Today’s Reading: Matthew 27:57-66
“Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go make it as secure as you can.’”
– Matthew 27:65
The almighty hands that fed the hungry multitudes are motionless in death. The holy feet that walked upon the cold sea water are motionless in death. This is no accident, but divine providence, for Jesus Christ has laid His perfect life down upon the cross. Death didn’t come to Jesus; Jesus came to death. Nail prints mark His palms and feet. A spear thrust marks His side. The barren hill of Calvary is quiet now as muffled sobs fade into silence. Our Lord’s body has been taken and wrapped in a linen shroud and placed in a borrowed tomb. He who created the vast expanse of the firmament lies within the confines of a tomb. The Light of the World lies in darkness for three days. Christ has offered the one, final, and complete sacrifice for the sin of the world. At Pilate’s order, guards are placed at the tomb and the entrance is sealed – all in vain. Vain the stone! Vain the guards! Vain the seal! Vain the orders! Jesus Christ has won for us an eternal victory. The darkness of Good Friday yields to an eternal dawn – sin, death, and hell are utterly routed. Our Lord’s empty tomb fills us with joy and emboldens us to confess, “He rose again the third day.”
Prayer: Here our true paschal Lamb we see, Whom God so freely gave us; He died on the accursed tree – So strong His love to save us. See, His blood now marks our door; Faith points to it; death passes o’er it. And Satan cannot harm us. Alleluia! (Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands, LSB 458:5)
This devotion was written by Rev. Kristian Kincaid – Pastor of Our Redeemer in Dubuque.