Messiah in a Grave

BurialIllustration:  “The Entombment of Christ” by Carl Heinrich Bloch, c. 1865.  Etching, oil on copper plate.

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there” (John 19:41-42).

After He was crucified, Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross. The guards ensured that He was dead, and to the watching disciples it probably looked like a hopeless situation. Despite what they saw, God was still in control. His promises were still being fulfilled. He said that his people would make for Messiah “his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death” (Isaiah 53:9). So He was: Jesus died a criminal’s death and was placed in the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb.

Waiting in this dark hour, we remember Jesus’ promise: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). The death of the Promised One looks like a hopeless situation, but God’s promise says otherwise.

The same is true in our lives. Sometimes it looks like evil is winning, like all hope is lost, but we have God’s promise that He is working even when we cannot see it.

Prayer: Dear Lord, sometimes the wait seems long and I lose the expectation of what You are preparing for me. Help me trust You when I cannot see You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

As We Wait: When you feel like God has abandoned you, remember the desolation of Jesus’ death and put your hope in God’s promise of resurrection.


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