Summary: Taking a trip past the tomb will impact your life.
A Trip to the Tomb
* We are a ‘traveling people.’ This means we like to take trips. After living here for over 7 years and having lived on the coast for 13, I find it almost humorous about the destinations which are appealing. Those on the coast seem to love the mountains. Those around here (with the mountains so close) love to go to the beach.
* This morning let’s take a ‘trip’ of sorts to the tomb of Jesus. On crucifixion day, Jesus was mercilessly & barbarously killed. A rich man named Joseph asked for & given the right to bury Jesus. Surprisingly to some, Nicodemus (of John 3), assisted Joseph in the burial and from scripture several of the women (I.E. Mary Magdalene, Mary-mother of Joses, etc) followed, watched, and made sure they knew where Jesus was buried. Scripture tells us that because of the upcoming “Sabbaths” they could not do all they wanted in preparation of His burial, so they quickly buried Him & planned to return after the Sabbath to finish.
* Consider what they must have felt as they walked away from the tomb & lay their heads down to sleep knowing their loved one was not done right. I suggest their spirits must have been low. Jesus, the one they loved, listened to, and learned from; the one who had brought them so much hope was now dead & not properly buried.
* Have you noticed the time lapse in the Bible between crucifixion day and resurrection day? Passover was a high and holy time. It was when the nation remembered God’s death angel passing over their ancestors while exacting judgment on the Egyptians. It was a celebration, a party, and NOTHING IS WRITTEN in scripture about that particular Passover. Know why?
* Because no span of time, no holiday, and no life, is worth anything without Jesus. Jesus was in the tomb – & for His friends all seemed lost. The only mention of this time was when the Romans Rulers & Soldiers sealed the tomb to make sure it wasn’t disturbed.
* Personally, I’ve often wondered if the real reason the soldiers & leaders who witnessed the death of Jesus sealed that tomb was to keep people out. Perhaps they were hoping to keep HIM in! Either way, it didn’t work.
* But for the next few minutes consider the women in this story. They were determined to honor Jesus’ death by the ritual of anointing His body, so, Sunday morning, three days after His death; they got up by daylight and were heading to the tomb. As they made their way to His tomb with their spices and oils in hand, we hear them ask what I call;
1. A Pertinent Question – This question is found in verse 3 & it is: “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?” Think about the context of this question. Probably 3 or 4 ladies are headed to the tomb at daylight and they want to anoint Jesus’ body so they His body is adequately prepared for an eternity in the tomb because they have lost sight of His own words that He would rise again. Problem is this; what stands between them & Him is a bolder which weighs approximately 1 or 2 tons. Talk about problem? From a human standpoint their trek to the tomb & question they ask reveal one of the all-time wastes of resources and effort. Here’s why: It will probably take more than 3 or 4 men to move that huge stone away so they can get to Jesus. I confess my carnal thinking as I have often wondered, “What were these women thinking? What was it that drove these ladies to the tomb so absent of the ability to complete their task?” Personally, I believe it was love for the one who had touched their souls so deeply & changed their lives so completely.
* Let us put ourselves in the shoes of these women. Let us take our journey to the tomb of Jesus. We can have everything in our hands & hearts to honor Him & His sacrifice. But, like the ladies faced, there is an obstruction to getting to Jesus. For many, the stone which is sealed in place is our pride. Honestly, we feel like we are doing just fine. We want to see Him, but we don’t really have to. For others, the stone represents that we have embraced other gods in our lives. It matters not what these are (I.E. hobbies, families, schedule, job, money, etc) because they have become our god. They have become our idols. An idol is any good thing which has become the ultimate thing so now they have become bad things in our live. John Calvin said, “The human heart is an idol factory.” Your idol keeps you from Him. Think about the reason you may not pray daily& attend worship regularly.