Planted in the Garden

“At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden    a new tomb … they laid Jesus there.” (John 19:41-42)

 For us, today is a day of rest and Sabbath in this Holy Week. The day that Jesus rested in the tomb was also Sabbath day for the Jewish people. They kept the Sabbath in their homes, many heartbroken because Jesus had so quickly been taken from them.

But a “seed” was planted in that garden on Good Friday, a seed that would become “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). Jesus once said to some Gentiles who were seeking Him, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24). Jesus was “planted” into the earth on the same afternoon He died. He remained there, sealed in the tomb, as His people kept the Sabbath. But He wouldn’t remain for long. Soon Jesus would rise from death and begin to bear much fruit! And you are that fruit! Because Jesus was indeed crucified and is risen for you, you who believe in Him will flourish and bloom with life immortal and imperishable! (1 Cor. 15:54)

Jesus, I thank You because You were crucified, died, and buried for me. Amen.

 

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It Is Finished

“Jesus Said, “It is finished”, and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

 One might get the sense from Jesus’ final words from the cross that He was speaking about much more than His bitter sufferings. One would be correct! It is finished – the entire Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ! It is finished – every sacrifice that was ever made found it’s perfect fulfillment in the Ultimate sacrifice of Christ. It is finished – the glut of human history’s sin collected upon One Man and sent to hell. It is finished – the tide is turned once and for all from the evil and wickedness of the devil to the goodness and holiness of the Lord. It is finished – Jesus’ work of calling and gathering His sheep to Himself is made complete as He draws us to Himself through Holy Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and His powerful Word! It is finished – the devil, the world, our sinful flesh, and death itself have all been undone! It is finished – salvation, restoration, new life, and eternity have been established for you! It is finished . . . it is done! Praise Jesus!

Jesus, bring us to Yourself through your death and resurrection. Amen.