The stone did not need to be rolled away, linen clothes did not have to be left just as they had shrouded the body for Christ to be resurrected, but he gave his followers proof.
I have a question for us: How do we demonstrate that we know that heavy stone is rolled away and that the tomb is empty? How do we demonstrate to the world that we know our Savior lives and has taken away our sins? Do our attitudes and actions say that the rock is still covering the tomb and the light of our life is entombed, never to return? Because many have chosen not to look in the empty grave, fear, anxiety, anger, despair, grief, and hate consume them. It is incumbent on us to share the good news of our risen Savior for the transformation of the world.
Happy Easter, Easter People! The Lord has Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!