Leviticus 19-20 Matthew 27:51-66
“He put Jesus’ body in a new tomb that he had cut out of a wall of rock, and he rolled a very large stone to block the entrance of the tomb. Then Joseph went away. Mary Magdalene and the other woman named Mary were sitting near the tomb.” (Matthew 27:60-61 NCV)
All of Christianity hinges on the Resurrection. If the Resurrection isn’t a true story of what happened after Jesus died, then Christianity becomes a collection of good teachings – and those teachings would be flawed because Jesus based His teachings on the promise of His resurrection. Some would explain away the resurrection by claiming that the disciples didn’t know where the body really was buried, yet this passage shows the two Marys watching the tomb. The Pharisees and Sadducees recognized that Jesus taught about the resurrection a little later in this same passage and requested that Pilate guard the tomb because of that teaching. Whatever you want to believe about the resurrection, you can’t say that Jesus didn’t foretell it, and you can’t claim that the disciples lost track of the tomb.
Another smokescreen that people use is to claim that Jesus didn’t really die. A soldier pierced His side with a spear, and water and blood came out of the womb. They took the nails out of His wrists and His feet. Joseph put Him in a tomb and covered it with a rock that the Romans ended up guarding. Jesus died on that cross and He was doornail dead. He was sealed in the tomb with a rock that was so heavy that no man who had “swooned,” as some would say, would have been able to push it out of the way. Jesus really did die that day, and He died to pay the penalty for our sins.
Lord, even as I remember the resurrection, let me see and feel the impact of Jesus’s death on the cross. He died for me. He died for all. Help me to show others how much You love them as they realize how much they’ve been forgiven.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.