What did Jesus do while He was in the tomb?
There is a break from the horror of day Jesus is crucified! Jesus is carrying out the plan of His Father. His disciples are huddled up trying to figure it all out. No matter how many times Jesus had told them, they didn’t get it.
I don’t either many days. Jesus is talking to me. Jesus has things He wants me to do. I am scared and I am hiding. Yikes!
Master Jesus the Messiah, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
It is Saturday. Some theories exist about what is going on from the time of the death of Jesus to His resurrection on Sunday morning. Some have a good case for Jesus visiting Hell or Sheol (the place of the dead). Here is one.
From the scriptures, it is clear Jesus did visit Sheol. After His crucifixion, Jesus was laid in a nearby tomb, and His body remained there the entirety of Holy Saturday (Matthew 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53-54; John 19:39-42). Saturday turned into Sunday!“‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46)
- 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. (Mark 15:46)
- Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. (Acts 2:29-31)
Without the resurrection of the Messiah, we would be in dire straits. If Christ had never been raised, “your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). The disciples had scattered when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:50), and they spent the first Holy Saturday hiding for fear of also being arrested (John 20:19). The day between Christ’s crucifixion and His resurrection would have been a time of grief and shock as the stunned disciples tried to understand the murder of Jesus, the betrayal of Judas, and the dashing of their hopes. “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19)
The only reference to what happened on Saturday is found in Matthew 27:62-66. After sundown on Friday—the day of Preparation—the chief priests and Pharisees visited Pontius Pilate. This visit was on the Sabbath, since the Jews reckoned a day as starting at sundown. They asked Pilate for a guard for Jesus’ tomb.
They remembered Jesus saying that He would rise again in three days (John 2:19-21) and wanted to do everything they could to prevent that. As we know, the Roman guards were inadequate to prevent the resurrection, and the women who returned to the tomb Sunday morning found it empty.
The Lord is risen.
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