We’re continuing to look at the crucifixion of Christ as recorded in Mark’s Gospel. In my last post, Jesus breathed His last and the curtain in the Temple was torn in two. Now we see the witnesses around the cross.
And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
This was not something that was done in secret. There were many people surrounding the cross. They watched as He gave His life.
Many of these people had placed their hopes in Christ. Now that dream was gone.
Maybe they were all praying for a miracle as they watched everything taking place. They could have hoped that at the last moment, angels would swoop down and take Jesus off the cross. They watched and waited, but the Messiah stayed on the cross.
Now it was over. There was nothing left to do but to take care of the body. A member of the Sanhedrin stepped up and came out of the shadows.
It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.
Joseph was a man who was highly respected. He could have remained as a secret follower of Christ. Instead, he summoned his inner strength and received the body of Jesus.
So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
Joseph did what he could to prepare the body for burial. He even gave the Lord his own tomb that had never been used. Once the body was laid to rest, the tomb was sealed. It was finished.
At least that’s what everybody thought. What went through their minds as they tried to sleep that night? It seemed like God had failed them.
It’s like us sometimes. We give God a time limit. We think He needs to answer us by this time. Then, when nothing happens, we get upset with God.
“Lord, I trusted You. Why didn’t You answer my prayer?”
What we miss sometimes, is that God isn’t bound by our limits and weaknesses. He can bring about His plan even after we think it’s too late.
The people of Scripture thought the same way as us. Jesus is dead and buried in the ground. There’s no way that He can save Israel now.
Understand this. God always has a bigger plan than we can see. It’s never too late for the Lord to turn things around. Put your trust in Him and never waver in your faith.
We know how the story will finish!
Question: When has God answered your prayer even when you thought it was too late?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi