You are currently viewing Foundations of Our Faith 8: Jesus in the Tomb

Foundations of Our Faith 8: Jesus in the Tomb

Foundations of Our Faith Day 8: Jesus in the Tomb

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered… (Matthew 27:59-62, ESV)

This week, we continue our study on the foundations of our faith as we revisit the last days of Jesus’ life here on earth. Follow along with us as we pick back up with the day of His burial, continuing through to His promise to return for us in a coming day! 

Without the benefit of knowing what would come next (the resurrection), Saturday of the first Easter weekend had to have been the bleakest day in all of human history. It was a day that followed an avalanche of bleak moments. Knowing all that Jesus had done in His brief years in public, those who knew Him best must have been filled with shock that day. His disciples had seen Him do tremendous things. He had previously escaped those intent on killing Him; He had healed the sick; He had raised the dead. How could these things be happening to Him? Why wasn’t He making it all stop? I truly wonder if, up to the very moment He took His last breath, His followers expected Him to make it out alive. 

What was it like for Jesus to head into death after all He had witnessed, too? Surely (from our perspective) things were bleak. In chapter 26, Matthew notes that all the disciples left Jesus (vs. 55-56). In chapter 27, he notes that the chief priests and scribes all shouted for Him to be crucified (vs. 22). Shortly thereafter, he tells us that all the people declared to Pilate that the blood of Jesus was to be on them and their children (vs. 25). All His followers left; all the religious leaders who should have known who He was called for His death; all the people—those He came to save—asked for His blood. It was a pretty bleak way for a Savior to die. With all this going on around Him, Jesus took His final breath, died, and was buried in a tomb—a dark, bleak moment leading into the bleakest day. We can feel the desolation in the behavior of His disciples and followers in the hours and days between His burial and resurrection. 

The women that came to the tomb on Sunday morning—what were they expecting? It’s clear they expected a dead body. They weren’t joyfully running to the tomb to witness the emptiness for themselves. No, they brought everything they needed to prepare His body for long-term burial. There was no joy. 

Not long after this, two folks were heading home to Emmaus from Jerusalem, about 7 miles away. It was probably a somber, dejected walk, as evidenced in the words they spoke to Jesus (even though they didn’t yet know it was Him). They told Him that Jesus had been condemned to death and crucified, and they were crushed because they “had hoped that He was the One to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). They had lost the Man in whom they had put their hope. Again—they weren’t joyfully walking home to Emmaus.

Later that evening, His disciples and followers were gathered together and the doors were closed and locked out of fear (John 20:19). This wasn’t a group of people waiting expectantly for Jesus to come strolling in. They were afraid and intent on keeping everyone else out of the room. Stories of a risen Jesus were coming fast and with conviction, but they were not enough to overcome the darkness, the bleakness, and the fear. 
Despite all the uncertainty, agony, and hopelessness in their minds, we can take comfort in knowing that God never stopped working. In the moments when Jesus was buried, locked away in a tomb, they, as mortals, were left with only questions. But during His awful death and while He was buried, God knew exactly what He was doing—and it was perfect. The final words Jesus spoke before dying expressed His trust in His Father. Jesus was confident His Father knew exactly what He was doing, and so He trusted Him even into death. For us today, it can be difficult during times of darkness and bleakness in our own lives. But we can entrust those situations to our Father with the knowledge that He knows what He’s doing in our lives too. I may not understand it, I may not like it, and it may even end with me in my own tomb—yet I can still trust Him. A sinless Jesus died and was placed in a tomb, and that wasn’t a problem for God. Therefore, nothing I’m facing is beyond what He can handle. Will I trust Him? He is certainly worthy.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply