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The Story – Pastor Jeff Vines

by | Sun, Apr 9 2023

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Easter Sunday is a day of celebration! It’s the day we commemorate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The significance of this event cannot be overstated. It’s a reminder that death has been conquered, sin has been defeated, and hope has been restored.

In his Easter message, The Story, Jeff takes us through the story of Joseph of Arimathea, the man who laid Jesus’ body to rest in his tomb. Joseph of Arimathea was a man of great courage and conviction. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council that had condemned Jesus to death.

Moved with Compassion

But when Jesus died on the cross, Joseph’s heart was moved with compassion. He went to Pilate and asked for permission to take Jesus’ body down from the cross and give Him a proper burial. This was no easy task, as it meant going against the wishes of his fellow council members and risking his own reputation and safety.

But Joseph knew that he had to do what was right, regardless of the cost. His actions were a testament to his faith in God and his love for Jesus. Joseph becomes an important figure, historically speaking, and the Bible tells us that he was an upright man.

‘Joseph of Arimathea is a man who was well versed in the Old Testament scriptures,’ says Jeff. ‘He started to look at the life of Jesus, and he said, this man is fulfilling the prophecies that have been prophesied for the Messiah.’

After Jesus was crucified Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body. But where were the disciples? They were hiding. They were terrified. They were thinking, if the Romans killed our leader, then we’ll be next. They were not expecting the resurrection.

The Truth of the Resurrection

‘Historians say the resurrection story would not appear like this if it was simply myth or legend,’ says Jeff. ‘Because the disciples look faithless. They look stubborn and ignorant. This story reads like history, because there was no church and no Christianity. The disciples all just went home.’

Yet Joseph and his servants wrap Jesus’s body in a linen cloth, and place it in a tomb. The women then go and wash the body, and afterwards put oils on it. They believed that Jesus deserved a decent burial, but there was nothing more they could do. The sun was about to go down and the Bible tells us they went home to prepare spices so they could return to the tomb after the Sabbath.

‘What do you think they were expecting to see?’ says Jeff. ‘A body? In their culture when somebody died, they stayed dead. That’s true in every culture. But then the Bible tells us they found the stone rolled away. The women entered and they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.’

The angel said to the women, why do you look for the living amongst the dead? ‘I love that line,’ says Jeff. ‘Then the angel continues by saying, He is not here. He us risen. Why didn’t the women get it? If you read the Gospels, Jesus says over and over again, I’ll be crucified. But I’ll rise again on the third day.’

Foundation of Faith

What Jesus taught is true. What He said about life, death, pain and suffering is all true. ‘The resurrection is not just a story or a belief; it’s a reality that has changed countless lives throughout history.’

‘It’s the foundation of our faith as Christians, and it gives us hope and assurance that we too will one day rise from the dead and be with God forever.’

Listen to Jeff’s full message below, and for more resources visit our Vision Store.