Mark 15:42-47 Jesus Works While Others Mourn

I've been set free!

I’ve been set free!

Today we see Joseph of Arimathea caring for the body of Jesus. Jesus has just died at the hands of the Roman soldiers, under the DIRECT influence of the whole religious council. His blood is on their hands.

When we looked at this scene in Matthew we became first hand observers in our story. That blog is titled “One Last Gift for Jesus.” In that story I didn’t realize Joseph was actually a member of the religious council, and gave him a little different perspective than he probably had. We will chalk it up to NOT being an expert and writer’s privilege. I would love to share that story with you again, if you feel so inclined. 

Today, as we read Mark’s account, there is very little difference; other than the fact that Joseph was part of the council. I would like to look instead at what went on unseen while Jesus was in His grave. Because Mark doesn’t break down the events from the moment Jesus was taken from the cross and when He rose, this gives me the freedom to talk about what happened the whole time He was in the grave. I don’t have a play by play, or even a certainty of everything Jesus did, BUT there are things that we know He had to accomplish during that time. He was not quietly “decomposing” while the world went about its business. He was hard at work, finishing what He started.

After Jesus uttered His last words, “It is finished” and breathed His last breath, He stepped from the role of Sacrificial Lamb to Perpetual High Priest. And as the High Priest He had work to do.

I love the song “Sunday’s On The Way” by Carman. It depicts Jesus three days in the grave as one LONG stressful moment for Satan. The demons were celebrating but not Satan. He remembered Jesus’ words and He knew Jesus ALWAYS kept His word.

I also love Carman’s song “The Champion.” This one speaks to me today. It depicts Jesus and Satan locked in the battle of the ages. It uses a boxing ring metaphor for the final fight, but has a twist at the end. When Satan strikes the final death blow he thinks he has won, but God does something unexpected. He starts a countdown instead of a count out. When God reaches one, the true victor is revealed.

That is how I see what happened while Jesus was in the grave. God made sure that Satan didn’t understand His plan. Satan worked during Jesus’ whole life to try and kill Him. God protected Jesus over and over again to prevent Satan’s efforts from spoiling the surprise. God didn’t stop Satan from trying. Satan needed to think he had a chance of winning. God’s plan called for Satan to actually succeed, AT THE RIGHT TIME and IN THE RIGHT WAY.

Imagine the surprise on Satan’s face when He sees Jesus standing before him right after His death. Because Jesus was wearing the world’s sin on Him He had legal access to Hell. He walked right in there and stood toe to toe with Satan. At first Satan must have been overjoyed! Jesus was COVERED in sin! Satan would think he owned Jesus now. But then the sins began to melt off one by one right before Satan’s eyes. Jesus righteous blood was washing them away!

Satan had been holding the contracts for all of mankind. Each one read, “The price for sin is death.” God had written this law Himself. So Satan was within his rights to hold EVERY soul in eternal death for their sins. But something new was happening. Jesus was writing His name in place of everyone who had been faithful to God. He was substituting His death for theirs. Jesus was fulfilling their contracts while removing them from harm’s way.

As each contract changed to read “paid in full” the key to the chains binding that soul had to be turned over to Jesus. He collected the key for EVERY soul who would EVER call on Him as their Lord. He then took those keys, opened every chain, and transformed each one into a crown. Each soul was then led out of Hell. As this procession reached Heaven, Jesus applied His blood to the alter, and washed every soul as they entered into Heaven. Each soul passed through Heaven’s gates they were wrapped in a robe prepared specifically by Jesus and received the crown created from their chains.

As soon as the very last contract was changed and the very last soul that God had been preserving left Hell, the last sin Jesus had been wearing melted under His blood. Jesus now stood before Satan completely sinless. Satan no longer had a right to hold Him. This is when Jesus blew the doors off of His tomb. He had just completed every act required for our and His freedom. Death no longer had any right to Him. He was free.

I know I dramatized this a bit because this is how I see it. What we do know for a fact is that Jesus fought Satan and took the keys of death, Hell and the grave from him. Jesus also removed all those waiting for the promise from the holding place in Hell that was segregated and prepared for them. He took those souls to paradise, just as He promised the thief on the cross. He also cleaned Heaven from one end to the other. No longer would Satan be free to visit. All traces of sin were removed and all access points closed off. Finally, Jesus stood before the Father to announce His task complete. He did this final step right after rising physically from the grave. He told Mary that morning, “Do not touch me for I have not yet ascended to the Father” (John 20:17).

More than this though, Jesus paid that same price for EVERY person who would EVER call on Him as Lord. As God, He saw down through the ages of time and paid for each and every one of us too. He didn’t simply pick and choose which of us would choose Him as our Lord and Savior but He SIGNED a blank check for ANYONE who would come. He didn’t make you choose to accept Him through some predestined DNA programming, but He knew your heart before you were even born and knew the choice you would make. He doesn’t leave anyone out either. He wrote that same check for every person. All we have to do is “pick it up and cash it.” We have to accept that He was and is exactly who He said He was. Accept that He paid YOUR debt for you. And ask Him to be Lord of your life, the fitting reward for the one who ransomed it in the first place.

Lord Jesus, THANK YOU for Your work on the cross and for Your work in Hell itself. Thank You for ransoming me. I want to give You my life. I know I try and take it back out of Your hands far too many times, but even then You still love me and hold me securely. I pray that everyone reading this will realize that You have made a personal invitation to them too. Thank You for looking down through history and seeing each one of us. Let me be a light for You as my way of saying thank You one more time.

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10 Responses to “Mark 15:42-47 Jesus Works While Others Mourn”

  1. I LOVE this, Annette! Your dramatization is amazing. (I love the Carmen songs also, but I like your version even better.)

    One of the most encouraging things I get from the Scriptures concerning the age long battle of Good vs Evil that culminated in Jesus’ victory over death, hell, and the grave, is that it shows us that Satan is NOT omniscient; he does NOT know the end from the beginning like God does.

    Thus his observation of my life is based on what I show him–he has no access to seeing my heart or knowing God’s plan for me. He can shoot arrows at me from the shadows, or even (at times) attack me head on – but what he cannot do is overcome the Risen Christ who lives within me. Thus, I (we as followers of Christ) walk through Satan’s territory, boldly waving the banner of Our Lord, winning souls that he thought were his for eternity. Of course he attacks us to the best of his ability, but the absolute MOST he can ever accomplish is our physical death (when our God has allowed us to complete our task on earth.) He cannot win – as the victory already belongs to us through Jesus’ triumph once-and-for-all-time.

    I was reading this morning about the hundreds of Muslims who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as they’ve watched the slaughter of Christians in their homeland at the hand of ISIS. Of course we pray for the safety of all Christians. But the reality is: every time throughout history that Christians have faced persecution leading to death, the Church has expanded. Truly the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. So, our best prayer for them is (as Jesus’ prayed for Peter) that their faith will remain strong. May that same prayer be answered on our part as well.

    We (in the USA) have not yet seen true persecution. Oh we’ve suffered ridicule and get our feelings hurt when ‘the world’ doesn’t agree with us, or would ‘step on our rights.’ But there is coming a time when we will be required to stand tall for our faith and possibly die by the executioner’s sword. When that time comes, we would do well to heed the example of martyrs who have gone before us–including Our Lord–who went as sheep to the slaughter and opened not their mouths (in hateful retribution.)

    OK – I totally went down a rabbit trail here. What can I say? You inspired me! 😉

    • Annette Vincent says:

      I thought about the stand we take for Jesus. I know we really don’t experience real suffering or persecution here in the United States, but our brothers and sisters do. Speaking out for Him is becoming unpopular here though. Today’s “Encouraging Word” that I receive spoke to this for me. Perfect timing too.

      “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” Galatians 1:10 (New Living Translation).

      Just thought I’d share that. I fell in your rabbit hole too. 🙂

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    • Annette Vincent says:

      Thanks for visiting my site. I don’t mind the off topic questions at all. I actually had a LOT of help setting up this blog. I use a hosting company that created the format and background. I chose the menus, direction, and asked for changes in their formats until it fit my personality and direction. I use Accelerated Web Solutions as my hosting and maintenance company. They have a lot to offer. They have a banner ad on the side of my blog if you are interested in finding out what they have to offer.

      As for the subject matter in my blog, I picked something I am passionate about. I have been journaling with my bible for years and wanted to share some of the things that flow out of my pen. This blog is just that. Me sharing what God puts in my heart as I read His word. I pray it blesses those who read it and maybe even shed new light on familiar subjects.

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      Hi Raymonde,
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      Thank you for visiting my site. I have a twitter account but don’t do anything with it. Sorry. You can subscribe to my rss feed though it you want to follow me. I have been lax the last three days but plan to get back to blogging daily with my bible. Thanks for the encouragement. Please join in again anytime.

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