The Silent Tomb

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. Luke 23:52-53 ESV

Jesus rested in the tomb on the Sabbath as God the Father had rested on the seventh day at creation. There was nothing for Him to do. There were no paths for Him to walk. Jesus laid silently that Holy Saturday waiting in hope for the promise of resurrection. Do you find it hard to wait, to rest and to hope? Remember thKIMG1719at doing nothing and accomplishing nothing are not the same thing. While Jesus lay buried doing nothing He was accomplishing His part for the salvation of the world!

He Couldn’t Stay on the Cross

 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,  Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.  And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.  And Joseph[k] bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  Mark 15:42-46

After the crown of thorns

and after they beat our Lord

And after He cried “I thirst”

Only a bitter cup was offered

After the long nails were driven

And the thief asked, “remember me”

At the foot of the cross they gambled

While His life was giv’n on the tree

Then soldiers were sent to find out

If their deadly job was done well

They came and they pierced His sweet side

And through the wound His blood was spilled

Then a thunder cloud roared overhead

While they stood looking up at His cross

And Jesus hung quietly still

While His friends thought that all hope was lost

But He couldn’t stay on the cross after darknessJanuary 2012 044_crop

Was the rule they required that day

So Joseph of Arimathea

Came to take Him away

He couldn’t stay on the cross after nightfall

While He waited for Easter’s bright dawn

And the mighty breath of the Spirit

And the angel who rolled back the stone

Resolving Conflict

Euodius and Syntyche I beg you by name to make up your differences as Christians should! And, my true fellow-worker help these women. They both worked hard with me for the Gospel, as did Clement and all my other fellow-workers whose names are in the book of life Philippians 4:2-3 (JB Phillips)

grandkids_crop Anyone who has struggled to be a better parent knows that not every day is all hugs and kisses. Maybe life would be boring if it was! The definition of parenting is nothing if it is not conflict resolution. Paul takes a moment in his letter to the Philippian to focus on two people who he loved but who were butting heads in the church.

First Paul steps in and rather than choosing sides he does what any good coach would do in the heat of the game. He calls for a time-out! Sometimes the best thing we can do in working through conflicts is to put the “I”m right – he (she) is wrong” attitude on hold and just take a time out. Sit down on the bench for a minute a day or a week and let everyone’s tempers cool down.

Secondly Paul points out the good in both of the warring parties. They had both worked with him in building the church in their city. They had given themselves to the same goal and put in time and effort for the sake of the gospel. Maybe the first thing we can do after cooling our jets is to take another look at the other person and remember back to when we once worked together for something good. Once when I was breaking up a fight between our boys I had them sit down on their beds until they could tell me a list of three good things about their brother. You should have seen the look on their faces! You would have thought I had sentenced them to a year of hard labor! But remembering the good is the first step back to peace in a home.

Last Paul moves the focus from the past to the future. He reminds them that the most important thing of all will come on that blessed day when their names are read out from the book of life. Our life is a story that has its conclusion on the day when we enter into eternity. The importance of who gets their own way today will suddenly seem small when placed alongside of the view from heaven. The very one we may be at odds with today will be the person with whom we are to share eternity.

In less than two weeks it will be Easter Sunday, That is the day when the greatest conflict of all was resolved. Three days after His terrible suffering on the cross, Jesus was resurrected and came to show the scars in His hands. There written in His own book of life were the marks of a love that restored us to God and offered us a path we could walk on together forever!

Day Seven: 10 Questions for God

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…She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” John 20:15

This day’s question is unspoken but clear. “Where is Jesus?” Often in our daily struggles it seems as if others have come and separated us from our Lord. Some conflict or confusion casts a dark shadow over the fellowship we once had with Him. But as we celebrate the Santa Ceia (communion) once more tonight, I remember Mary Magdalene’s question. Where exactly has Jesus gone? “Where have men come and put him?”. Our eyes fill with tears so we fail to recognize the simple “Gardener” who stands before us. His hands are rough from work, and his skin is dark from long hours spent in the sun. But He is not at all a stranger.It is in fact our Lord who stands to answer our questioning with the assurance of His presence. He knows our heart and has given us a simple remembrance with the bread and the cup. He is alive and is calling our name!