Byline: Anand Peter
Things are one way one day, and the next day they are totally different. One day someone you have known is here, the next day they are gone. One day you think you are well, the next day you discover that you are extremely ill. One day everything in your life is going well, the next day everything has fallen apart. One day it appears that there is no hope for your situation, the next day your problem has been solved. It is true that many changes can occur over the course of one day.
When the realisation struck the disciples and followers of Jesus, as they reflected on the despicable events of the previous day, the huge 450kg stone that closed and sealed the tomb of Jesus, seemed to proclaim, ‘It’s all over! It’s all over! Hope is gone! There is no future! There is no salvation! There is no kingdom! Jesus the King is dead! It’s all over!’. They were in total confusion and mental shock as things started to happen in quick succession beginning at the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night. They witnessed the gory trial of Jesus; they saw how most people seems to be against Him; they saw Him flogged mercilessly; they saw Him nailed to the cross.
They had placed all their faith and confidence in Jesus. They believed that He was the Messiah. They believed that He was the One Who was going to fulfil all the ancient prophecies. They believed that He was the One Who would be the King of Israel. They believed that He would establish God’s kingdom on the earth. All their hopes for life and eternity were bound up in what they believed about Jesus. But all their fondest hopes and dreams had crumbled to the ground as they stood at the cross and watched Him die. Faith turned to grief and grief to utter hopelessness as they saw His broken body taken down from the cross and placed in that tomb. When that stone was rolled across the door of that grave, it was a ringing statement of finality.
Life must move on, they must have decided, though sans their beloved Master and Saviour.
When the Sabbath ended, on Saturday at sunset, they emerged from their homes, went into town and purchased “sweet spices” to “anoint” the body of Jesus. Embalming spices are poured on the body which is already wrapped in linen strips. The perfume these women were intending to use would have served the purpose of masking the smells of decomposition. Their intention is to go to the tomb early morning on Sunday and perform one final act of love and service to the Lord Jesus Christ. For them, it was a way to have a closure concerning His death. Broken hearted, filled with sorrow, grief and fear they decided to make that 2-mile trip from Bethany, where they lived, to the tomb just outside the city of Jerusalem early on Sunday. They excepted to see a dead body, not knowing that an empty tomb awaits them.
And, that is where so many of us are today. We are still living in the Saturday, and we do not even realise that Sunday has come! People move through this world enslaved to their sins, Ephesians 2:1-3. They move through this world oblivious to the God Who lives to save them, Rom. 1:18-21. They move through this world without joy, without peace, without hope, trapped in their sins and headed to Hell. The problem with the majority of people is that they are trapped in Saturday. They live in the darkness of their sins and depravity and are unaware that joy unspeakable and full of glory could be theirs if only they knew that the tomb was empty, that Jesus was alive and that they could be delivered from the bondage and the darkness of their sins.
When we meditate on the events of that Glorious Sunday, we will hear the message of the empty tomb. A huge stone seems have been rolled away from the hearts of those sad, sorrowful, grief-stricken women who were first at the tomb. That message brought them out of the gloom of defeat into the glory of life. It can do the same for you and me! Hear that message and heed it today! Let Jesus roll the stone away from our hearts. Amen
Sacrament of Eucharist by Anand Peter
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