1 Corinthians 15:1-4a Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through
which also you are being Saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless vain. For I handed on to you as vain. For I handed on to you as turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Colossians 2:12 When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
When it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a distinguished member of the council, who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God, came and courageously went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was amazed that he was already dead. He summoned the centurion and asked him if Jesus had already died. And when he learned of it from the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. (Mark 15:42-46)
Every human being fears the tomb. It portends the end, it symbolizes a finality that cannot be overcome. Paul affirms that Christ did indeed die and was buried. He underwent the same experience to which all humans submit. Yet for Paul, the image of being entombed with Christ by virtue of baptism is a pathway to the new life once promised and now achieved. Paul confidently asserts that those who submit to this entombment will walk in the newness of life.
Meditations from the preachers.
From Fr. Andrew Manning
You can also read the message below, that is in the voicenote above.
It is Finished!
It is accomplished.
For many at the foot of the cross they were still waiting for Jesus to come down, to bring victory to overcome as they so desperately believed he would.
In our modern spirituality waiting is not something that we are good at. When I first starting using the internet patience was one of the great things we learned.
Downloads could take hours.
You know how impatient we get when buffering occurs, you know how impatient you get when someone doesn’t respond immediately to your text.
The way of the cross is not a way of instant messaging. The way of the cross is one of deep participation with God. We expect God to do things NOW. We want answers now. We want clarity now we want to move on get it done.
There are many parts of the way of the cross that are neglected in our daily lives. For many the Easter message is all on Sunday Morning – Resurrection, by grace we don’t have to work for it.
But the way of the cross you have to work at, you have to journey with. You have to be willing to give it up.
The story of Abraham and Isaac has much to teach us about the way of the cross. Can you see it. Isaac was the fulfilment of the promise but Abraham had to be willing to give him up, in order for him to truly be able to accept what God was doing. It makes little sense, but then the way of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, and it is a stumbling block to Jews, but to us it is the power to save.
Unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and dies.
The depth of God’s love knows no bounds. In death in the grave Jesus sets the captives free.
Do you jump straight from your need to a demand for God to heal, to rescue, to uplift you.
Are you willing to say – though you slay me I will trust in you as Job did?
Are you willing to say with Azariah, Our God is mighty to save, but even if he does not , oh Nebuchadnezzar, we will not bow down to you.
As we see Joseph of Arimathea express his discipleship through the burial of Jesus in his own tomb, may we be willing to deny ourselves and surrender fully to God.
If we do not accept the tomb we cannot accept the resurrection. If we cannot accept surrender, then we cannot live in obedience.
Joseph leads us to a point of surrender.
Let go of your desire for power and control.
Let go of your desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure.
Let go of your desire for survival and security.
Let go of your desire to change any situation, condition, person or yourself.
But I would die if I did that?
We have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live… yet we hold onto the things that we believe are necessary. We live from our Ego’s from our false self.
Do you want to receive resurrection?
Do you want a life in Christ?
Then you have to lay it, your life, in the tomb. You can’t skip the vital steps that God requires of you.
We use the expression LIVING SACRIFICES to avoid the tomb.
But We have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live.
What are you not willing to let go of?
Open yourself to the love and presence of God. Welcome everything that comes to you today, because it is for your healing. Do not run from the cross…
Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies..
Do not live you life on your own terms, but give yourself fully to God.
God our Father,
We have been baptised into the death of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Grant that by continually putting to death our sinful nature we may be buried with him and through the grave and gate of death may pass to our joyful resurrection.
Lord, you were laid in the cold and barren tomb for three days, alone, in the dark, and abandoned. We, too, have been buried with you in baptism. Let us not fear the terror of the tomb, but grant us hope in the promise of new life. Amen.