The Grave Put to Death

BE STILL 21-DAY DEVOTIONAL

Day 18

READ:  MATTHEW 28:1-10


Jesus had died and was placed in the tomb. In fact, His lifeless body was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man who became a disciple of Jesus and graciously let Jesus use the tomb he purchased which would be used for himself when he would die.  On the practical side, Jesus knew that He did not need to prepare His own death by purchasing His own tomb; Jesus knew that it would have to be borrowed since He would be crushing the power of death by rising from the dead and walking out of the tomb.

The chief priests and Pharisees remembered Jesus’ claim that He would rise from the dead after three days.  They requested from Pilate that the tomb be sealed and secured by a stone with the Roman guards to protect the tomb. They did not want the disciples to steal His body and deceive more people about the resurrection that they clearly did not believe. Pilate agreed and so it was according to their request.  From the devil’s perspective, he wanted to make sure that all his plans were in place so that this resurrection business would not take place or even appear to be true.

The good news is that on the first day of the week, God won.  There was a great earthquake when the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and removed the stone in front of the grave, and then he sat on it.  The guards feared and dropped as dead men.  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary also feared, but the angel proclaimed the great news that Jesus was not there anymore, but had risen from the dead and had already started His way to Galilee.  The women were told to tell the disciples quickly.  As they begun down the road, they met Jesus, and fell at His feet to worship Him.

The prophet Hosea foresaw the power of Christ’s resurrection, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.  O death, I will be your plagues!  O grave, I will be your destruction!” (Hosea 13:14).  The apostle Paul said about the resurrection of Jesus, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).

Death and destruction were defeated through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Your hope and faith in God are based not only in the death of Jesus, but His power of defeating the penalty and power of sin, which is death.  True life is lived through the benefit of Christ rising from the grave.

Have you felt dead and empty in your heart?  Has your vision and dreams that God once gave to you pass away?  Has the sting of death been felt in your struggle of being lonely and forgotten?  Has your joy and peace died? Perhaps you are feeling the destruction of doubt and need your faith to rise again. What can you pinpoint in your life right now that needs the resurrection power of Jesus?

Jesus crushed death and defeated the grave.  There is nothing that Jesus can’t breathe life back into.  His rising from the dead enables you to be revived and refreshed, no matter what kind of death or destruction is trying to knock you down.  Jesus arose; He is alive!  Receive freely from Christ’s resurrection power today.

NEXT DAY

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