Summary: An Easter message for those who are bearing burdens.
CAN YOU BEAR THE SPICES IN THE DARK?
TEXT: John 19:38-42
John 19:38-42 KJV And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.  And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.  Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.  Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.  There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
I. INTRODUCTION -- DARKEST DAYS IN HISTORY
-When we look down the long hallway of human history there have been a lot of dark days.
Some would deem the Atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima a dark day.
Others would conclude that September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center towers toppled and the Pentagon was attacked and another plane went down in a Pennsylvania field falling short of the intended White House.
Some say that the Depression was the darkest days or the attack on Pearl Harbor.
-If you are any student of history at all or even acquainted with elements of history, you have to admit that there have been a lot of dark days throughout the history of man.
II. THE DARKNESS OF THE CRUCIFIXION
-But from the standpoint of those who were close to Jesus and seen and heard and took part in His life, the six hours at His crucifixion were the darkest days in their history.
-The whole day was filled with darkness for the Lord.
Pilate extended to him a cruel scourging.
The soldiers mocked him and anointed him with a crown of thorns.
The Lord was given a robe of purple not to symbolize royalty but to show him derision.
The soldiers anointed him with the bitter vinegar of the sponge.
-He endured incredible pain then add to that the shame of what he had to bear before He died. But there came a time when it seemed as if darkness covered the entire earth.
Mark 15:33 KJV And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
-While the world was mocking Him, little did they realize that there was a darkness that would settle not only on their day but also into the soul.
-While much of the thoughts, especially around Easter is centered on the sufferings of Jesus, can you imagine what those who took Him down from the Cross must have felt? Defeat, hopelessness, and even perhaps the stillness of ultimate and absolute failure.
-Here was the body of the Man that they had literally put the whole hope of their lives on and now He was dead. I have a feeling that that there were many, many tears, perhaps even choking sobs that pulled every bit of the life from them.
-Incredible darkness, a deep, pitching, stifling, choking darkness had come into their soul on that day.
-As the day progresses into the night, there are more who are beginning to return. . . .
John finds his way to the sepulcher.
Peter shakes off his feelings of failure and humbly comes.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene find their way back.
-Their energy has been emptied out. Their red eyes have been exhausted of tears. The energy and the tears have been replaced with a deep feeling of resignation.
-One of the disciples may have very well expressed his thoughts like this:
Now, up to the very last I had not given up all hope that Jesus might yet come down from the Cross, showing forth some might work worthy of a Messiah; nor did I, indeed, know how much hope I had had till this moment where all hope perished. But now, when I turned myself to go away and to leave Jesus forever, all things seemed ended, and I felt as one alone in the world; I did not know whether there was a God or whether I myself had lived, or whether all of life were not a dream.
-What a summation of one of those disciples who must have been there on that day. The fact is that they now are facing more darkness than ever before despite the fact the sun has returned to the skies.
III. CAN YOU BEAR THE SPICES IN THE DARK?