Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jesus Christ, Goes Before Us- April 23, 2011

Isaiah 53:8-10 (New International Reader's Version)
8 He was arrested and sentenced to death.
Then he was taken away.
He was cut off from this life.
He was punished for the sins of my people.
Who among those who were living at that time
could have understood those things?

9 He was given a grave with those who were evil.
But his body was buried in the tomb of a rich man.
He was killed even though he hadn't harmed anyone.
And he had never lied to anyone.

10 The Lord says, "It was my plan to crush him
and cause him to suffer.
I made his life a guilt offering to pay for sin.
But he will see all of his children after him.
In fact, he will continue to live.
My plan will be brought about through him.

Mark 15:42-47 (New International Version, ©2011)

42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.

46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

Matthew 27:62-66 (New International Version, ©2011)
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

There is an appointment that all of us will have one day. It will be one, that no matter how hard we try to delay it's coming, will ultimately be kept. The appointment will be on the day that we leave this life; the day of our death. This is not a very pleasant thought, and many of us have had to mourn those who have gone before us, but we too will have to keep the appointment with our death.

He was sacrificed for our sins, experienced death, and was placed in the grave. There is no doubt that He went through death, although those who would seek to not accept it, try to minimize this historical fact. Jesus fulfilled a seven century's old prophecy and as He did in life, experienced what we all will go through.

For many this thought brings about fear and trembling, but for the Christian, it should bring us peace and anticipation, because our Savior Jesus has gone before us. The comfort He brings us is that if we acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord, He will be there waiting for us when our body is laid in the grave. He will be there to meet us when we show up for our appointment.

Although we might mourn our Savior's death, we do not lose hope, because He has experienced what we will all someday go through, and is familiar with our ultimate end. He goes before us so that we do not have to fear death.

Photo "Peaceful Graveyard" by Antonioni, 5-8-2007,from stock.xchng

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