Archives for posts with tag: tomb

White Flower near Christian CrossScripture

Luke 24:1 – 12

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.   They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.  

While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.   The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.   Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,  that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”

Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.   Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.   But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.  

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Prayer for the Day

Dear God,

It is early Easter morning and we make our way, along with the women, to the tomb.  We carry spices, the dew on the grass is still wet, the morning light yet dim.   We speak in soft tones about the task that is before us.  The shock of crucifixion still hangs over us.   At last, we draw close to the tomb where we had seen him laid two days before.  We suddenly stop in our tracks.  Not a word.   The stone that had been there is rolled away.  Slowly, we creep forward – and then we go in.  We shriek as those two men appear.

Their bewildering question:  “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

Their stunning proclamation:   “He is not here, but has risen.”

He has . . . risen?  He has risen!  He Has Risen!   HE HAS RISEN!

Praise God!  Praise God for new life!   Praise God for forgiveness of sin!   Praise God for making all things new!   Praise God!

We stoop to quickly pick up all the spices that we had thrown in our fright.  We scramble out of the tomb, breathing hard.

Whom shall we tell?

Amen

Silhouettes of Three CrossesSacred Writing

The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore.

On the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe.  It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium.  We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him “meek and mild,” and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious ladies.

To those who knew him, however, he in no way suggested a milk-and-water person;  they objected to him as a dangerous firebrand.  True, he was tender to the unfortunate, patient with the honest inquirers, and humble before heaven;  but he insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites;  he referred to king Herod as “that fox”;  he went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a “gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners”;   he assaulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the Temple;  he drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations;   he cured diseases by any means that came handy, with a shocking casualness in the matter of other peoples’ pigs and property;  he showed no proper deference for wealth or social position;  when confronted with neat dialectical traps, he displayed a paradoxical humor that affronted serious-minded people, and he retorted by asking disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by rule of thumb.

He was emphatically not a dull man in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either.  But he had “a daily beauty in his life that made us ugly,” and officialdom felt that the established order of things would be more secure without him.

So they did away with God in the name of peace and quietness.

by Dorothy Sayers,

from A Lent Sourcebook:  The Forty Days

 

Prayer for the Day

Dear God,

This span between the death of your Son on Good Friday and the promise of his resurrection tomorrow is a “no man’s land.”   We are adrift.  Our Lord is dead.  And so there is an emptiness to these couple days.  We are helpless to set it aright.

We are waiting for you.

Amen

Silhouettes of Three CrossesScripture

Luke 22:31 – 23:55 (excerpts)

[Jesus said,] “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”

Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me” . . .

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed,  “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”

Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength.  In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.  When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief,  and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him;  but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?”

When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?”

Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.  But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him . . .

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.  Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.”

But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”

Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.  The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”

And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”   They kept heaping many other insults on him.

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council.  They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”

He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer.  But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?”

He said to them, “You say that I am.”

Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate.   They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”

Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

He answered, “You say so.”

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.”

But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place” . . .

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him.  Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death.   I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!”   (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again;  but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”

A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.”

But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed.  So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted.  He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished. As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus . . .

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.  When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

And they cast lots to divide his clothing.  And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!”

The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”  But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?   And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,  while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.    Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Having said this, he breathed his last.

When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts.  But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.  Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God.  This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.    Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.

It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.  The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid.

 

Prayer for the Day

Dear Lord and Savior,

What might we say this day?

This day when we fall asleep as you pray in agony.  This day when we betray you with a kiss.  This day when we say “I don’t know him.”   This day when we interrogate you, but you don’t answer.   This day when we shout “crucify him!”   This day when we wash our hands of you.  This day when we wonder why you just don’t just save yourself.  This day when we gather at the cross and wonder what we have done.

What might we say?

Amen