Easter Activity: Day 11

Scripture: “Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left.”   Matthew 27:59-60
The Scriptures tell us that Joseph was a righteous man, a follower of Jesus and a rich member of the religious high council, who did not agree with those around him. When Joseph hears that Jesus is dead, he takes a risk and asks Pilate for Jesus’s body. He knows that it is most likely that Jesus does not have a place prepared for His burial. He does not want Jesus’s body to be further abused, so in a final act of love and respect, Joseph takes Jesus’s body, wraps it in a burial cloth and places it in his own tomb. So that no one can further hurt Jesus’s body, Joseph takes a large stone, rolls it over the entrance and leaves.
Mary Magdalene and another Mary, watch carefully to see where Jesus’s body has been put, and then go home to gather what they will need when the Sabbath is over to fully prepare His body for burial. The actions of Joseph and the two Mary’s are done out of love, respect and honor, and come at potentially great risk to themselves—especially Joseph. Each of them longs to honor Jesus in death as well as life.
Yet their actions also reveal what they believe—that nothing is stronger than death and that Jesus is forever dead. They had heard what Jesus said about rising from the dead. They had seen Him raise others from the dead, but watching Jesus be beaten, tortured, crucified and finally die was too much for their minds to overcome. What body could survive all that and come back again? I don’t know what they were thinking, but their actions tell me they believe Jesus is not coming back.
I can relate to that. It can be very difficult to look at the world around us, the hard things that happen, the suffering that takes place and believe what Jesus says instead of what the world looks like.  When we meet people who are hurtful and unkind, it can be hard to believe that Jesus can change them and restore them. Sometimes like Joseph and the Marys, it seems easier to simply do the best we can, accept defeat, and walk away. But what this verse reminds me of is that nothing trumps the word of God. Jesus said He would rise again, and He did. He said He came to set free every person tied up in sin, and He has. He said His death would enable us to be in relationship with God, and it has. He promised to send us the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us, and He has. He said He is coming back to get us, and He will. He said He is getting the house all ready for us, and He is. He says we can know the power of the resurrection in our own lives, and we can.
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”   Romans 8:11
Questions: What situations or people seem bigger in your life than God’s power? What verse reminds you of what is true about God over the problem? Have you ever walked away from a situation or person because you thought God wasn’t able to work in it or them? Remember, sometimes there might not be anything We can do. We don’t have the answer. And we might have to step back. BUT—we can expect God to work. We don’t have to be afraid. We can anticipate His Spirit moving and producing new life in that which was dead—just like He did for Jesus. We can “watch and pray” like Jesus urged the disciples to do in the garden. We can choose to believe in the Words of God more than we believe what our eyes can see right now. We can give offerings of praise and thanksgiving.
“That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.”   Romans 4:17 NLT
Activity: As you listen to these songs, March (if you’re the marching kind), or walk around your house and yard. Prepare the way for the Holy Spirit to come into all your places and people. Rejoice!!!! Jesus is coming!!!!
Songs: “Your Promises” / “What a Beautiful Name” / “Fight My Battles” / “Pour My Love On You” (Philips, Craig and Dean)