Faithlife Sermons

Mark 15:42-47 Buried

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Good morning rivertree. Let me just say it’s a joy to be with you this morning! and while I wish we could all be together in one room I am trusting that God would connect our hearts together today.
If youhave your Bibles go ahead and be turning to and this morning we are going to look at verse 42-47
and I think something we are all aware of is the world has changed. The world is different then it was one month ago for many of us.
Whether we are working at home, going into work, or homeschooling our kids almost everything seems different.
Because of the global pandemic we are all facing so much has changed and with change can come
Unrest, anxiety and even a sense of panic.
I think my first moment of panic happened about 2 weeks ago. Not everything was shut down but a lot of things had shut down.
Some people where still unsure about how this would go.
Knowing It could be along time until I could get my beard trimmed or my hair cut I jumped in my car and drove to my barber. When I got to his shop it was closed already.
Obsouvily with the beard I took things into my own hands and trimmed it up a little but the haird will ahve to wait another month or 2.
as I got back in my car I got on the parkway and I noticed a truck for a local grocery store was coming off the interstate.
and in that moment I realized something. That truck probably has toilet paper. We were almost out so I did what any person would do.
I followed it. didn’t know which one of it’s many locations it was going but I felt like a secret agent in a chase that the truck had no idea it was in.
I followed the truck nine miles. Called some of my firends and went inside. I waited paitently as they unloaded the truck and then I asked one of the younger employess if they got toliet paper in.
He said yes but we aren’t allowed to sell it.
I said what if I have none. he said sorry man just what the boss says.
I then waited to talk to a manger and he said come back tomorrow momrning and we can sell it then.
and then for the first time since this whole thing started I felt a real sense of panic.
Panic didn’t set in when someone sneezed around me
or my wife came home from working at the hospital
or even when allerigiees started to set in a little and I wondered if I had covid 19?
No panic set in when I realized 20 feet away from me was a commidety I ddin’t have and I couldn’t buy it.
I then felt something was different.
And it’s interesting right maybe it’s something we all have in common this morning.
maybe for some of us panic has set in and one point or another during the pandemic.
Maybe it was over something you couldn’t get at the grocery store or maybe it was something much more serioius.
Maybe it was wondering if you or you loved ones were going to stay well
maybe it was when school got cancled and you realized you were going to have to balance working from home, and homeschooling your kids.
maybe it was when a loved one was diagnosed with covid 19
maybe it was the overwhelming news reports that just kept coming
maybe it was when you or your spouses boss called to let you know you were being furloughed or let go. Or maybe it’s just the fear of those things.
and the wieght of this moment just seemed like too much to handle.
I’ll be honest....I’ve faced a lot of those same things the past few weeks.
It’s fitting this morning the passage we will look at shows us a picture of a moment in time when
Panic, anxiety and fear would have seemed right.
If you find yourself in this place today you are in the same place the people in the time this passage is recorded are in.
I find comfort in this reality. The reality no matter how hopeless the world can seem at times their are people in scripture who would have felt the same hopelessness.
The reason for this comfort is because I am reminded I am not alone in this.
let’s read

42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

Jesus has died and suffered a crimanls death. Mark spares no details showing us the horror Jesus expierenced on the cross......and as he breated his last breath he declared it is finished
Letting everyone know Jesus had paid fully for the sins of those who belong to him.
and it’s as Joseph of Arimathea witnesses Jesus dying alone on the cross he steps in and steps up.
He doesnt’ want Jesus’ body rot on teh cross or be eaten by predatory birds or animals.
Joseph doesn’t want Jesus body to be disposed in a dump outside the city.
He longs for a proper burial for Jesus
While others had fledand the city had expierenced absoulte choas The cross did something in Josephs’ heart that day.
I beleive it’s the same thing that happens in our hearts when we properly contemple what happended on the cross.
As Jospeh saw the courage of Jesus. Courage was birthed in his heart.
As Jospeh saw the dedication of Jesus dedecation was birthed in his heart.
and as he reflected on Jesus sacrifice he was willing to sacrifice everying
becasue when we look at the cross we recoggnize we really have nothing to loose.
If Jesus was willing to lay down everything for his own, his disciples in turn lay down everything for him.
There is nothing else outside of the death of Jesus on a cross which can cause this to happen in our hearts.
No amounth of teaching, or christian books, or worship expierences will birth courage, dedication and sacfice inside of us the way the death of Jesus does.
Jospeh goes to Pilate and request the body of Jesus be given to him so he can bury Jesus properly.
It could cost him everything. He was outing himself as a disicple of Jesus. He could lose his life for this. If nothing else he would no longer hold his high place of honor among the religuos in jerusalm
as John records, “ … a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews” ().
but no longer is he concired with any of this. In his heart he wanted to ensure his King would have a proper burial.
and this is really all they had.
There was nothing else he could do for Jesus. This at least would give them a glimmer of hope. Otherwise Jesus would have just been a footnote in history. They wanted to make sure he was honored in this way
As he approaches pilate, pilate is shocked Jesus has died so quickly.
In his shock and disbelief he sumings “the centurion” and asked him if Jesus had really died. When he learned it was true
He gave the body of Jesus to Joseph.
Jesus body is handled in an honorable way. he is wrapped in fine linning and placed in a tomb and then Jospeh rolled a stone agaisnt the entrance of the tomb to make sure no one could enter the tomb and do anything to Jesus.
And as Jesus is laid to rest on good friday Mary magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses see were he is laid.
All was lost.
As far as we can tell none of Jesus closet friends where there as he was laid to rest. He was alone.
And the picture is one which I feel like most of us can imagine. We keep hearing stories of people having to say goodbye to their loved ones over facetime.
becasue of this pandemic people aren’t able to say a proper goodbye even not even sure if their loved ones know how sad everyone is.
and I would guess the Saturday before easter sunday would have been a day like this.
shattered dreams and hopeless must have set in
Marys soul pierced
Peters guilt Paralyizing
John the beloved disciple heart was broken
and Mary Magdalene despair
we aren’t told much of what happened on Saturday but we are given some clues by where the discples where found on Sunday
When Mary came back to tell the disciples Jesus had rose from the grave she found them locked inside a house hiding because they were afraid of the jews.
It would have been so natural for them to think if the jews were able to arrest and kill Jesus they could do the same to us.
Behind locked doors they are hiding and afraid
And I think it’s safe to say all of us have this in common with them. We’ve all had momemnts in our lives where we feel the darkness and despair of Saturday.
There are more people today living in the darkness and despair of saturday “than have ever lived in the drama of good friday or the victory of Easter”
As far as we know that was the only day in the last 2000 years when their wasn’t a single person alive who believed Jesus was alive.
On the Saturday after the cruxifion of Jesus the disciples had to be exhuasted form the events which had took place over the last week.
From the joy of Palm sunday believing thier King was coming into the city to the despair of the garden of Gesthemane, to the betrayl of Judas the the cruxifion of Jesus
we can imagine they were abosutly exhuasted
The city had be witness to all of the bloodsheed is now quet
Pilgrams who had come in for the passover have gone home
and Jesus is dead.
and the question is what do you do with this new reality.
If you were a follower of Jesus you had bet your very life on the fact he was the messiah. The coming king.
You had left family, friends, and your job.
You had travled and seen the most amazing things your eyes could have imagined.
The blind could see, the lame walk, the sick healed, and the dead raised.
You had heard the most amazing teaching ever.
and you had seen love in front of you.
and Yet you coudln’t rescue Jesus.
This must have been a strange day.
It was a day between despair and joy
a day between confusion and clairty
a day as ortenburg would say between bad new snd good nes
a day between darkness and light
Outside of the details about the guards being posted at the tomb because Pilate was scared someone would steal Jesus body we aren’t told anyting about saturday.
It seems like a day where nothing is happening.
It seems as if Jesus failed. I mean it seems impossible right? But it would have been the question raging through my head.
If I was a follower of Jesus I would have wondered did we miss it? Was he just another falled revolutionary.
Was the movement all over just like other Messiah movements around the same time? Did I get it wrong.
and was it because....
He couldn’t get enough follwers. He couldn’t convice the relgious rulers he really was the messiah.
He couldn’t even win over the crowd to convice them to spare his life instead of Barabas.
He didn’t train his followers on how a revolution should take place.
Yet in the nothingness of Saturday, in the emptiness of saturday, in the hopelessness of Saturday I think we all understand what’s going on.
We have all had a day like this in our lives.
Ray ortenburg in his book “who is this man?”
Puts it this way
“Saturday is the day your dream died. You wake up and you’re still alive. You have to go on, but you don’t know how. Worse, you don’t know why.”
As a pastor over the years I have seen a lot of people live through their shares of Saturdays.
A loved one passes away from cancer
A marriage dissolves
a child walks away from the Lord
Betrayal happens
a job is lost
and it’s in that moment people feel hopeless and all is lost and wondering what we do next.
I feel like it’s where most of us are as we face Covid-19 right now
maybe we’ve already been laid off or a spouse has been.
Maybe their is fear of what’s going to happen to the economy
or even fear of getting sick.
Yet the very reality Jesus was burried can give us hope.
because our hope is in the gospel and the burially of Jesus is at the very center of the gospel.
Paul wrote in 1st corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures

Jesus died
He was buried
and rose on the third day
Paul said this is what was tought to him as the gospel and what he was know passing along to the church at corinth
and it’s in the silence of Saturday Jesus once again Idenitfies with us.
Even the apostles creed reminds us of this.
Based on 1 peter 3 the apostle creed says he decned into hell.....or death
and then on Saturday their was silence and the absence of God
and this reminds us there is no where you won’t find Jesus.
No matter how great our suffering is. No matter how bad the pain is Jesus is willing to go there
and in the miricale of Saturday that the eternal son of God lies dead
we are reminded Jesus defearts our greatest death
and he doesn’t defeat death by proclaiming invincibilty over it but by submitting to it.
It’s what Paul writes about in Phillipians 2:5-11

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

If you can find Jesus in the grave, if you can find him submitting to death where can you not find him.
and this reality should encourage our hearts. It is a great reminder if there is no where you can’t go to find him
there’s no where he won’t go to find you.
If he is willing to descended into the depths of death he absoulty will descend into the depths of our hearts and meet us in the middle of our fear, of our pian, of our anxiety and of our Saturdays
and while we might be expierencing the silence of Saturday in our lives right now we can rest assured Sunday is coming.
See we have this great advantage of knowing that Jesus didn’t stay burried that he rose again and he is alive today.
We wait. We wait patiently for the vicotry of Sunday.
Becasue like Jesus we too are burried.
Ephesians Paul would describe it this way

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

not sick. Not looking for rescue. The bible says our condition was far worse than that.
We were dead and burried in our sin.

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved

and for those of repented of our sin and beleived the gospel we can be sure
though we were dead and buried in our sins
God has made us alive!
that’s the gospel
and there is nothing this side of eternity that can touch you.
that’s easy to say but harder to live right
sometimes I belive that reality in my head but I need my heart to catch up to my head.
because of the global pandemic if I am honest some of the things I have held the tightest to and brought me the most security(money, health, food, toliet paper to name a few) Have seemed to slip out of my hands
and as they slip out of my hands I am coming to realize while they brought a sense of security they made lousy saviours.
ever my best friendships couldn’t save me from my deadness
My enternaiments, movies, sports.....all pale in comparision to Christ
It seems I am loosing my grip on all of those things
and wasn’t that the point. I thought back to the first sermon I preached in the mark series
and I was reminded wher it all started

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

and it was in
They had let go of everything. And followed Jesus and it was over
Let go of what you thought the kingdom was going to look like. And while for them all seemed lost. All seemed hopeless Jesus was in a tomb
what he would showing them is the kingdom is better then you could even imagine.
and he shows us the same thing
I’ve had a lot of thoughts about what my “kingdom” should look like
and at any moment it could come crumbling down if it’s not built on Jesus
and the only thing left to hold onto is the very one who is holding onto me.
They very one who hasn’t let go of me yet and he invites me to hold fast to him becasue he is a sure and steady anchor.
and that brings me hope.
and I pray it brings you hope this moring.
I am not sure where you are at
but if you are watching and you feel like you are at the saturday place and your dreams have died, you are scared, you are anxious and God feels distant
my hope is when you reflect on the very truth Jesus was burried
you wouldn’t move too fast through this season. YOu would recognize nothing is wasted with God.
You would continue to let go of the way you thought the kingdom would be
You would continue to let go of the way you thought the kingdom would be
and you would allow the one who died was burried and rose again to hold onto you.
This is the darkest moment of the gospel story. Mark’s simple account highlights this. Yet the darkness is not total.
There was light....It was coming. Joseph held onto hope, so did others
my hope is that light would shine in the darkness during this time in our lives.
As I get ready to pray for you today I want to read to you

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let’s pray
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