This Easter Season

It is dark, dank, and musty. And it is overgrown with weeds. It is barely perceptible to those who wander by. Tourists amaze, "this is where they lay my Lord." Among tourists this place has become as famous as Christ's burial shroud or the lost ark which have not been found. Here they stand, and grapple with the grief they expect. They have read of the torment that preceded the entombment. All that they have read and seen has prepared them for this moment. And they weep. They recall the bloody crown upon His head, the mock praise, the scourging, the beating by the soldiers--all endured for us.

The tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea is empty. It has been for some time now. And it is not a sad thing. From the time of its first filling until now has been a time of comfort for Believers. First, that Jesus died on the Cross as payment for our sins that we might have fellowship with God the Father. Second, that Jesus has arisen to intercede on our behalf, reminding the Father to look upon us only through His shed blood. And there is awe that One would do this for us.

After the 40-day fast in the wilderness, He had refused to yield to temptation. All that He and the Father had planned from the beginning would certainly be. But He would receive it all only from God, in God's way. And so, He would not eat; He would not rule; He would not test the power that was His. All had to be according to plan lest the plan to save the world be thwarted. His flesh would be satisfied with food; but not now. He would rule in due time. To use His power now would be but a vain test. Certainly, it seemed easier to make it all happen now. But

He endured the challenge to his person, ". . .if thou be the Son of God, . . ." And He answered the tempter with God's word alone, an indication of how we are to respond to trials.

(Mat 4:11 KJV) "Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."

He had endured these trials in preparation for the completion of his mission of and the trial of pain to come. And, when the time came, He prepared His disciples for their continued service.

John 13:26 "Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. {27} And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly." He dipped the bread and gave it to the man on his left. Those around him perceived it an honor bestowed on the one too busy to remain to the meal's end. Jesus had washed their feet as they entered. It seemed a natural thing--this night He would demonstrate his love to them by total service. And so He also endured the betrayal unbeknown to the other disciples.

It is because He endured and suffered the temptations common to man that you and I have the opportunity to go to Him now that we too can endure. His success is here now for you or me or any who are tempted. We must only know that we can do nothing without Him.

Luke 22: 15-20 15 And He said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

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