Sunday, April 8, 2007
1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!" 3So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
I spent friday and saterday in mourning for Christ's death. But today, I celebrate. Do you understand the significance? Our Savior didn't remain dead. My redeemer lives! There were and are people who claim to be the Messiah, but they all fail. There was only one who died on the cross and rose 3 days later. Hallelujah! Praise to God!
My boyfriend Wes wrote something beautiful that I want to share and end with:
Today is the first day of the new week (see John 20:1), the dawn of new creation. Yesterday we were slaves and today we are free for Christ the Lord has risen and defeated the curse of slavery and death. The stone has been rolled away to open up the doors of heaven. The tomb of death has been opened up to a garden of springtime life. No more are we dead in the tomb. We are now alive.
As it goes throughout the Story of God, just the moment you were ready to close the book something miraculous happens. Jesus was supposed to redeem His people and He ends up on a cross. What could God possibly do to get out of this one? Just the time you're ready to close the book and stop reading, something strange happens… Jesus isn't in the tomb. Jesus shows up standing alive and He says to you "Peace be with you" and breathes New Life into you. The victory of God rises out of the death of Jesus in a glorious resurrection.
"Why do you look for the living among the dead?" (Luke 24:5).
Breath deep the breath of New Life for we were dead and now we are alive.
Where there was death, now there is life. Where there was darkness, now there is light. The Tomb is now opened to a magnificent garden; a paradise of peace, for Jesus, the suffering messiah, suffers no more. The sting of death has done its worst but Jesus stands alive in victory's light. "peace be with you!" he calls, for the curse has seen its' last day. Rise and celebrate. It is the first day of the week.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
(Tonight is Good Friday. This is something hard for me to write. It is hard for me to read each of the gospels and stop at the burial of Jesus. But that is what this post reflects. I wish I could see someone read the story of the Bible for the first time. Someone who doesn’t know what Easter is…and have them read this part. It’s something to reflect on…it is not my belief. I know the story, but I choose tonight and tomorrow to experience the story day by day.)
There is a sadness that hangs in the air. Grief floods my heart.
He was what the Jews had been waiting for. But tonight….tonight he died. He wasn’t the savior. But oh, the things he did! The miracles he performed…I was sure he was the one this time. There have been so many who have claimed to be the Savior…this happens all the time. And I guess it happened again. I was so sure he was the savior. There was something so different about him. But we saw him die. And now we grieve for the man who did so much good. He didn’t deserve to die. He did nothing. I am so confused…I thought he was the one.
God, may we be reminded of Your sacrifice. May we remember the covenant. The body that was broken, and the blood that was spilled, so that we could be in communion...in community, in covenant with You. Thank you.
Jesus is crucified
18So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
19Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."
22Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it."
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,
"They divided my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing."[a] So this is what the soldiers did.
25Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The Death of Jesus
28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken,"[b] 37and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."[c]
The Burial of Jesus
38Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.[d] 40Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.