After Jesus was crucified one of the Jewish religious leaders, Joseph of Arimathea, removed His body from the cross and placed it in a new tomb carved out of rock. It was a tomb that Joseph had probably purchased as a family tomb in much the same way that we pre-arrange burial plots and funerals.
Some of the women who followed Jesus took note of the tomb’s location because they would return on the day after the upcoming Sabbath with spices and ointments to anoint His body. The spices were used to mask the stench of a rotting corpse.
The dead body would be placed on a stone bench inside the tomb until the flesh decomposed. The bones would then be collected and placed in a small ossuary, or bone box, and placed on a shelf in the tomb. So, a tomb could be used for multiple family members over an extended period of time.
Several of the women including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb early on Sunday morning to prepare the dead body of Jesus. When they arrived the stone covering the tomb was rolled away and they inspected the inside of the tomb and found no dead body. They were puzzled about this turn of events when two angels appeared to them and asked why there were looking among the dead for someone who is alive!
When tragedy strikes, we seek answers everywhere and from everyone except the One Who Is the Answer.
We become like grave diggers searching through the graves and tombs of dead people hoping to find solutions and reassurance for our problems. “But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead? Look to God’s instructions and teachings!” (Isaiah 8:19-20).
But the right answer and true hope is found in the life and teachings of the One and who has been raised from the dead and lives eternally, Jesus Christ.
He speaks words of life in times of trouble and despair.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” (John 11:25, NLT).