Easter is fast approaching, and believers across the nation will be celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ — the basis of our salvation. This year, however, let us take time to also commemorate a portion of the celebratory events that is sometimes glossed over — what happened between the death and resurrection of Jesus. This brings us to our key text coming out of Matthew 27:57 — 66 (KJV). The word of the Lord reads:
57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. 62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, sir, we remember that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
Prior to this point in the scriptures, Jesus has just been crucified. This is the first block upon which our Christian faith is built — ultimately the first essential part of what is known today as Easter. After Jesus’ death, Joseph, one of Jesus’ disciples asked the government officials if he could have the body of Jesus, so he could prep it and bury it. I can only imagine he felt that the government would not do his Lord justice when it came to burying Him properly with respect.
Now after the government awarded Jesus’ body to Joseph, some of the religious leaders who maintained that Jesus was not the Son of God wanted to ensure that no one would steal Jesus body and “falsely” proclaim to the people that He had risen from the dead. As a result, they put guards in front of Jesus’ tomb in an effort make sure Jesus did not go anywhere, and this bring us to our key point for today:
Even if one has the audacity to try to change God’s plans, one cannot help but be bound by the limits of human capacity. We serve an omnipotent God — the one an only true and living God — and nothing nor anyone can stop God from doing anything.
Despite the plans the government officials and religious leaders had of trying to make sure Jesus stayed in the tomb, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. This is the second block upon which Christianity, and ultimately Easter, is hinged. So as we celebrate Easter this Sunday, let us not only remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but also remember what happened in between. Man tried to stop God from fulfilling His word that He would rise from the dead, and God overcame it. God is unstoppable. If death cannot stop our Lord, there is not a single problem we could ever have in life that is too big for God to handle. Have a blessed day!
Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.