If in his crucifixion Jesus saved us from eternal death it is the resurrection that saves us to life – life abundant and eternal. Obviously there are many angles through which to view the story of Holy Week, so we didn’t break new ground on Sunday, but we did look at three characters in the story and hopefully in the process we were encouraged.
When you mention Joseph in connection with Jesus most often we think of his earthly father. But for a moment let’s look at the Joseph who comes from Arimathea. Joseph was a member of the High Council who pushed for the arrest and death of Jesus. He didn’t agree with their stance and at great risk to his place in the community he asked to take the body of Jesus and give him a proper burial. Joseph had no inside info. He heard the same teachings as the others and he believed them to be true by faith. So along with another “secret” follower, Nicodemus he buried Jesus in an unused tomb. It had to be love that drove him to keep Jesus from a criminal’s common grave and bury him with dignity – even if he didn’t understand what was going on.
Now let’s look at the group of women who visited the grave early Sunday morning. They were family, friends and followers of Jesus. They were preparing spices for Jesus’ body but stopped for the Sabbath, then on Sunday morning they headed out to anoint their beloved. Again, no inside info or understanding of how this was all going to work out. Yet their faith and love compelled them to act.
Finally we see the main character in this whole event – Jesus. He has experienced the highs and lows of being human and on the previous Friday was wrongfully charged, convicted, tortured, mocked and murdered at the hands of the Roman empire. His closest friends are not getting that this is the fulfillment of prophesy. Many are in hiding. Yet with love the risen Jesus confronts and comfort them and encourages their faith. Much like the father of the “Prodigal Son” he simply welcomed them all home with love.
So each time you walk away, deny Jesus by your actions, lose faith, willfully sin or whatever – Jesus is waiting to say…”Welcome home my beloved, I’ve missed you.”