Can you imagine what Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, the disciples and whoever else that started following Jesus were feeling the day that Jesus was buried? Confusion. Fear. Sadness. Disappointment. Their God was dead. The One who was supposed to usher the new heavenly Kingdom upon this earth was just killed by the current earthly kingdom. The One who raised others from the grave was just placed in his own grave.
For some of Jesus’ followers, He was the latest and greatest thing to pledge allegiance to. Cool sermon, amazing miracles and a heart for social justice. However, many of those people left Him after this day. He was never truly their God and He was now dead. On the other hand, there were some disciples that did follow Him for the right reasons but now they feared for their own lives. They were confused about what to do next and hid. Only Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had enough courage, respect and compassion for Jesus to bury Him properly. Yet they didn’t know what to do next as as they wrapped up his bloody, cold, dead body and placed it in the tomb.
Like Jesus’ followers at the time, we experience many confusing and dark days where we doubt what God has promised or how He is going to accomplish His will. We forget that we’re on the other end of the resurrection and live like He’s still in the tomb. Allow the emotions from today’s text relate but also give hope. He did not stay in the grave. One of my favorite bands wrote a song based off this truth in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 with the following lyrics:
“We were sons of insurrection, doomed to face the dark alone.
‘Till vicarious perfection, dearly won, was made our own.
So where’s your landslide, where’s your victory?
Tell me now, where’s your sting?
Unassailable you waited, the great enemy of man,
’till your awful jaws were sated, and we were ransomed from your hand.
Now that you have been disarmed,
We will cross over unharmed.”
So let’s not hide from the world and be in fear of death or people who persecute us or mock us for our faith. Life will be confusing but we can fully trust and hope in a resurrected Jesus who gives us life.
If you have a few extra minutes today, I’d encourage you to listen to the song mentioned above. It gives me chills listening to it and one time I even cried somewhat embarrassing tears of joy in the gym while listening to it when I was reminded that Jesus has once and for all defeated death and offers that same victory to all who believe in Him.
By: Erik Koliser