The Countdown: Day 1

The day following Jesus’s devastating crucifixion was bittersweet. While the Pharisees, religious leaders, and many dillusioned people gloated over their perceived victory, the disciples were crushed, their hopes shattered, and their hearts aching for Jesus.

On the hill of Calvary, Jesus had been crucified on a cross between two thieves, one of whom knew Jesus was Lord and believed he would meet with Him in Paradise. Their broken bodies were taken down from the crosses to be buried, but Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a disciple of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He then wrapped the Lord’s body in a clean linen cloth, laid Him in his own new tomb hewn out of rock, and then rolled a stone in front of the entrance.

Meanwhile, the rest of the eleven disciples had gone into hiding for fear they’d be next. They didn’t know what to think. Jesus had not only been their rabbi, teacher, prophet, and friend, but they knew He was the Son of God. They believed Jesus would reign now as their king and that the Jews would become a nation again, forever free from the harsh rule of the Roman government. Even though Jesus had told them He would die and then rise again, their hopes were shattered by the reality of His death. They weren’t focusing on all that Jesus told them would happen; they were stuck on His death, which to them was permanent.

While the disciples and other faithful followers were trying to understand what had happened, Jesus was completing the last details of His mission. At the cross, He had taken upon Himself all of our sins, which meant that He was sent to hell, the destination for all sin upon His death. As we know from the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, there was one large waiting area for everyone who had died with a mighty firmament that separated those who loved God from those who didn’t. But when Jesus arrived, He dropped off our sins and broke the chains of hell and death! He separated the waiting area into two distinct places; Hades for those waiting for judgment to hell and  Paradise for those waiting for resurrection to Heaven. So, Jesus set all the captives free that day!

But Jesus didn’t stay in Paradise to wait for His resurrection—He WAS the resurrection! Before He would return to Heaven, though, Jesus had one last task, which was about to happen.

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Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day, and keep smiling because God loves YOU! … ronnie

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