Lent: A Time for Reflection
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Often the victims of crucifixion were left hanging on their crosses for days. Why? To be an example to others of what happened if you disobeyed Roman authority. But one bold man dared to ask for permission to bury Jesus, who had taken his last breath at 3:00 p.m. on Good Friday.
Who was this man? Scripture tells us his name was Joseph, a respected leader in Jerusalem. After Pilate agreed to his request, Joseph laid Jesus to rest in his own tomb—a freshly hewn tomb from the soft Jerusalem limestone located in a garden.
In Day 40 of Adam Hamilton’s book, 40 Days of Reflection, the author says, “The burial and subsequent resurrection of Jesus points to yet another way of understanding the mission of Jesus as he died on the cross. On the cross, Jesus took all the evil that human beings could muster. He was persecuted the righteous. He was tortured by the powerful. He was crucified unjustly. And finally, he died.”
Did it appear on that Friday afternoon that evil, sin and death had won? Would Jesus be just one more innocent and good man who had been unfairly put to death by the Romans?
Hamilton adds, “The cross was a sign of injustice, jealousy, hatred, bigotry, abuse of power, and every other kind of sin. And on that day, the forces of evil and sin defeated God and goodness and righteousness and life. Death, the great enemy that had reigned since Adam and Eve first turned away from God, had once more proven the victor. All that was left for Jesus’ followers was grief, disillusionment, and despair.”
BUT we know it wasn’t the end of the story. Not by a long shot. “On the third day, He rose from the dead!” What amazing words to hear!
When we look at Good Friday through the lens of the Resurrection, we can exclaim, “He has risen! He has risen indeed!”
On that third day, victory would come. We must remember this when the forces of darkness in our own lives threaten to have the upper hand. Because of that third day, Christ has defeated evil and even death.
Today, let the Lord know how grateful you are that His death and burial were not the end of the story.
Read the following scripture today as you come to the end of this 40-day lent journey: John 19:38-41.
Note to my readers: Thank you for joining me on this 40-day Lent journey. It has been a challenge for me to write a post each day and get it out to you. However, I am grateful the Holy Spirit nudged me in this direction. I’ve heard positive responses from some of you who have shared it with others. Let HIS name be glorified as we celebrate the beautiful message of Easter. Shalom!