easter reflection: Burial

If you haven’t already, read the story Burial.

If you have heard this story before, you will know what is still yet to come…

But I wonder if you are able to imagine what it might have been like for those who had witnessed the events of this day?

Jesus was dead! There was no mistake.

Imagine, if you can, what thoughts were racing though the minds of those who knew Jesus. Imagine how they must have been feeling.

They had lost a friend, a teacher, a son, a brother.

This man from Nazareth, a carpenter’s son, who had grown up to become one of the most amazing, intriguing and compelling people to walk the dusty roads of Judea, Samaria and Galilee. Some had said he was a prophet. Some said he was the promised One; the Messiah. So many people had hoped he would liberate the Jewish nation from Roman tyranny.

But now he was gone – dead and buried in a borrowed tomb.

As you think about the characters in this story – those who took part as well as those standing on the sidelines watching – what questions do you think they were asking? How do you suppose they thought their future might look now?

Is is tempting to ignore this aspect of the story; after all, we know what is coming. But it is important for us to sit with the grief and despair. The gravity of what has just taken place is central to the greater narrative of what God is doing in the human story. It is also important to contemplate the timing in which these events take place. For example:

The festival of unleavened bread began Friday evening at sunset. As part of the festival, the Jews would take some of the grain—the first-fruits of their harvest—to the temple to offer as a sacrifice. In so doing, they were offering God all they had and trusting him to provide the rest of the harvest. It was at this point that Jesus was buried in the ground as he said just before his death. Paul refers to Jesus as the first-fruits of those raised from the dead in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23. As such, Jesus represents the fulfillment of God’s promise to provide the rest of the harvest, the resurrection of those who follow the Messiah.

Adapted from “How the Passover Reveals Jesus Christ” by Rich Deem

As Jesus’ body lay in the cold darkness of that sealed tomb, all over the land Jewish people were gathering in the warmth of their homes to eat the Passover meal together. Think about that for a moment.

As a way of responding to this story, I wonder if you might consider doing something a little out of the ordinary. take a piece of bread (any type will do) and go out into your garden and place it under a rock or stone. If you don’t have a rock, you can bury it by covering it with soil. Then spend some time in quiet reflection. As you recall the story (or read it again from your Bible), try to imagine what it would have been like to be a witness to these events.

Before you finish, spend some time thanking God for His most precious gift to you… the gift of His one and only son.

Record your reflections, observations and questions in your personal journal and feel free to share what you are learning in the comments below.

Comments are moderated to ensure they are relevant to the story and questions above.

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