Summary: This is the day in which we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Everyone is dressed for the occasion and look great, but there is One in Whom is adorned more so than anyone else. His name is Jesus Christ – the Risen King!
THEY SAW AND BELIEVED
I am thankful this morning that it is Easter. This is the day in which we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Everyone is dressed for the occasion and look great, but there is One in Whom is adorned more so than anyone else. His name is Jesus Christ – the Risen King!
Text: John 20:6 – 8
He was crucified on Friday, but gloriously transformed early on Sunday morning. On Friday (while on the cross) Jesus had been beaten beyond recognition…you would not have known that He was the Son of God, the Second Person in the Trinity. You would have only seen and witnessed the gruesome death of what would appear as a common criminal on Golgotha’s Hill.
The Prophet Isaiah said that –
He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Many movies have been filmed with the attempt of depicting His death, but I would say to you that even Hollywood (with all of it’s special effects) could not have imagined how gruesome His death must have been on that Friday. The essence of His holiness and purity was viciously attacked and “smitten of God”.
All of this was necessary if we were to be cleansed and forgiven of our sins…Jesus would have to die a painful death as the Sacrificial Lamb of God.
After His execution, His lifeless corpse that hung on the cross was bloodied and bruised making it difficult for anyone to brave the nauseating task of removing his remains. As terrible as it truly was, Jesus knew His suffering and death would be worth the price He would willingly pay.
In His final moments he cried out,
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”
In spite of His pain and suffering,
Jesus knew that:
• Sin would be conquered
• Death would be defeated
• Satan would be silenced
• Mankind would be forgiven and redeemed by His shed blood.
Afterwards, when His death was complete, someone would have to prepare His broken body for the grave, and this became the duty of two men: Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. Together, they went to Pontius Pilate and begged for the body of our Lord.
As history would record it, they first had to rig a ladder, and climb up the side of the cross, and then they had to pull His hands off over the nails. There was no way they could get those spikes out of the wood. Once the hands were loosed, they lowered the body of Jesus into a sheet, and would then remove His feet from the nail the same way they did His hands.
With His body fluids drained completely, I doubt there was much left of His broken body left on the cross.
As Jewish custom would have it, they then took the body of Jesus to a new tomb (a tomb never used before that Joseph had prepared for himself).
They washed His body, and made an attempt to preserve the Body of Christ with an expensive mixture of “myrrh and aloe.”
After this, they wrapped Jesus’ body in white linen, folding His arms over His chest. They closed His eyes, kissed His cheek, and placed a napkin over His face.
Nothing of the Jewish customs was forgotten to be done. There was a great deal of respect shown.
The time and money expended (by those few who made it their responsibility to care for the body of Christ) was insignificant by comparison with what Christ had done for them.
Oddly enough - There is no mention of the disciples (who were closest to Him) helping out with this effort.
Those who were given the awesome responsibility of taking the Gospel of Christ into all of the world were nowhere to be found at the end of the day.
You see the disciples were not ready to deal with what needed to be done. They were scared, bewildered, confused, panicked, and distraught. Whatever they thought their reasons were, there was no excuse.
This often happens with some of the servants of Christ who will set everything else aside in order to care for the Body of Christ. That is – Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had purposed themselves to make the extra effort to care for the Body of Christ. There would be no promise of anything in return for all that they did.