• East Martin CRC

Rest in Peace Dear Jesus

Matthew 27:57-66

Verse 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

He is dead. Some of His friends had followed Him to the cross and watch the sight that they never could have imagined would happen, Jesus, the one that they believed to be the Messiah was dead. That wasn't all He was to them though, He had been their friend. In fact for the last three years or so they had spent most of their days with Him, following Him from town to town, learning from Him and marveling at who He was. But just like that, their world had changed.

Joseph was one such follower. This man had grown to love Jesus so much that he wanted to be of service to Jesus even after His death. So he goes to the Roman governor and asks for Jesus' body. We know from John 19:39 that Nicodemus was also with Joseph and that they had 75 pounds of burial spices which they used as they wrapped the body according to the custom. Now touching a dead body would make them unclean for the Sabbath but that didn't concern these men because their love for Christ was greater than the law. They seemed to have learned what Jesus kept trying to tell the religious leaders about what it really meant to observe the Sabbath.

The men weren't alone. Sitting off to the side are two women who had followed Jesus and who seem frozen as they stay even after the men roll the stone in front of the tomb and walk away.

The next day, the Sabbath, the Pharisees again appear. This time seemingly breaking their own Sabbath laws which they were always condemning Jesus for breaking. They go to the Roman Governor and prove that they had listened to Jesus teach. They say they are concerned that the disciples will try to steal the body claiming Jesus had risen from the dead as He said He would. What they don't know is that they are playing right into God's hand and are providing a source of proof that He wasn't taken out of the tomb and so must have gotten out another way. But that only leads to another sin of hush money.

So other than an occasional word between guards at the tomb, there was a hush in this garden during the Sabbath.

Making it personal

Take this day of solemn remembrance to reflect on what it was like to have lost such a dear friend and mentor. Maybe you have already lost someone like that in your life. If you were to die today, would anyone be feeling loss because of your mentoring? What can you do to leave an imprint of Christ on someone's life?

Making it personal kids

Can you imagine how sad Jesus' friends were? How big do you think the container was that held the spices? Draw a picture of what you think the garden tomb looked like. Remember to to draw a large stone over the door of the grave which was kind of like a cave.

Closing prayer

Father, there must have been an uneasy quiet in that garden that Sabbath day. Give us an awareness of the varying emotions the believers were feeling that day. Make Yourself real to us as we ponder Your Son bound in burial cloths awaiting the day of resurrection. In Jesus' name, amen.

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