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Facing The Tomb

Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb. Matthew 27:59-61 (CSB)

This year, with a pandemic disrupting all of life, we approach Easter Sunday disoriented.

Christians around the globe will not gather together physically Sunday morning. Kids will not participate in Easter egg hunts in the park. There will be no grand Easter brunches with family and friends.

  • We want health, not sickness.
  • Embrace, not distance.
  • Feast, not hunger.
  • Drink, not thirst.
  • Love, not loss.
  • Life, not death.
  • Joy, not grief.

But the road through Holy Week has always been unwanted. Holy Week, after all, is a path through suffering.

The first Holy Week was one of disruption, disorientation, separation, trauma, and death. For Jesus, yes, and also for His followers: Peter, James, John, Judas, the rest of the twelve, Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary. (You’ll remember none of them were exempt from their own pain and isolation that week.)

What is the value of observing Holy Week? Why not just skip to Easter Sunday?

Because the condition of the world requires more than distracting ourselves, more than mutual encouragement, more than momentary happiness, and more, even, than a great Easter celebration.

We need God’s cataclysmic intervention.

In their trauma and grief, the two Mary’s must have wanted to wake up, to find the death of Jesus had been just a bad dream, that He was alive and well, teaching, smiling, healing as He usually did. But that wouldn’t have been enough.

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

Question: How can you sit and face Jesus’ tomb awhile? What might that do for you?

 

For you,

Josh

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