Monday, November 1, 2010

ALL SOULS DAY – NOVEMBER 2ND – TUESDAY (Lk 23: 44-46, 50, 52-53; 23: 1-6)

1. There was a great darkness when Jesus died. It was as if the sun itself could not bear to look upon the deed that had been done. The world becomes a dark place indeed wherever people seek to banish Christ. The Temple veil was torn in two. This was the veil which hid the Holy of Holies, the place where dwelt the very presence of God, the place where no man might ever enter except the high priest, and he only once a year, on the great Day of Atonement. The birth, life and death of Jesus tore apart the veil which had concealed God.

2. Jesus died with a prayer on his lips, ‘Father into your hand I commit my spirit.’ That is Psalm 31: 5 with one word added – Father. That verse was the prayer every Jewish mother taught her child to say last thing at night. Just as we were taught, maybe, to say, ‘This night I lay me down to sleep,’ Jesus made it even lovelier for he began it with the word Father. Even on a cross Jesus died like a child falling asleep in his father’s arms.

3. It was the custom that the bodies of criminals were not buried at all but left to the dogs and vultures to dispose of; but Joseph of Arimathea saved the body of Jesus from that indignity. There was not much time left that day. Jesus was crucified on the Friday; the Jewish Sabbath is our Saturday. But the Jewish Sabbath had begins at 6 pm. That is to say by Friday at 6 pm the Sabbath had begun. That is why the women had only time to see where the body was laid and go home and prepare their spices and ointments from it and do no more, for after 6 pm all work became illegal. Joseph risked the disfavor and discipline of the Sanhedrin. He did not fear the loss of position, prestige, promotion, acceptance, popularity, friends, job, income, livelihood etc.

4. The Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday, is the last day of the week and commemorates the rest of God after the work of creation. The Christian Sunday is the first day of the week and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. On this first day Christian Sunday the women went to the tomb in order to carry out the last offices of love for the dear dead and to embalm Jesus’ body with their spices.

5. The angels reminded the women that Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection (Lk 18: 31-34). The followers of Jesus had always been confused about the prophecy of His death and resurrection. They would not accept his words literally and did not take his predictions seriously.

Today, all of us except a very few, would visit the nearby cemeteries. As we gaze at the cemeteries, we get a lot of insights about our own life. Today we cannot think of buying a piece of land, for we know that every square feet is sold for a very high price and inspite of that people are busy in purchasing plots, lands for their future. When we think that one day we had to confine our body within a few square feet approximately 18 sq ft, it scares us and we do not wish to think about it further. As we pray for the dead in general and for our beloved ones in particular, let us remember that our life is too short and futile. It is high time for us to purchase plots in the kingdom of God and legal procedures for doing so, is clearly given in the Gospel. Let’s hurry and book the plots.

The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible
William Barclay the New Daily Study Bible

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