Everything Has Already Changed

A reading for Thursday, July 31, 2014: Matthew 27:55-66.

Everything is now upside down. We read of the aftermath of Jesus death on the cross and we realize that everything has already changed.

Where are the men that followed Jesus? Nowhere to be found. But the women still attend to him. In the ancient world, women were considered too weak and corruptible to be trusted with such important things. Yet, they continue to follow Jesus while the men are too afraid to continue.

Joseph of Arimathea comes to collect the body and bury Jesus. Most of the time, the Romans preferred to let the corpse of those crucified simply rot on display for all to see as a deterrent and display of their power. But Joseph, because he is wealthy and connected, is able to get Pilate to release the body for burial. Up to this point, all those that followed Jesus have seemingly been poor, peasants on the wrong side of the power structures. Here we discover that disciples of Jesus were also from the wealthy, political class.

Finally, the religious authorities are still worried about Jesus. They thought they could kill him and it would be over. Already we see that it didn't work. Guard the body? It's absurd to think that a dead body would need a guard, but that's exactly what they convince Pilate to do. The greatest powers in the ancient world are now reduced to standing a worried watch over a dead peasant's body.

We don't have to wait for resurrection to see that the world has changed because of the faithfulness of Jesus. Things that nobody believed possible have already happened. But resurrection is surely coming...

Often we too find it hard to believe that things can change for us. We are utterly convinced that this is just the way things are. But the cross and faithfulness of Jesus does change things, for us and for the entire world around us. We don't have to wait for the final resurrection to begin to see that things can change. Faith is not simply about waiting to get to heaven. Jesus was faithful to the end, and that has made all the difference for us.

Know that the final resurrection is coming... but also know that everything has already changed.


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