Thursday, 28 July 2011
Have you ever had a friend or loved one raised from the dead?
Have you ever heard that someone special to you was dead, gone to their funeral, seen their coffin lowered into the ground and covered with dirt, gone home and grieved over your terrible loss . . . and then, a few days later, seen that person alive and walking around?
That’s what happened to the disciples. They were not just pretending to grieve over Jesus. They were not just keeping a secret, acting as though they didn’t know that Jesus was really alive.
In fact, they knew to the contrary that Jesus was dead. There was no doubt about it. The Roman centurion had pronounced Him dead, Pilate had affirmed He was dead, Joseph of Arimathea had taken His body and carried it into a tomb, poured spices on it and wrapped it snugly in a linen cloth and then released the huge disk-shaped stone so that it would roll down the incline over the opening of the tomb, and then he had walked away, knowing that Jesus’ dead body was in that tomb.
I’m afraid we have lost the wonder of the resurrection. Focus your mind on this reality. Jesus, born in a manger, who grew up and lived as a man, was killed on a cross and buried in a tomb. He was a man like you and me. He died and was buried. He stopped breathing. His body went into rigor mortis and then began to decay. He was not “dying.” He was “dead.” Buried. For three days.
And then He was alive again. That same Jesus. The same one who had been alive before and then had been killed. He was alive again.
That is the amazing miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It ought to fill us with awe and wonder. We ought not to be able to say “He is risen” without feeling a shiver up our spine.