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#Lent2016, Day 40

By on March 20, 2016

Text: Matthew 27:57-66

“Day 40: The Grave”

The central claim of the historic Christian message is that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Tempting though it may be for us to jump quickly from Friday to Sunday, from cross to resurrection, Matthew pauses and brings us through the silence and stillness of the grave.

Many have tried to dismantle the hope of Christianity, suggesting that Jesus had not really died or that eager disciples had stolen his body to substantiate their claims of a risen Savior. Yet Matthew’s interlude between final breath and first appearance speaks unequivocally of a death that was real, a grave that was silent, and a situation that appeared beyond hope.

Romans were thorough in carrying out capital sentences, particularly for those accused of treason. That Joseph was able to retrieve Jesus’ body meant the executioners were satisfied with their handiwork. Jews, throughout the Old Testament, would heap rocks on the vilest of criminals to represent that for some, there would be no life beyond the grave. That a great stone would cover the entrance of the tomb meant that there was no expectation of life beyond this grave. The tomb is still, dark, silent.

This is the fate that should have been ours and the destiny of humanity. And yet, our hope is that through the one who went into the tomb before us, there is a way through and out into a new world of God’s creating. It is the hope that because one transcended the grave itself, we too may experience new life with him. Matthew’s description of the grave is a reminder that the tomb was silent and yet the silence would only last one more day.

Prayer

Our Father, remind us that the darkness of the grave will soon be overcome by the brightness of the third day. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

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EMILIA ASIM

Emilia loves to bring ideas to life, read and write, and is passionate about learning, meeting and connecting people. She has garnered experience in all facets of the Integrated Marketing Communication gamut (especially print, electronic and digital media), youth development and specialised media communications. A graduate (MSc. & BSc.) of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, she has completed various training programmes on Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental & Social Risk Management, Corporate Reporting, Development Communications, Corporate Governance and Executive Coaching amongst many others.