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And After Three Days ...

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04_Apr_After Three Days 1

“And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things,
and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed,
and after three days rise again."
Mark 8: 31

The body of the Lord Jesus was taken down from the cross by loving hands, namely those of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. There may have been others but the Bible doesn’t tell us about them.

When all of the rest of the world was afraid, these two men boldly came out from the shadows and identified with the risen Christ. This wasn’t a spontaneous action but something they were both prepared for and waited for quietly until the right moment. A tomb had been prepared for the sacred body of the Lord Jesus by Joseph, and herbs and spices were prepared by Nicodemus. Jesus Christ had a burial fit for a king; so that Scripture might be fulfilled:

“And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death ...”
Isaiah 53: 9.

Both Joseph and Nicodemus were Pharisees, so they would have been familiar with this particular verse of Scripture as well as many others that spoke clearly of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Both of these men had an important role to play and they were about to embark on an act that would separate them once and for all from their former life. By handling the body of this Man who had been rejected by the world they were identifying themselves with Him and therefore -

Life for them would never be the same again - and they knew it.

Because of their noble action they would immediately be expelled from the Sanhedrin; which was the ruling council of that day and probably ostracised by all if not most people who were part of their lives, but they didn’t mind; for they had what they wanted and were doing what they knew God wanted them to do.

As they carefully carried the body to the tomb and laid it to rest, there were some women who watched from distance so they could come back at the first available opportunity to do their part later on. There was nothing else for the men to do after the anointing oil and swaddling bands had been applied, their work was finished, so reluctantly they left and a stone was rolled across the entrance of the tomb and sealed shut. Roman guards were posted there to make sure no one could tamper with the tomb’s contents. The sun later set on the scene ....

What heaviness and what emptiness must have filled the hearts of those who had previously followed Him. What bitter regrets must have been there in the heart of those who knew they should have been with Him in His darkest hour but forsook Him and fled. What inconsolable sorrow must have been Peter’s lot after having denied his Lord with oaths and swearing. Their Lord was dead, and the brutal way that He had been taken away from them only added to their sorrow.

When He was alive He brought so much promise to everyone He met. The change He brought people’s lives was phenomenal. Who else had the ability to do what He could do and more importantly, who else spoke like this Man did? Earlier on officers had been sent to arrest Him and take Him away but they returned empty handed – their reply to those who sent them was:

“Never man spake like this man"
John 7: 46.

Peter said on one occasion:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”
John 6: 68.

Somehow when He was with them their lives were complete but now all everything was so dark and empty!

That was until the third day had arrived ... Everything changed on that day!

The sorrow and bewilderment of the women who came to anoint His body only to find that it wasn’t there anymore was soon to be replaced with comfort and joy. The sorrow of a woman called Mary who remained at the tomb was soon to be replaced with unspeakable joy when she encountered the risen Lord. Peter’s inconsolable sorrow and regret dissolved when he had the privilege of being the first of the disciples to have an audience with his Lord.

The rest of them who were locked behind closed doors for fear of the Jews were emboldened by the risen Lord Jesus who appeared before them. And so on and on it went, one incident after another of once shattered lives on account of the horrifying death of the One they loved so much were restored, comforted and emboldened at the sight of the living Lord Jesus.

What a difference this living One makes in the lives of all who trust in Him.

As important as His death is to those who believe on Him and trust Him fully, it would be without significance were it not for the fact that the One in whom we believe is alive! For the Bible tells us:

“... If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ,
we are of all men most miserable.”
1 Corinthians 17: 17,19

Because of what happened on the third day after He was crucified we also can know the joy and comfort of His presence with us. He promised He would never leave those who have trusted Him fully. And because He is alive we can face the problems that life brings before us, no matter how great or how small those problems may be. The knowledge of the fact that Jesus is a real Man alive in heaven today makes all the difference in the world.  One thing is almost certain – if Joseph and Nicodemus didn’t have the quiet assurance that their Lord was going to raise again from among the dead they probably would not or could not have faced the outcome of their actions.

So, the question must be asked just one more time - what does this all mean to you?

04_Apr_After Three Days 2

 Here's a little bit of Easter joy for you at Youtube.

 

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>> Do you have any questions or comments about the wonderful news that Jesus is alive?  I would love to hear from you -
      why not say hello down below!

 

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