A Journey to the Cross and Beyond
Read Matthew 27: 57-66
In this passage of scripture we see the continuation of the story after Jesus has passed on the cross. We see that a wealthy man from Arimathea named Joseph went to Pilot to request the body of Christ. This act was one of sheer boldness as this identified Joseph as a follower of Jesus and also indicated that he still thought that Christ was the Messiah. Joseph stood in the gap and played a vital role in truly showing that Christ was the Messiah and that He did raise from the dead. After properly dressing Christ's body, Joseph had a large stone placed at the entrance of the tomb.v. 60
But the question is raised, if Joseph was a follower of Jesus, why didn't he speak up before Christ was crucified? Where was his boldness then? What gave him the boldness now? Joseph took the risk and presented himself before Pilot and requested the body of Jesus. Surprisingly, Pilot granted this request. So Joseph went about the task of properly caring for the deceased body of Christ. He honored Christ at the cost of making himself foolish in the eyes of others.
As we continue reading in vs. 62 the chief priests and Pharisees play their ironic role in providing evident proof that Christ raised from the dead. They went before Pilot, scared that the disciple of Jesus may steal His body and claim that He had risen, and asked for the tomb to be sealed and for guards to watch over it. Pilot granted this request and we see in verse 66 that this is exactly what took place. The chief priests and Pharisees thought that along with sealing the tomb, they sealed their victory but in actuality this would prove that the tomb had not been opened.
In this time of waiting, the pain and the anguish over the death of Christ was real. The overwhelming sense of defeat even reigned in the hearts of many. The dreams of the Messiah were crushed for some but others remained hopeful. Jesus had claimed that after three days He was going to rise from the dead (Mark 9:31). He claimed that the grave could not hold him and that He would defeat sin.
Could you imagine what it would have felt like in that season of waiting? We know how this story ends but take a moment right now and think back to what it would have felt like to be in the shoes of a follower of Jesus at the time of His crucifixion and burial. Would you have continued to have hope in the waiting or would you have felt the defeat in your heart?
What about right now? Are you currently in a season of waiting? Are you clinging to the hope of Christ in the waiting or are you letting defeat reign in your heart? Well, let me tell you that there was hope in the waiting then and there is hope in the waiting now.
Just as Christ fulfilled His promise to rise from the dead and defeat the curse, if you place your life in the hands of Christ He promises to always be with you. He will never leave you (Heb 13:5) And He even promises that there will be a day when God will completely transform all of creation so that the entire universe will be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14)
One day every stain from the curse will be gone from creation, every tear will be wiped away, there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more weeping (Revelation 21:3-4)
Take a few moments to listen to this song and pray that you would see the victory of Jesus over not just sin and death but over your own sin and death. His victory is yours to be had. Not because you have earned it but because He wants to freely give it to you. May your proclamation be: IN CHRIST ALONE MY HOPE IS FOUND!
The story doesn't end here. Join us again tomorrow as we see Jesus claim victory and defeat through His resurrection!