Monday in the Last Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42

Low in the Grave He Lay

“He was crucified, dead, and buried.”  This is a line from the Apostles’ Creed, the oldest creed we have that is accepted by nearly every church communion in the world.  He not only died a real death but was really buried, which in this case was inside a tomb with a stone rolled in place.  Joseph, a respected member of the Sanhedrin, who is described as a good and righteous man, looking for the Kingdom of God, who followed Jesus but secretly out of fear, took courage and asked Pilate for the body.  Even Nicodemus, also of the Sanhedrin, who went to Jesus by night, took courage to bring what was necessary to anoint the body.  Joseph saw to the linen and laid Jesus in his own new tomb where no one had ever yet been laid, the women looking on.  Moreover, we read in Matthew’s Gospel that the next day Roman soldiers were sent with the governor’s blessing to make certain that no one entered the tomb with the purpose of stealing the body and fabricating a story about a resurrection, and this at the insistence of the chief priests and Pharisees who remembered something or other of Jesus saying he would rise after three days.  And I write all of this only to say that Jesus was dead; no one thought otherwise.

It must have been crushing for the disciples.  Although Jesus had told them on at least three occasions that this would happen, they still couldn’t conceive of it.  At times, they had dreamt of a kingdom, with themselves in charge.  At others, they thought themselves willing martyrs ready to give their lives for his. Nothing that they had hoped for came to pass, and now they were hiding, fearing that they would be next.  Of course, matters would change on the third day, and after the coming of the Holy Spirit, they would be turned into different men.  But for now, they are as distraught as any men ever were, and have no idea what they will do next.

I speak of the utter disillusionment that these men felt, knowing that we have felt such as well: shattered dreams, broken promises, unfulfilled expectations.  These are the things that crush us.  We may even wonder if life is worth living anymore.  But hear this: “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18 KJV).  Christians hurt like everyone else, but we must remember that we live in this world only to prepare for the next, the whole reason why Christ came for us.  Please do not despair.  Christians have a real and lasting hope, not a dream.  As Mary Magdalene did on that Resurrection morn, cling to Christ, and let what may happen come.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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