This is from the message my husband gave today at Hazel Findley Assisted Living:
The Gospel of Matthew as well as other Gospel writers presents the reality of Jesus’ death as an absolute certainty.
Those standing around the cross watched as Jesus “breathed his last.” – John 19:30 tells us He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
They heard him cry with a loud voice. – Mark 15:37 tells us Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed His last.
Roman authorities, acting on instructions from Pilate, broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus to hasten their death; but coming to Jesus, they discovered He had already died – John 19:33 says “But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
Having received confirmation of death from the Roman centurion, Pilate released the body of Jesus to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus for burial.
The callous Roman soldiers said “He is dead.”
The curious crowds, unconscious of the eternal significance, said “He is dead.’
Pilate got the word, “Jesus is dead.”
Mary, feeling the pain like a dagger in her heart, said, “My son is dead.”
His disciples, numb and stunned with the events of the last few hours said, “The Master is dead”
Everybody had written Jesus off – gone forever.
Get on with the same routine. He’s dead. No one expected to see Him or hear His voice again.
It’s Friday….but Sunday’s coming.
What separates Christianity from all other religions is an empty tomb and the words of Christ who says “I was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore.”