|watercolor of the garden tomb in Jerusalem, Israel|
When Joseph of Arimethea had taken Jesus' body down from the cross, he wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a "tomb cut in the rock." Had the story ended there, of course, there would be no comfort in Christ. The quarry of death would have held captive its prey...but the psalmist's words have meaning for us precisely because they had meaning for Jesus: "From the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again." By the ropes of his divine power, God lifted up "a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation" of his temple. By those same ropes of grace, God lifts us up from the bosom of his heart and give us new life, new hope, new vision for what he has called us to be. The prophet Isaiah changes the metaphor so that not just Christ is hewn out and lifted up as the chief cornerstone, but we ourselves become hewn from him who is the Rock of Ages. "Listen to me," says Isaiah, "you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn." Is there a greater expression of hope and expectancy? "The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singling."
Jesus Christ wins, He conquers death, He walks out of the empty tomb...
He knows the end from the beginning...
He began with the end in mind...
"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:26-27)
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me...Because I live, you also will live." (John 14:6, 19)
|the empty tomb|
|the empty tomb|
|entrance to the empty tomb--March 2000|
|garden tomb in Jerusalem, Israel|
|path leading to the garden tomb|