Have you ever wondered if Joseph of Arimathea used the tomb when it was his time? Some would say it was the place that The Lord Jesus rose from, don’t use it. Others might say, what better place to rest our hope than the place where Jesus rose from? I don’t know what Joseph chose to do, but I do know this.
The tomb was a borrowed place, the grave clothes He left there, were borrowed things. The napkin, which had been about Jesus’ face, was discarded for Simon Peter to find. Borrowed things stayed in the cave, but what was The Lord Jesus’ property did not stay in the cave.
His body didn’t stay in the cave. His Spirit reclaimed His body three days later, and walked out of the cave. The Cornerstone as The Bible calls Him, had no trouble exiting regardless of the sealed boulder at the entrance. They carried Him in, Joseph and Nicodemus, but He walked out.
The Angels who met the Disciples there, didn’t stay in the cave. One stood where Jesus’ head had been, the other where His feet had been. Two Angels, reminds me of two covenants, The Old and The New. The Old was fulfilled, and The New began a new day. The angels and Covenants didn’t stay in the cave.
His Disciples, that He had led for three and a half years, and would follow Him for the rest of their lives in Ministry, didn’t stay in the cave. They saw what they needed to see, and heard from the Angels what they needed to hear, then left to build on what God had revealed to them.
Had Joseph of Arimathea decided to use the cave or not, I do not know, but I know that he could rest knowing that he would not stay in the cave. Those who follow Jesus, do not have to stay in the cave of their pain, regrets, fears, and failures. We are tempted to return to the areas of our memory which are dark, dreary, and remind us of sorrowful days, but I would encourage you today. There is a gaping hole in the trick of the enemy to enslave you to your past!
The Lord Jesus walked out before the angel moved the stone. He didn’t move the stone for Him, Jesus had it moved for us. He knew the enemy would do his best to trick us into returning to the cave of our past. You see The Bible says we are buried with Him in Baptism.
If our past has been buried in the cave, then why should we linger? Our sins have been obliterated by His blood, and we arise to walk with Him in newness of life according to the Scripture. This means that there is no reason to stay in the cave of your past. It’s a site that has been transformed by The Presence of Jesus.
Yes you made a mistake, yes I failed in my past, but a time traveler has stepped into our lives. No, He didn’t change the events that led us to today, instead He changed us. You are not the person you were when you messed up, so I would encourage you today, don’t allow the enemy to trick you into a place that is no longer connected with you the same way.
It’s still a memory yes? Everyone would remember that Jesus had borrowed that tomb. That for three days He had used that cave, but the Romans knew He was no longer there. The Pharisees, the Chief Priests, they knew Jesus wasn’t there. His Disciples knew He wasn’t, they’ had just seen Him walk into the room where they were living in.
I don’t know if Joseph ever went back to the cave, but I know that Jesus had already came to the room Joseph lived in. The Bible says that the very reason that Joseph craved the body of Jesus, was that he was a secret Disciple of Jesus. Of course, once Jesus died, he openly went to Pilate and craved the body of Jesus.
If the death of Jesus made Joseph willing to reveal to the world his belief in The Savior, what did he do when he found out Jesus gave him back the keys to the cave? If Joseph could tell the world I believe enough in Jesus to give Him my final resting place for three days, what should you and I do to let the world know about The Risen Savior?
Yes, it’s past Easter, but we are never past His resurrection, and neither are you. If you find yourself in a situation today that feels like a sealed up cave, let me encourage you today. There is not a cave that can hold Him, and there is not a room so full of sin that He cannot enter. When Jesus walks into the room of your heart, it doesn’t matter how cavernous your situation looks like.
It doesn’t matter how secure the shadows of your past, and memories of your failures try to tighten themselves around you like grave clothes. Grave clothes are no problem to Him. Rooms filled with sin are no problem to Him, Jesus walked into a room of men who had denied Him, ran from Him, and disassociated themselves to not die, and empowered them. He can empower you and I, turning our cave into a place with a gaping hole that everyone can see is no longer secure.
The Romans saw someone Who was greater than their own empire, He had conquered death! No Jesus didn’t come to overthrow Rome the first time, but at His tomb, His resurrection sent a message to the representatives of the Roman Eagle, just as He had done with Pilate before. Pilate knew enough to tell the Jews, here are some soldiers, make His tomb as sure as you can.
The Pharisees saw someone greater than their own traditions, and their tricks. All of their traditions were now exhibits of what used to work, The Law was fulfilled. Their tricks had tried to outsmart Jesus, but He had not only outsmarted them, death, hell, and the grave were cowering in a corner weeping somewhere.
Yes Easter is over, but that cave with a gaping hole would be part of Golgotha forever. Yes, you may have had a situation face you that you cannot understand, but there is still a hole in the cave. The hole wasn’t for Him, He walked into your sealed room Simon, but He left the hole for you to walk into His empty tomb, and leave your worries there! Now, Jesus told the angels to tell Simon, meet me in Galilee!
Let me end with this today. If you have a problem, a regret, or a situation that you can’t solve, leave it with Jesus. Let Him transform it the way He has your past, and meet Him in Galilee.
Galilee was where the Disciples would spend time with a Resurrected Christ, on their way to their own transformation at Pentecost. Leave the cave today, meet Him in your Galilee, and let Jesus prepare you for a transformation to empower you to walk into a new future! Everything Jesus valued, left their sealed room, because He had opened a door for them!