THE WORDS OF JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK
(on this day, there are no words of Jesus… He’s in the tomb)
Engage the Word
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate
63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’
64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”
66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Connect the Heart
Today is Saturday. Matthew is the only gospel that records a narrative on the Saturday between Jesus’ death on Friday and his resurrection on Sunday. This part of the story is one of the most important proofs of the historicity of Christ’s resurrection. Because the fearful Pharisees and the power-hungry Romans collaborated to secure the tomb by sealing the 2-ton stone and setting a Roman guard to keep watch, there is no natural explanation for the tomb being empty on Sunday. The Romans could never risk their reputation by allowing anyone to sneak past their powerful guard to attempt to break the seal and roll the stone away. And even if a bribe was paid to get to the tomb, there is still a 2-ton stone that would have to be rolled up an incline – impossible on so many levels.
The only explanation is that the stone was supernaturally rolled away and the resurrected Jesus simply walked out. And the guards were powerless to stop it. But that’s for tomorrow…
Reflect on the Truth
- Have you ever struggled with doubt regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ? If so, what specifically have you struggled with?
- At this point, all of the disciples were struggling. They felt defeated. Their rabbi – the one in whom they had placed their trust for three years – was dead. In the sealed and guarded tomb. It was a long, sad day – because they felt duped. They didn’t know what was coming on Sunday. They must have felt lost. Have you ever been able to relate to the disciples in this way?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “Sometimes I feel lost too – because honestly, I’m not always sure that what I’ve been told is true…”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His Word, His Spirit, and His people.
- They called him an “imposter.” Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic – or he is who he says he is… Lord. Which is he to you?
Depend on the Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit to minister to you in a unique and special way this day – the day between Jesus’ death and his resurrection. This can sometimes feel like an odd day because it’s in some ways just as dark as Good Friday – yet we also live in the hope knowing that the resurrection is true and Sunday is coming tomorrow. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you sit in that tension today. What does he want you to hear, to know, to reflect on?
If you have been participating in the spiritual discipline of fasting during 21 Days, tomorrow we break our fast on Easter Sunday!
If you’d like to explore faith in Jesus, consider joining our Starting Point class which starts on Sunday, April 11 at 9am. Starting Point is an 8-week class that explores the basics of Christianity and is a great introduction to faith.