It seems only fitting that after experiencing a Personal Jerusalem that the next step of the journey leads to the tomb. I know that may sound morbid but stay with me
Jesus knew He was going to the tomb. Actually, He saw BEYOND the tomb. I believe that vision is what kept Him going. “What?” you may say. Jesus needed to keep going? Jesus got tired? Jesus wanted a different route but the same outcome? Simply put…yes. Why else would He be sweating blood while praying ‘if this cup can pass from Me…’ But He resolved to see it through when He said ‘but not My will but Yours be done.’ And the next step He took led Him closer to the tomb.
But what exactly happened in that tomb? There’s been a lot of speculation. Did Jesus descend to hell? Did He ascend to the the Father? We’ll never know…not until we stand before Him when we’ve passed through our tomb. And at that point, I really don’t think we’ll care!
So where am I going with this? I’m watching someone I love and care about go through their own Tomb Time right now – my friend who’s away. He’s in those ‘days in the grave’ that no one will ever fully understand. But what I DO understand is seeing BEYOND the tomb! And just as Jesus gave us a glimpse (“I go to prepare a place for you”) of what was beyond the grave, God is giving me a glimpse of what’s beyond the tomb time of my friend.
His tomb time is teaching him how to die – die to himself, die to his old way of life, die to immediate gratification, and die to the selfishness that ruled his life for so long. And what’s on the other side? Glimpses of what I’m already seeing: eyes open to others around him and their needs, sensitivity to how his actions effect others, appreciation for the little things in life, character development of a godly man. And what’s MOST important is how this change is happening…..
My friend told me ‘in my own way I’ve given my life back to God to do with as He pleases.’ Mission accomplished for the grave. Jesus’ tomb was necessary to conquer death and offer us life. My friend’s tomb is necessary for him to look up and let go. And God is blessing that. God is using this time in my friend’s life to develop that relationship with him – the relationship that was made possible by Jesus’ tomb time – and rebuild my friend. And when the Master Builder is laying the foundation…..it’s a beautiful sight.
Words can’t express how very proud I am of my friend. He’s going through his tomb time in style, without bitterness, and in a way that honors God. Because he knows that God is in control and won’t let go. In the same way my friend prayed ‘if this cup can pass from me’ he’s also come to the ‘but not my will but Yours be done.’ And the peace RADIATES from his face and voice. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t struggle. He just takes that next step, just like Jesus. Because he sees BEYOND the grave to the life that comes from it.
May we all walk through our tomb times with as much ‘holy boldness’ and Jesus did and as my friend is. I am challenged and encouraged by watching it happen to someone I care about. It gives me a small glimpse of the ‘bigger picture’ God may have for me as He invites me to my tomb time.
Tomb Time…where dieing leads to life. Abundant!