Friday, April 10, 2009

Journey To The Cross - Friday

We awake Friday morning our first day without the presence of Jesus. Today, the day after the Feast of Unleavened Bread and before the weekly Saturday Sabbath that begins at Sundown Friday, Jewish time, today is another regular day that happens to be sandwiched between the two Sabbath day Feast days in this year's original "Jesus Passover" celebration. Therefore with today not being a Sabbath day the usual work including buying and selling can take place. Several people go to purchase spices and ointments Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56 and mix them together to prepare them in order to further anoint the body of Jesus.

Mark 16:1-2 And when the Sabbath (feast of unleavened bread) [Thursday] was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, [Friday] had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day [Sunday] of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

Early in the day we also find out that the Jewish leaders have just conferred with the Roman leaders Matthew 27:62-66 to have guards placed at the tomb of Jesus. This is to prevent the disciples from stealing the body of Jesus and then claiming that He rose from the dead, something I'm sure that no disciple intended to do, after all what good is a dead leader? The tomb is now sealed with a Roman "seal" signifying that the body of Jesus is inside and that all is secure in the tomb. The guards stand in front of the sealed tomb and wait for Sunday.

The intent is that on Sunday the tomb will be unlocked/unsealed and the body of Jesus will be shown to the Jewish leaders and all will be back to normal in Jerusalem because Jesus said that He would live the third day, not the second day or the fourth day. Jesus remaining dead in the tomb on Sunday would reveal that He was not a prophet able to prophesy that He would be alive the third day and also that He is not God able to overcome human death. There is no chance to enter the sealed tomb until the three days are up and the seal is removed by the Romans who placed it on the tomb. None of the soldiers on duty have the authority to remove the seal and open the tomb, only the Roman government has the authority to open the tomb and according to the contract with the Jews, it will be after the third day. The frightened disciples are in no condition to reveal themselves as followers of Jesus. So back to the familiar upper room everyone journeys.

In the lonely darkness that comes on with despair the disciples lament that they are not prophets. One proclaims that he is just a herder of flocks from his youth Zechariah 13:4-6. Likewise we sit in the dark and also wonder if we have the spiritual stamina that it takes to make it through this "dark night of the soul." We begin to think about Jesus and His ministry here on earth. We think about the parable of the sower Matthew 13:1-23 and how hard and compacted the soil of our heart is. Emotionally we are against obstacles and unable to push our spiritual roots down any further into fresh new soil. We wonder what has become of Jesus the master Gardener, we need Him. We need the Gardener to pull the weeds of doubt, to help us through life's thorns, to break up the shallow rocky soil and to direct His seed into the good soil of our heart so it can bring forth much fruit.

Oh, it's no use a garden needs a gardener to keep it pleasant. The garden can't maintain itself from the hard soil, shallow rocks and choking weeds. Without a Gardener, the good plants will come to nothing as they are choked out and perish among the weeds and hard soil. We need God's direction and His plan in order for us to fulfill our life's purpose.

Matthew 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure [inventory of the tomb contents], sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

With the death of Jesus comes the Seal of approval from mankind. You can be certain that Jesus died on the cross and you can be just as certain that the dead body of Jesus was in the tomb on this the next day when the tomb was closed and the seal was placed on it. Certain because mankind would have it no other way than that God, would be declared dead, null, and void.

Oh they sealed the right tomb of death alright but they sealed the wrong object. What they should have placed their seal on is on the death of sin, the sin that has separated mankind from the Holy God for all of these years as God knows and as the Christian knows it is sin that has been declared dead, null, and void and not God.

As we reflect on the death of sin, that the penalty for sin has been removed from us by Jesus, do we really understand that the worst that can possibly happen to us is death from sin? But that Jesus died for us so the worst thing that can happen to us has happened to Jesus as He took our penalty for us. Now with the worst behind us thanks to Jesus, we now have the best and a new opportunity as a new relationship with God is now before us.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Praise Him my friend!! He is sooo Worthy Amen! It's a good day, because I have Jesus in my life!
Have a Great Resurrection Sunday!