Recovering Christmas Morning

Every local church had a big decision to make in 2016: Will we gather for worship on Sunday, December 25, or not? There are valid points to argue on both sides of that decision and ultimately Resurrection Church made the call to worship on Thursday and Friday before Christmas Day instead of gathering on Sunday. This decision, however, was not made with the thought in mind that we would simply “get church out of the way” early in the week so we could move on and keep December 25 free for all the “other stuff.”

The local church where we gather for worship should not be the only place/space in our lives where gathering for the purpose of worshiping Christ happens. Our homes, family times, and fellowship with believing friends should also be times of worship and collective focus on God. So my challenge to you is this. Don’t let Sunday, December 25, 2016 be a worship-less, God-less, Christ-less day for you and yours. Be intentional and do your best to make it a Christ-filled, worship-filled day!

How can we do that? Reading Scripture, praying, and singing together are some great ways to saturate your celebration of Christmas with worship of Jesus. I encourage you to make an intentional effort to weave those elements into every facet of your celebration. Here are some examples of what that might look like:

  • When everyone wakes up Christmas morning, emphasize the lighting of the Christmas tree. Evergreen trees are a symbol of eternal life. Martin Luther introduced them to the Reformation Church as a picture of our endless life in Christ, by bringing in a tree to his family on Christmas Eve lit with candles. As you light the tree, pause to read one or more of the following Scriptures: John 3:16; John 10:27-30; 1 John 2:17; Psalm 139:23-24; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Then, pray and give thanks to God for eternal life!
  • If you light candles, have someone read John 8:12 as they’re being lit. Let the lighting of candles prompt you to give thanks to Jesus who is the light of the world.
  • If you have holly around the house, and/or a lot of the color red in your decorations, remember that holly speaks of the thorns in Jesus’ crown and that the color red can  remind us of Jesus’ blood and death for our sins. If you light a fire in the fireplace, the yule log has been a symbol of the cross. Carrying the log to the fireplace can remind us of Christ who carried His cross to Golgotha. Read Matthew 27:27-30 and John 19:17 together. Pray and give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice that brought you life! Consider taking Communion together.
  • As you give and receive gifts, remember the gifts of the Magi to baby Jesus. Each of them speak to a component of His incarnation: Majesty in life (frankincense), Bitterness and Agony in Death (myrrh) , and Him as God’s perfect gift to us (gold). During the gift exchange read Matthew 2:1-12.
  • Mistletoe was an ancient symbol from the Roman times. It was under Mistletoe that old enmities and broken friendships were restored. If you have mistletoe hanging, point it out and remember that it was Christ who took away the enmity and gave us Peace with God. Bells are associated with ringing out news. Christ is the good news, the best news of all! Read Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 5:1; and Romans 8:1 and celebrate the Good News of reconciliation with God through Christ Jesus.
  • When you sit down to feast this Christmas, pause to remember that we are headed toward The Great Feast! Before you say the blessing over your food, read Revelation 19:6-9 together.

Start 2016 unplugged with our media fast

Other than Jesus, the Apostle Paul is probably the most significant figure in the NT. He was a highly educated Pharisee, a Jew with Roman citizenship, and he launched on the scene of Church history as a hired thug who tortured and killed Christians. But then, he encountered Jesus, and everything changed for him. He became, arguably, the most prolific missionary ever and was inspired by God to write two-thirds of what we know as the New Testament.

During his ministry, Paul experienced all sorts of highs and lows. He performed great miracles, saw countless numbers of people hear and receive the Good News of Jesus Christ, and planted dozens of churches. He also knew persecution, abuse, rejection and pain. From a prison cell, chained to a guard 24 hours a day, Paul wrote these words in Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV): I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Paul found contentment through learning that a relationship with Jesus is the source of true contentment. We live in a world today where we are constantly inundated with people telling us what we need and how to have true peace. We are constantly faced with advertisements and media outlets selling us on the next thing the next device, the next place to vacation, the next show to watch or movie to go to, the next app, the next hashtag. We have more information and more stuffat our fingertips than any generation before us. And yet, I would argue we are more discontent, more relationally starved and less authentic and compassionate than any generation before us.

Here at Rez, as each new year begins, we promote a fast to begin the year. We do this because fasting is a great way to remove the clutter from our lives (the stuff we tend to depend on at the expense of depending on Christ) and draw closer to Jesus. This year, I want to challenge you to consider a media fast. Many of us are too tethered to our devices and social media. We watch too much TV and spend way too much time staring at screens and devices. Not that social media, devices and TV are bad in and of themselves. The problem is that many people become addicted to them.

Recent scientific studies are revealing the negative effects media and technology are having on our ability to relate, be compassionate, and be content. In our embrace and needof social media, Im afraid we have lost more than weve gained. Some losses I think we are experiencing include the following:

  1. Our ability to concentrate and contemplate. In his book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our BrainsNicholas Carr says, Media outlets arent just channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether Im online or not, my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.In other words, the tools we use shape us. God doesnt have a Twitter account, nor does He speak in sound bites. What did He give us so we could understand and know Him? He gave us a Book a very big Book! We cant skim the Word and expect to understand the Gospel and experience increasing relationship with Him.

  2. Our ability to be compassionate and empathetic is being lost or weakened. We become desensitized in our rush to skim mounds of information each day, several times a day. In our rush to get the latest output, do we stop to pray for needs or check, in person, on someone sick or in need? Our society tends to place the highest value on the latest information. We are being trained focus first and foremost on whats new at the expense, in many cases, of whats important.

  3. Were losing intimacy in our marriages, our families, our friendships. While media often helps us stay somewhat connected to those we care about and love, it should never replace or be a substitute for a self-sacrificing, heartfelt, loving relationship, where we meet face-to-face to pray, laugh, help and encourage each other. Theres a difference between posting on social media that you will pray for someone and actually meeting in person to pray with that person or praying even by phone with them. Face-to-face and one-on-one is where we can really minister and be Jesusto those the Lord places in our pathway.

  4. Were losing sight of Godly contentment. One of the hazards of social media is that of comparing our lives to the edited livespresented online. Pastor Steven Furtik states, Through social media, we compare our behind the scenes with other peoples highlight reels.Filtered, edited and cropped. Suddenly we feel inadequate for no obvious reason or depressed by the seemingly perfect lives of others. We head down the dangerous road of seeing ourselves in the image of others, instead of in the image of God.

Look back at the scripture I mentioned above. Paul is essentially saying that the barometer for his contentment is not whether he has a lot or a little. Rather, his barometer is his treasure in Christ that strengthens him. Pastor Craig Groeschel says, Its when you come to the place where Christ is all you have, that you finally realize Hes all you need.

We need to unplug and refocus. I am hoping our church body, and others who may read this, will take some time, as we begin this new year, to rediscover our joy, rest, strength and contentment in Jesus. We need to reevaluate the culture of our lives, homes, marriages, relationships. I know many of us need to be honest with ourselves and with God. We need to draw a line in the sand. We need to recognize how distracted and disconnected we have become in pursuing the false illusions of contentment and rest that media and technology seemingly provides.

This year our new-year fast begins Jan. 3 and ends Jan 24 three weeks to unplug from recreational, non-essential media and technology. If you missed the Dec. 27 message on this topic, its available on Vimeo. If you have any questions, please contact us and let us help you. Most importantly though, begin praying right now and ask God to guide you by His Spirit, during this fast. Lets begin this year with a holy determination to rediscover the secret of true contentment – Christ who gives us strength!

God’s illogical love

We recently celebrated one of the greatest days in all of history. Easter is no ordinary date and is steeped in a great tradition of remembrance. Remembering the Resurrection is paramount to Christian living. If Christianity was stripped of the Resurrection it would be nothing more than an assembly of fools. In remembering the Resurrection our attention must start with a corpse.

The corpse of the Christ, there in a cold, dark, hard, solitary tomb. No matter where you find yourself in this journey of life, this is a striking picture. Believer or nonbeliever, the thought of this causes turmoil in the deepest regions of our being. It strikes us with such intensity because we have no box to put this degree of love in. This is a love that is so relentless that God knew His creation would choose in vain to become like Him. The fundamental flaw is that the creation can never exceed the Creator. Many of us know the story of Adam and Eve.

Let’s take a fresh look. God created a masterpiece unlike any other. In this masterpiece God provided everything that was needed. In this garden of Eden, there was but one solitary tree among and surrounded by countless others. God set aside this tree and told them to not eat from it. We know what happens from here. Let’s pause and look at this garden. Everything you need is provided. It’s perfect, flawless, and without toil. God slants this garden in favor of his creation, giving them free reign with one solitary exception, which would become one of the greatest tragedies of all time.

Continue to rewind the clock, to God knowing that before this perfect garden was crafted that the decision his creation would make. God knew that in spite of providing everything and slanting for the success of his creations that Adam would make the wrong choice. Having this knowledge and continuing to create the garden is incomprehensible. When you couple that knowledge with the plot of his Son being murdered for a creation he know would not choose him, that takes it to another level. This is exactly what God did. He decided that creating us and giving us a choice was worth the life of his Son and this was all done beforehand.

This type of love is illogical and irrational. We can’t explain it and it will never fit in our boxes. Paul puts it best in his letter to the church of Ephesus. Paul explains that to be filled with the fullness of God we must be rooted and grounded in love. This is no ordinary love. It is condition free and inexhaustible. This kind of love knows failure is imminent but still relentlessly pursues its object. This is love that existed before our failure.

Most Christians celebrate that God’s love is not performance based. We know we can’t earn it. I agree, but it’s more than that; just the same, we can do nothing to lose it! This is evident in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! While we were yet still choosing what we thought was best like eating from the one tree instead of the countless others.

Reckon with God’s love for a moment. After all, I think that we all wish to experience the fullness of God. His love is immeasurable. It’s so vast that it exceeds our ability to comprehend it. While it can’t be measured, it can be accepted. You can’t contain his love, but you can receive it. You can’t stop it, but you can spread it. You can’t touch it, but you can stand on it.

God’s son was violently murdered, not because you and I made or will make the right decision; that would place a condition on it. It is this love that I must come to realize because we still wrestle with the same tree in our garden. How does this tie into the Resurrection? Simply put, without death there can’t be resurrection. Jesus was and is the ultimate display of God’s love! The Resurrection and his death are so intertwined and encased by his love that they cannot be separated. An intimacy exists between the two. This is our story, our message! God’s love never ends, is unconditional, illogical, life changing, and we will never not be its object!

From Creation to the Cross: Day 6 (Scripture Reading – Luke 23, John 18-19)

Someone summed it up well when they said, “The whole stream and drift of the Old Testament moves straight to the cross of Christ.”

When we come to the New Testament, here we see what Christianity is all about, the manger, the cross and the empty tomb. The four Gospel writers devote nearly one quarter of their accounts of the cross and the closing scenes in the life of Christ. The book of Acts is filled with the basics of New Testament doctrine of the cross. The epistles advance that doctrine as they reveal how the whole message of Christian truth rises out of heart of the cross. Even the Revelation is filled with visions of the crucified Lamb. The cross is inescapable!

One writer said, “God has stitched His Word together with a scarlet seam,” From the birth of Christ forward the shadow of the cross was upon His life. The compelling force in His life was to do the will of His Father, even to death on the cross. The events that took place on “Good Friday” were the plan of the Father …” the Son of Man came … to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

Jesus, on the cross took the hand of sinful humanity and placed it in the loving hand of God the Father. Jesus reconciled us to God; he broke down the barrier. He restored the broken fellowship caused by sin. Jesus died to bring God and man together.” Jesus, God’s Son, experienced the tortures of death so that we might have abundant life.

Thought for today:

May we never forget it. May we never grow tired of being reminded of Jesus’ suffering and death. May we never grow weary of praising and thanking God for giving his Son to suffer and die. As the old hymn goes: “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left its crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.”

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your Son Jesus and his obedience. Thank you that because of him, I can have eternal life. Thank you for your grace and the forgiveness of my sins. Help me to be obedient to you and your ways. Amen.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 5 (Scripture Reading – Isaiah 53:10-12)

Today we look at Isaiah 53 once again. Our focus is on verse 10 which says, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him, He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”

This is a really difficult statement to get our minds around, thinking that it was God’s will to crush His own Son. But these words do not describe a random impulse of God; they describe the plans and purposes of God. The sacrifice of Jesus did not come about as an after-thought, or “Plan B.” Since the foundation of the world, this Servant was appointed for this mission.

Nevertheless, this was the only possible way the plan of salvation could succeed in redeeming lost men and women, whom God had created for eternal fellowship. Psalm 149:4 reminds us of this when it says, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.”

In verse 10 Isaiah says, “… He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” He uses figurative language to communicate that the life of the Servant will be highly fruitful – God’s purposes are fulfilled in Him. Jesus said in John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

Thought for today:

Do we stand in awe of God and what He has done for us through Christ? Do you know and believe that God is sovereign over all things? Are we willing to sacrifice for others?

Prayer: Father, your Son gave all so that by the power of the cross we would be justified in your sight and have abundant life. Lord, let Him see a reward for His sufferings in all of us being repentant of sin, trusting in You, and confessing His name. Amen.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 4 (Scripture Reading – Isaiah 52:13-53:12, 1st Peter 1:18-20)

Isaiah 53 serves as the hinge in the book of Isaiah and is the most quoted section of scripture in the New Testament. Genesis 52:13 through 53:12 contains some of the most comprehensive prophecies concerning the Messiah. The most encouraging verses in our passage for today are: Isaiah 53:4-5 which says, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

The question is asked, why was He pierced? – For our transgressions! Why was He crushed? – For our iniquities! We realize that the only way we can have peace with God is for someone to pay the sin debt we owed. Someone had to be punished for our sin against God and all His goodness. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities” – this is the very heart of the Gospel.

Jesus went to the cross for us. His sufferings on the cross were for our transgression and iniquities. We have peace with God, because Jesus took the punishment for us.

Thought for today:

Do I take the sacrifice of Jesus seriously enough? Do I take God’s mercy and grace for granted? What am I willing to change about my life to become a more serious follower of Jesus?

Prayer: Our God thank you for the good news. Thank you for forgiving us our sins. Please give us the will and the ability to spread this, the good news, to our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow workers.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 3 (Scripture Reading – Psalm 22, Hebrews 4:15-16)

The Twenty-second Psalm is one of the most amazing of all the Psalms. In this Psalm, David describes the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus over 700 years before He was even born.

The Psalm begins with a cry that was uttered by Jesus on the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). This cry is one of abandonment, as the sufferer becomes aware that he is, at that moment in time, forsaken.

Sometimes it feels like the Lord has abandoned us, and it is a very normal emotion when we face times of pain and suffering.

One of the great difficulties we face in the Christian life comes during those seasons when it seems as though we are all alone, and God is nowhere to be found.

However, God is not dead; He does not sleep, and He never forgets His own! When our heart cries out, “Where are you, God,” let us remember the words of the Lord, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Thought for today:

We can go to Christ for help with the confidence of knowing He truly understands our suffering and grief because He, too, experienced it. Truthfully, He is the ONLY one we can go to for help in our time of need.

Prayer: Lord, I admit I feel lonely and abandoned in the situation I am facing now. But, thank you for all you sacrificed for us to make a close relationship with you possible. Help us come closer to you and fully know you. In His name we pray.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 2 (Scripture Reading – Genesis 22:1-18, Hebrews 11:17-19)

This passage of scripture is a vivid reminder of man’s greatest need – salvation; and man’s greatest hope – a Savior.

The backstory of this scripture has to do with a promise to Abraham. Even though Abraham had to wait for decades for the birth of his son Isaac, the promise did come to pass. As if the waiting wasn’t enough, now we see Abraham being asked to do the absurd? In Genesis 22:2 God says, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

What kind of a God would ask for a man to kill his own son, with his own hands? – The kind of God who did it himself. What we cannot do ourselves, God has already provided for us through His Son, the “Lamb of God,” and His death on the cross.

Thought for today:

As Abraham trusted God to provide an offering, we have to trust in the offering God has made for our sins. Jesus willingly gave His life so that we would be released from the power of sin and be given power through the Holy Spirit to live as God originally intended for us to live.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son and His sacrifice. Our dependency is in your provision. Walk with us as we remember your sacrifice that we might have life. In your loving name, we pray. Amen.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 1 (Scripture reading: Genesis 6:5-8, Romans 5:5-19)

If we want to be able to understand “Passion Week” we must turn our attention first to the book of Genesis. The first eleven chapters of this book tell us that God created everything. He crowned His creation by creating mankind. Then we see man, in relationship to his Creator, has fallen from a place of dignity, humility and dependence to a state of corruption. It is then God began the process of redemption and the Old Testament reveals His redemptive acts.

Genesis 3:15 is the first indication God had a plan for man’s fallen condition: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

As we consider God’s perfect plan of redemption, let us be reminded that He has a plan for our life as well. In Jeremiah 29:11 it states, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Even though today you may feel separated from God – either by illness, discouragement, grief or rejection; I trust you will remember His plans for you started a long time ago and they involved hope and a future!

Thought for today:
Jesus not only reverses the story of Adam, but he reverses our story as well. He has a plan to transform your life. Trust Him to reverse and change your life today.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for this great promise! Remind us today that the plans you have for your children are always good. God reverse our story. Thank you for sending your Son to give us a hope and an eternal future. Thank you for listening when we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Passion Week: A study aid

A major part of each Gospel focuses on this one week of the earthly life of Jesus, known as The Passion Week. The reason the Gospel writers give such detail accounts of this week is because it tells the story of the Gospel: the death, burial and the resurrection of Jesus.

The writers of the four Gospels allow us to transcend time and walk with Christ to the cross.


What Happened Friday: Jesus leaves Jericho after healing blind Bartimaeus and visiting in the home of Zacchaeus. (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43; 19:1-28). He arrived in Bethany just two miles from Jerusalem. It was six days before the Passover (John 12:1). Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor…Then Mary took a pint of an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet. (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-10).

What Happened Saturday: The Jewish Sabbath. Travel was limited on the Sabbath, so probably Jesus stayed at the home of His friend Lazarus.

The Passover: Jews came from all over the world to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. The purpose of the Passover was to remember Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Scholars say that the city during this time had grown to more than a million people. The city is just boiling with excitement, nervousness – there is a lot going on politically and a lot going on in the religious life of the people; tension is building.


What Happened Sunday: The Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19).

  • The prophecy of Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9).
  • The shouts of Hosanna (Psalm 118:25-26).

What Happened Monday: The Cleansing of the temple (Matthew 21:10-17; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48).

  • Jesus curses the fig tree (Hosea 9:10).
  • Jesus cleanses the temple to fulfill the Messianic expectation; to condemn anything that hindered people in their search for God and to denounce empty ritualism of the temple service. (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13).

What Happened Tuesday: Provocative Teachings (Matthew 21:23-24:51; Mark 11:27- 13:37; Luke 21:1-36). Here we see the Master Teacher.

  • His authority is questioned (Matthew 22:23-27; Mark 27-33; Luke 20:1-8).
  • Jesus gives His view on taxes to Rome (Matthew 22:15-21; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26).
  • The significance of the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-38).
  • The greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34).
  • Jesus confronts the religious leaders in parables.
  • The parable of Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32).
  • The parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-24).
  • The parables of the Ten Virgins, the Talents and the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:1-46; Luke 19:12-27).
  • The parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-18).
  • His judgments against Israel’s leaders (Matthew 23:1-36; Mark 12:38-39; Luke 20:45-46).
  • Jesus mentions the widow for her giving (Mark 12:41-44).
  • Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-38).
  • The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:1-51; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36).

What Happened Wednesday: Jesus’ day of rest.

  • Jesus probably remained in Bethany.
  • Judas meets with the chief priest and plots his betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).

What Happened Thursday: Passover and the Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-75; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-23; John 13:1-30).

  • The disciples debate about who is the greatest.
  • There is a traitor among them.
  • Jesus predicts Peter’s denial.
  • Peter denied Jesus.
  • Jesus gives a lesson on servanthood  (John 13:1-13).
  • Jesus teaching on the Holy Spirit (John 14, 15, 16).
  • Jesus in Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46).
  • Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the authorities.
  • Questioned by Caiaphas the high priest.
  • Early in the morning Jesus is taken before Pilate.

What Happened Friday: “Good Friday” The Trial and Crucifixion (Matthew 27:1-66; Mark 15:1-47; Luke 22:66-23:56; John 18:28-19:37).

  • Christ before Pilate.
  • What is truth?
  • Christ declared free from guilt.
  • Christ sent to Herod.
  • Jesus remained silent.
  • Christ before Pilate the second time.
  • Pilate warned by his wife.
  • Barabbas is released.
  • Pilate washes his hands.
  • Pilate delivers Jesus to be crucified.
  • Jesus is beaten and prepared for His crucifixion.

Calvary – Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull) located ¼ mile outside Jerusalem. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross.

Christ’s Crucifixion  – 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

The seven final words of Christ from the cross:

  • Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
  • Today you will be with me in paradise.
  • Mother, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.
  • My God, My God why have you forsaken me?
  • I thirst.
  • It is finished!
  • Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Supernatural phenomena accompanying Jesus’ death: Darkness, earthquake, rending of the temple veil.

Centurion “Truly this was the Son of God!” “Certainly this man was innocent”. (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47-49).

Joseph of Arimathea asks Pilate for the body of Jesus for burial. (Matthew 27:57; Luke 23:51).

What Happened Saturday: The body of Jesus in the tomb. Pilate dispatches a guard and tells the Jews to seal the tomb as best as they know how. (Matthew 27:65).

What Happened Sunday: Resurrection Day (Matthew 28:1-13; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-31).