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Jesus is buried

The crucifixion is complete, Jesus is dead, and His disciples have been left alone. Those that had stood by as Jesus breathed his last had seen literal darkness fall over the land as He died. It was not a pretty scene. It’s far easier for us to keep reading to get to the good part of the story but this is something that every believer needs to behold. The body of our Lord and Savior is hanging lifeless on the cross and those that were closest to Him in life were now scattered. It is hard to wrap our minds around the reality of Christ on the cross. Our God, that came in the flesh, now hangs in our place bearing our sin and shame. Praise be to the name above all names, for it is in the name of Jesus Christ that we have been released from the power of sin and death and made alive to God. Let us always remember that there is a penalty for sin, and it is death. Blood had to be shed to atone for sin and God Himself bore our sins on the cross. Remember that the next time the enemy of your soul tempts you with some fleshly sin or pleasure. Determine, by the grace of God, to abandon sin.

This scene also reminds me of the apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ.” It is my hope that each person reading this devotional will be challenged by Paul’s words and the reality of what that means. Our commitment to Christ begins with the death of ourselves and it should be no less final than Jesus’ death was on the cross. Too often we skip this part. We want Christ to live in us but there’s no room because we have not put the self to death. The Christian life does not begin when we confess our sins, rather it begins when the power of God breathes life into our spirit. We are made alive to God by His saving power alone. It is not by our words of confession. It is by the power of the living God being released within us, and this made possible by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

I would like to point out two things that Mark highlights in this passage. First, he points out that there were a few women that played an important role in Jesus’ life and that they now stood at a distance watching His crucifixion. These women would follow Jesus and minister to Him. If we look back throughout the scriptures, we can see that women played a vital role in the lineage of Christ. And the scriptures make that clear. Mark brings honor to these women who had been important to Jesus, and not because they did something outside the role of what we would expect at that time. They were simply willing to serve Jesus. And now, while others abandoned Him, they remained close. There is a beauty in the service of these women as it was an act of love. Never forget that Jesus knows the heart, and motive matters. A simple deed done unto the Lord a sweet fragrance to Him.

Mark also credits Joseph of Arimathea who buried Jesus. He was a prominent member of the council that “gathered up courage and went in before Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” I’m always encouraged by people that make a stand for what they truly believe in. I don’t know where the disciples were, but Joseph of Arimathea was with Jesus. Mark tells us that Joseph was waiting for the kingdom of God, and I believe that he was convinced that he had found what he was looking for. May we also be fully convinced of the things we believe and then abandon the things of this world to lay hold of Him.

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