Archive for the ‘Holy Week’ Category

170416After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1-10, NRSV)

Jesus was laid in the tomb Friday evening…

He was dead. When they pierced His side, blood and water flowed, a sure sign of death.

So it was a bit surprising when the Marys head to the tomb to wrap His body and put spices on it that the stone is rolled away and an angel is waiting for them.

And they hear for the first time, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus is not here.

And they believe and run to tell the disciples when they run into Jesus, who also says to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” We have reason to fear when He was dead, but here He is walking with us, but isn’t that what He told us would happen?

Do we not believe He will keep His promises. He said 3 days and I will rise!

So do not be afraid, for He is alive! And He is going to keep all of His promises!

Do not be afraid!

Sign over the exits at St. John’s Lutheran Church Little Suamico. 

170415When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:57-66, NRSV)

The Priests went to Pilate and asked him to guard the tomb of Jesus because He had said when He was alive He would rise after three days. But Pilate would not, he told them they have their own guards, they can go and seal it and protect it.

They were worried He would actually rise, or that it was all a rouse and the disciples would steal His body…

Guards or no guards, God’s plan will not fail.

170414When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way. From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” (Matthew 27:1, 31-54, NRSV)

I have read this passage I do not know how many times and I saw something I have obviously looked over before. After Jesus breathed His last breath, “at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.” When Jesus died, the curtain of the temple tore, but the graves of saints were opened and when Jesus rose, they also rose and entered the holy city and appeared to many!

Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life if you believe in me though you die you live. And there it is in black and white.

Jesus died on the cross and His death brought about life for the saints!

Even the Roman centurion got it.

Do we?