…and on the third day!
When we think of Jesus’ followers we often think of the twelve disciples, but there were more than twelve. Joseph of Arimathea was one who followed His teachings.
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Matthew 27: 57
A Man With a Tomb
Joseph in my opinion was a generous and kind man. He was the guy that asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. He was the one who wrapped Jesus in clean linen. What! Wait a minute. That means he allowed himself to become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead body. Rules didn’t stop him from caring for Jesus.
The tomb where Jesus was laid belonged to Joseph. It was brand new, he had it freshly cut out of the rock…and he didn’t hesitate to use it for Jesus. It was Joseph who rolled the stone in front of the entrance to the tomb. Giving up his tomb was generous to say the least, I’m sure they were not cheap even for a rich man. (See Matthew 27:58-60)
Mary and Mary
It wasn’t just men who followed Jesus, women did too. Many were there at the crucifixion including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses. It tells us in verse 61, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.” This is mentioned right after Joseph rolled the stone in place. I wonder how long they had sat there? If they had watched Joseph take Jesus into the tomb and patiently waited for Joseph to exit, not wanting to leave their beloved teacher until the last moment?
With the Sabbath over the women could now go and anoint Jesus body with spices, so off they went just after sunrise. It amuses me that they had no plan as to how they were going to roll the stone away. (Luke 16: 1-3). Plus it doesn’t appear they knew the Romans had put a seal around the stone (Matthew 27: 65-66).
Can you imagine their surprise when they get to the tomb and the stone had been rolled away from the entrance? They knew His teaching that He would rise on the third day…and this was the third day. Somehow they had forgotten this teaching. It took an angel to remind them what Jesus had said about His death and resurrection (Luke 24: 4-8).
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Matthew 28: 8-9
The sadness they felt gave way to worship. He truly was alive. He wasn’t some sort of floating spirit. The put their hands around His feet, they touched Him. What He had said was true after all. He rose from the dead just like He had said He would.
Throughout the gospels we read reports of Jesus talking, eating and even cooking breakfast after His resurrection with His disciples, but the time came for Him to return to heaven where He is now sits at the right hand of His Father. Luke 24:50-51 tells us while Jesus was blessing them he was taken up into heaven.
Then they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
Third Day Perspective
What a difference the day of Crucifixion to the day of Resurrection. From sadness to joy. From unbelief to believing. From mourning to dancing. From despair to hope. From insecurity to secure. It’s surprising the difference a change of perspective can make.
When we look to Jesus, when we believe His truth our perspective changes. Jesus died on the cross and He rose on the third day. He was victorious over death, not just physical death but also spiritual death. He came to give us life, spiritual life first that affects the way we live now, and the way we live in eternity.
Happy Easter Everyone.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.
Anyone who has remotely heard of Jesus has an opinion of who they think He is. To some He is a prophet. To others a teacher. A good man. A wise man. An idiot. A historic figure. Some would say He never existed. Others say He is the Son of God.