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Now the end was near. Jesus’ breathing on the Cross was so labored those watching expected death to come at any moment. But then, in an unmistakable voice of triumph, Jesus cried out, “It…is…finished!” (John 19:30) The words rang with victory, with accomplishment! It was as if His perspective on this whole ordeal was that a work was being done. The tone of His voice spoke of completing something that had been planned from eternity past. The books were now balanced! He had paid man’s debt to God: That debt of one perfect life which man had incurred in Eden when he used, for selfish purposes, the perfect life God had loaned him. Jesus’ perfect life had been offered up as a sacrifice to God to pay man’s debt. The work was now accomplished! (Colossians 2:13-15)
A few moments later, Jesus uttered His last words from the cross. Focused on the Father, He was heard to say, “Father, into Your hands, I commit My spirit.” (Luke 23:46) Though His body was weakened beyond exhaustion, the words rung distinctly with inexhaustible faith! He was entering death, but He was believing the promise recorded in Psalm 22 that God would not leave Him in death. The vision of God would be accomplished in Him! With these last words, Jesus bowed His head and released Himself into the realm of death. (John 19:30) Now it was in the Father’s hands. What faith is here expressed by the Son of God! He would face all that death had to offer with only the naked faith in what God had written through prophets hundreds of years before. Here He models for us the truest example of “walking by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) When all is said and done, the ultimate question is always: “Do I believe what is written in the Scripture?” Jesus did.
Now His followers around the cross knew they had to act quickly. The Passover was rapidly approaching, and no such spectacle as the sight of a dead body in public would be allowed. There was little time to think of the pain of grief that they were feeling. They simply had to get that body into a tomb. Joseph of Arimathea gladly offered his nearby tomb as a resting place for Jesus’ body. As lovingly as the urgency of the moment would allow, they lowered Jesus’ body from the cross and wrapped it in a large, clean sheet of cloth. Having wrapped His head in a separate cloth, they hurriedly carried His body down the hill to Joseph’s garden tomb. There they laid it on the cold stone slab carved inside the tomb and watched as a huge stone was rolled over the entrance. (John 19:40-42) Roman soldiers sealed the tomb with the Governor’s seal and set up their guard. The enemies of Jesus had demanded the guard because they knew He had said He would rise from the dead after three days. (Matthew 27:62-64) They didn’t believe it, but they didn’t want His followers to steal the body and spread a lie that He had arisen. The ideas of this hated Nazarene carpenter must be snuffed out!
Those who had followed Him quickly left, uncertain as to what to do next. They finally decided to go to a certain house, seeking to comfort one another while at the same time trying to hide from the authorities. For all they knew, the religious leaders who had condemned Jesus may be coming for them next. Their minds were tortured with the horrendous killing of Jesus they had just witnessed. To even think of dying on a cross made their blood run cold. As the word spread among His followers that Peter, John, and others were gathering at a certain location, more disciples came. Eventually, the entire core group was together again.
Would you have had the courage to meet with them?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.