He died for our sins. The Tomb is empty. This week is Holy Week - it began with Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday reminds us that Jesus was greeted with a triumphal entry into Jerusalem and shortly thereafter found himself nailed to a cross.
If you have fallen away from attending church or have never been to a church this would be a great time to attend one. There will be a seat for you. No reservations required.
Today is Holy Thursday or in the Anglican Churches, Maundy Thursday, which celebrates the first communion. Jesus shared with his Apostles the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the wine as an act to remember Him. The bread reflects the body of Christ and the wine his blood. He commanded them to do this sacrament often and in “remembrance of me.”
Tomorrow we celebrate Good Friday. The crucifixion was good for us because our sins were forgiven because Jesus took them all on himself and showed his love for us.
It was a horrific turn of events. Jesus knew it was coming and stayed to do his part in our salvation. Just after meeting with the 12 and sharing the first communion he told Judas to do what he was to do. He shared with Peter that Peter would deny him three times “before the cock crows.” Peter did.
Jesus was arrested, tried in a kangaroo court and sentenced to death to be carried out the next day. As it was Passover for the Jewish population the governor of the region, Pontius Pilate, followed the tradition of freeing one prisoner from that prisoner’s sentence. Pilate offered the crowd the choice of a murderer, Barabbas or Jesus the itinerant Rabbi. The crowd chose Barabbas, and Pilate released him.
Jesus was whipped repeatedly and then guards shoved a crown of thorns onto his head. Jesus then was forced to carry his cross for the crucifixion to Calvary.
Up to that day the cross was a symbol of death and torture as it was the means of execution used by the Romans. Jesus was tied to the cross and then his hands and legs were nailed. This wasn’t common but Rome wanted to make sure Jesus couldn’t slip away. Jesus died there between two criminals. One asked for forgiveness and was promised that “tonight you will be with Me in paradise.”
After his death he was placed in a borrowed tomb which was sealed with a large stone and a guard was placed to ensure that the body wouldn’t be stolen. It had been rumored that Jesus would rise from death. Rome couldn’t afford even the hint of that happening. The guard was very loyal to Rome.
When the women in Jesus’ life went on Sunday morning to the tomb to prepare the corpse they had quite the surprise. The sealing stone was shoved to the side and the tomb was empty. His burial clothing was neatly folded, and Jesus was nowhere to be found. He then came to them and they were to tell the Apostles.
The Apostles met, Jesus met with them and Thomas had his doubts removed when he saw Jesus.
Jesus had conquered death. This is the greatest day in the Christian calendar. The historical facts clearly prove the tomb was empty. Rome searched everywhere for the body and there were many sightings of a Living Jesus.
Jesus told his followers that he was “The Way, The Truth, and the Life” and that nobody comes to God except through Him. The tomb is empty and He is Risen. We’re Saved - Happy Easter.