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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Empty Garden Tomb

The garden tomb in Israel is a really special place. It's said that Jesus was buried Here after his crucifixion.

When you read Scriptures about the burial of Jesus, two people are mentioned: Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man who was a secret follower of Jesus, and Nicodemus, a pharisee who actually met with Jesus one-on-one to understand His teachings and to find out who He truly was. When I read through John 19, I picture Joseph and Nicodemus taking Jesus' body off the cross, carrying it to a tomb really similar to the garden tomb, preparing His body for burial, wrapping His broken, bloody body in linens and anointing His body with ointment and perfume (John 19:38-42).

I can only imagine their heartbreak as they took His body off the cross and prepared the One they admired — the One they loved, for burial. What disappointment the disciples must have felt. This person they followed daily for three years was someone they lived with, shared meals with, and experienced miracles with; they heard Christ’s teachings.

Jesus was a friend to them. Jesus was a brother to them.

I also think of the women at the cross — Mary, the mother of Jesus. What heartbreak and disappointment to watch Him from afar, take His last breath. Plus the sorrow and grief they all felt as Jesus was laid in the tomb.

But here's the turning point: the radical, unrivaled joy that each one of those people experienced when they realized His body was no longer in this tomb. Their mourning turned into dancing when Jesus himself appeared to them. Imagine their joy as the angel appears to the women and says,

“Don't be afraid ... He is not here, for He is risen.” (Matthew 28:5-6)

Wherever you're at right now in life, please know that nothing can harm you permanently. No loss is lasting, no defeat more than passing, and no disappointment final.

I hope this quote encourages you:

“Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all of these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.” - Brennan Manning, The Ragamufin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out.

Whatever disappointment you're going through, whatever heartbreak you're suffering from and grief you can't seem to shake, hold onto this truth: Jesus is no longer in the tomb and He is literally seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and I. This means that grief cannot hold us. It means that we don't have to be heartbroken forever and disappointments in life don't have to last forever. With Jesus, there is resurrection life.

Friend, our darkest days are not the end, the best is yet to come for you. Put your hope and your faith in Jesus because in Him, we will always and forever have hope.

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