Friday, March 29, 2013

He sets the captives free


In my earlier post this morning we looked at the crucifixion of Christ.
Now, this evening it is time to reflect on what scripture says regarding what happened next…

 Entombment of Christ


Entombment of Christ by Pieter Lastman

It is notable that, according to Mark, it is only Jesus' women followers who are now still with him:
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.
Evening is approaching and Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the sanhedrin, who was also waiting for the "Kingdom of God," goes to Pilate and asks for Jesus' body. The Scholars Version notes this as "unexpected .. Is Joseph in effect bringing Jesus into his family?" As the next day was the Sabbath Jesus would have to have been buried before sundown or then not until the next night. According to Mosaic law, if someone was hanged on a tree they were not to remain there at night. (Deuteronomy 21:22–23) Pilate is surprised Jesus had died so soon and asks for confirmation and then gives Jesus' body to Joseph.
Joseph wraps it in linen and puts it in a sepulchre, rolls a stone over the entrance, and leaves. According to John he was assisted by the Pharisee Nicodemus. The Marys see this and serve as Mark's witnesses to the events of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Bodies were normally anointed, but there seems to be no time here. John however says Nicodemus wrapped up Jesus' body with spices, which seems to be anointing. The tomb, one of many around Jerusalem, was a limestone cave and Jesus' body would have been laid on a pre-cut shelf, and then most bodies would have been left for a year.

If the story had ended here. There would be no point to Christianity. Being a Christian or (follower of Christ) would have no more significance than following Buddha or any other ‘dead’ prophet or god.


Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released… Luke 4:18


So, where did Jesus go and what did He do after His death?

Matthew 12:40
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Jesus was foretelling of His death)
Hebrews 2:14
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil
Revelation 1:18
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. *
(emphasis mine)

Ephesians 4:9
8 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ?
10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.


Jesus led the captives out of Hades and gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to men.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

*HADES {hah'-dace} (as negative particle) hell, grave
  1. name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions
  2. Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead
  3. later use of this word: the grave, death, hell
  4. In Biblical Greek it is associated with Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common receptacle of disembodied spirits.
  5. Usually Hades is just the abode of the wicked, Lu. 16:23, Rev. 20:13,14; a very uncomfortable place.
(There are other definitions of hell. But since Jesus said Himself that He “holds the keys to death and Hades”, then Hades is where He descended to after His death on the cross.

So far Jesus has died on the cross, been buried, and descended into Hades with the keys to set the captive souls free on this first day of the 3 days that we are told he is in the bowels of the earth.
Remember when He said “It is finished”. That must indicate that as soon as He breathed His last He was handed the keys to death and Hades…I bet it was instantaneous too!
I would like to point out an observation I made when reading this scripture:

Matthew 27:50 – 52
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.


Perhaps you have noticed something in these verses too?
As soon as Jesus dies the earth quakes and the rocks break apart.
The graves open…but…the bodies of the saints do not come out of their graves until AFTER Jesus’ resurrection, and then they go into the city and appear to many!
*According to Jewish custom in Israel at the time of Jesus, the dead had to be buried under ground. This was usually in a cave for the rich or just dropped into a hole in the ground, standing upright for the poor or average person.
So, upon Jesus death the earth cracks open (in preparation for the resurrection of the dead saints entombed beneath?) 
Jesus’ body lies in the grave until the third day (Sunday). In the meantime the Lord descends into Hades to unlock the graves where the souls of the saints are imprisoned. And after the Lord rises from the dead, the saints arise also.
I also noted where verse 53 states that the risen saints appear to many. I wondered why the whole city did not witness their resurrection?
Perhaps it was because there was such a huge earthquake (big enough to tear open rocks) and maybe most people were hiding in their homes? I know I would be!
The next time Christ comes back to earth there will be another event similar to this one…Just as Jesus set the captives free from their graves the first time He came to earth, the bodies of the dead in Christ will arise once more at His return.
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The above scriptures seem to explain how the corrupted bodies of the saints that are buried will be raised incorruptable, and that the saints who have died will be brought with Jesus upon His return (I believe this will be a pairing of our spirits with our glorified new bodies.)
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.( 1 Cor. 15:52)

 

18 comments:

  1. Both of today's post were wonderful, Lisa. So much information. Thank you!

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  2. You are welcome Jane. I'm glad you enjoyed the posts!
    ~God bless you and your family this Easter weekend~ Lisa

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  3. This is so cool I've never tied them to the Easter story before. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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    1. Hi Karen,
      I never made the connection before now either!
      ~God bless~

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  4. Thank you for visiting Me and your nice comment.God bless you and happy Resurrection Day.Denise of Coffeeberry Cottage

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    1. You are welcome Denise.
      ~God bless you and your family this Ressurection Day~ Lisa

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  5. Hi Lisa,
    What an incredible earth quake it must have been and the one we will experience on His return will be massive.

    The more we talk about the return of Jesus, the more excited I become. I feel like a kid waiting for a big event to happen.

    Blessings hon,
    <><

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    1. Hi COG,

      It looks like we are online at the same time often. ;)

      I know what you mean, I usually get pretty excited after visiting elizabeth's blog (The End Time), though it can be a bit scary to read of the current events some days...still, It makes me anxious (in a good way) for His soon return...
      Look up! For your redemption is drawing near...
      ...Come Lord Jesus!
      God bless you too, 'sweetie' (my new nickname for you, LOL)

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    2. LOL!!

      Sweetie, love it! :)

      YES look up! He is coming, can't you feel it? Open our eyes Lord and let us see!!

      Blessings hon,
      <><

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    3. ~Glad you love it!~
      I just gotta have the last word...LOL!
      ~Blessings Sweetie~ ;D

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  6. Wow! how informative!!
    I love to study- especially all things Bible, Christianity.

    You're so right what if Christ's death stopped there!!

    So I say Happy Easter!!! Christ is Risen from the dead!!
    Blessings to you, Deanna

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    1. Hi Deanna,

      It seems that anytime we think about our AWESOME SAVIOR, the word WOW comes up :D
      You have a wonderful Easter celebration too~God bless~ Lisa

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  7. Have a wonderful, blessed Easter celebration, Denise!
    ~God bless~ Lisa

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  8. It will be a grand day when we are in Heaven and will be able to know exactly what happened on that day Meet the people who were there. :)Praise and rejoice with the lord.♥

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    1. I know, Can you imaging talking with all the biblical saints like Peter, and hearing the story from them...It is wonderful that God inspired those men to write of their experiences in the Bible, that is all we need for now! We are fortunate to have this freedom to study about and discuss our faith like this...not everyone can do that.
      ~God bless~
      Lisa

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  9. Hi Lisa,
    What a wonderful and exciting day it will be when Christ returns and the dead are raised and the rest of us believers are caught up to be with the Lord forever. But this would never be if Jesus had not been raised from the dead. Wonderful post and God bless,
    Ken

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    1. Hi Ken,
      This is the hope that sets us apart from all the other religions in the world. It wll be a wonderful family reunion...and we will all have bodies free of disease and deformity, not to mention a clean heart and spirit! We will be made perfect like Jesus...That is just not possible here on earth as long as we have our earthly tents to dwell in.
      ~God bless~ Lisa

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