The First to Understand Calvary

This thought stuck in my mind the other day from something said and here is the result.  We are transported back about 2000yrs ago; and Calvary is just back there around the corner, the crowd is still milling about the three crosses, a few still weep in sorrow but the majority celebrate victory over Jesus, although just a wee bit confused that Jesus has already died and only survived three hours upon the cross; most strange. Joseph of Arimathaea and his friend Nicodemus, two older gentlemen and very high up in the Church and Politics, straightened their backs, looked at the soon to set sun, and declared that Sabbath was imminent and yes they had just completed their task in time.

It had been a very rushed three hours of time from mid afternoon; Jesus had died on Calvary and Joseph was not going to let his Saviour be tossed into the rubbish dump or whatever, and to be disrespected any more than he already had been, now it was action time.  He had rushed in his regal robes to Pilate with a weird request, actually pleading and begging Pilate; “Please; please can I have the dead body of a certain prisoner that has just died from being executed.”

The evidence was verified, and a surprised Pilate signed off the release form.  Document clutched firmly in hand, a quick rush outside the city wall to Calvary and up to the Sergeant at Arms; Paperwork handed over, approved, and with some weird looks Joseph could then remove our Saviour down from the Cross.  Then there was the question, now what?  Joseph then suggests that as his tomb is just around the corner, very close; let us lay him there.

Servants rush to ready things, embalming cloth arrives, copious quantities of embalming Lotion (about 100 pound or about 50 Kilograms; it may even have been his own personal supply, that Joseph had purchased and prepared for his own future internment,) water, basins, towels, and the two elderly Rulers tenderly washed clean our Saviour’s battered body, and then wound the clean linen and applied the fragrant lotion thickly.  Task completed tenderly and quickly, and then carefully and tenderly our Saviours body was interred, the stone was rolled over the doorway.  They straightened up, no Temple this Passover Sabbath as they were now Ceremonially Unclean; but then they did not have the heart for it anyway, they just wanted to be alone with familiar faces, they needed quiet, compassion, companionship and comfort after a few very rugged days of very tumultuous events.

Joseph looked back at his tomb and the door was shut, the body was inside, and it was all was done.  Joseph knew all about the Sacrificial System, the “Law of Substitution” where an animal gave up its life for a human, to represent the “lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World,” Joseph knew about Jesus the Lamb, he understood and with his talks with his friend Nicodemus, they both pretty much understood, with some difficulty, just what had just happened.

We do not know how long it took but we can be sure that with such a well educated scholar as Joseph, that this sudden and very personal realization came to him, at some point in time anyway.  He had a Tomb, Yes; It was newly constructed ready for his death, Yes; he had to die for his sins, Yes (wages of Sin); but there was in His tomb, already a dead body, His Saviour was in His tomb, who had died His Death for His Sins.  With such a personal intimate concept, he would never ever forget that wonderful day when his Saviour, stood in his place and died his death, was buried in his tomb; His Tomb!

Is Calvary a reality to you?  Joseph understood it way better than any human ever could, it was very personal.  Try this quote; “It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.

As we associate together, we may be a blessing to one another. If we are Christ’s, our sweetest thoughts will be of Him. We shall love to talk of Him; and as we speak to one another of His love, our hearts will be softened by divine influences. Beholding the beauty of His character, we shall be “changed into the same image from glory to glory.” 2 Corinthians 3:18.  {DA 83}

“The only defence against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end. Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion.” {LDE 65}

Dear Reader; Like Joseph, Jesus death and resurrection for you is as personal as was for Joseph; Jesus has died, and that is a fact; so will you right now accept his substitutionary death as yours, and then accept the new life of Jesus Christ into your life and to start right now, once more to live all for Jesus Christ.