Dead and Buried (03-04-21)
Bible Reading: Matthew 27:57-61, 1 Peter 3:18-20
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
Anyone who has lost a loved one after a serious illness will recognise the silence that follows the death. The battle for life is over, the hopes of recovery are dashed, there is nothing left to do. There is just silence.
Easter Saturday, or Holy Saturday as it is often called, is a day of silence. Good Friday has seen the harrowing events of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, and Easter Day will see the glorious event of Jesus’ resurrection. Between these two days there is silence. On earth at least. Jesus is dead and buried, wrapped in grave clothes, and sealed in a tomb by a big stone. The hopes of the disciples are dashed, and a sword has metaphorically pierced Mary’s heart, as Simeon had said it would.
There may have been silence on earth, but in Jesus’ case something was happening in the spiritual realms. The Apostles’ Creed tells us that he descended to the dead and that on the third day he rose again. Jesus had explained all this to the disciples beforehand, but they appear to have forgotten.
The truth of resurrection following death is seen in the physical world as spring follows winter, but it also seen in the spiritual world as God transforms seemingly dead situations to bring new life.
But between the death and the resurrection there is often silence.
Are there situations in your life where you have suffered a major bereavement? Not necessarily a death, it could be the loss of a job, a broken relationship or a serious illness or injury.
Have you seen the new life that follows a bereavement? If so, thank God for his faithfulness.
If you are still in the silence between the death and the resurrection, will you trust God to bring you safely through in his time?
Faithful God, help me to remember your promises and to trust you in the silence, as I wait for resurrection and new life.
Behold the author of our salvation.