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Holy Saturday

April 8, 2012

Holy Saturday

7 April 2012


St. Matthew 27:57-66


Can it be?  Really?  Yes, it’s true.  Ask Joseph of Arimathea.  He was there.


He went to the governor Pontius Pilate and asked for the corpse.  Carefully, he handles it.  Gently, he washes the wounds.  Tenderly, he wraps it in linen cloth.  With great care he carries it and lays it to rest in his own new tomb! 


Jesus – dead and buried.  Really.  Truly.  Incredible! 


“O darkest woe!

Ye tears forth flow!

Has earth so sad a wonder?

God the Father’s only Son

Now is buried yonder.”


O sorrow dread!

Our God is dead

Upon the cross extended.

There His love enlivens us

As His life was ended.”[1]


Yes, that’s right:  “Our God is dead.”  The Father didn’t die.  The Holy Spirit didn’t die.  BUT JESUS DID!


This is what it takes to win your salvation!  God must do it!  Only God saves!  Only God forgives!  Therefore the eternal Son of the Father takes on flesh and He gives His divine life into death on the cross!  He sheds His divine blood!  That’s Jesus!  He is true God and true man!  All for you!  The “It is finished” job of salvation is done!  By Jesus!  All sin answered for!  All sin died for! 


So now He rests from the work of salvation that He won for you and for the world.  The God-man laid and sealed in the tomb!  There He lays!


But even then – even there – graveyard dead Jesus is not a nothing!  His divine and holy Word made flesh body hallows, holies, or sanctifies what it touches!  And, yes, that includes the cemetery!  The tomb!  The grave!


His three day rest in that borrowed tomb was for you!  He was buried for you!  Now your grave is holy!  Your grave is hallowed!  Your tomb is sanctified!  All because the divine and holy body of Jesus has forever changed the cemetery and the grave! 


For you who believe in this Jesus the grave is now a place of rest and peace!  Rest in Jesus!  Peace in Jesus!


So when your day of death and burial takes place it is not the end.  Death does not have the last word.  Jesus does. 


A sealed and guarded tomb couldn’t keep God-man Jesus trapped in the grave!  The Scriptures must be fulfilled!  Jesus kept His promise.  He would be raised on the third day!  That’s the joy of tomorrow! 


To you for whom He died and was buried He promises the resurrection of your body on the Last Day.  He is the Firstfruits of those who sleep!  Of those who rest in Him! 


Today and tomorrow He teaches you to fear the grave as little as your bed.  After all, He will call you from your sleep!  He will wake you!  To a bodily resurrection and then eternal life with Him together with the Father and the Holy Spirit and all those who have gone before us in the faith! 


In the Name of Jesus.        


     [1] LSB #448:1-2 “O Darkest Woe.”


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