The time between the burial and the empty tomb.

I sit here and imagine what it was like for the disciples when Jesus died. His body lay lifeless as they took his body off the cross. Their leader, the teacher, was dead. I can only assume they experienced significant loss, heartache, uncertainty, fear, and questions about what’s next. 

The disciples didn’t understand Jesus as the Messiah as we know Him. They thought that Jesus was going to be the leader to overthrow the oppression that was on the people. They spent three years following him. That’s over twenty-six thousand hours. And now their leader was gone.

Did they understand what happened the time between the grave and the empty tomb? Do we understand? I am ashamed to say that I briefly thought of it until today. Yes, we know that Jesus died for us, but do we really understand this? HE died. I know Him as part of the Trinity, so to get my head around the fact that he died (he was man) takes some deliberate contemplating.  

Hebrews 2:17,18

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and that he might make atonement for the sings of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

If we never understand that Jesus died, we will never know how we can live. There is so much ‘back story’ to cover. But to stay on the subject of what happened from the burial to the resurrection, we will not be covering it today.

Have you ever thought about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane? I admit there are times when I read scripture with the mindset that Jesus was God. But if I do this, I am not getting the understanding that I need to fully appreciate what Jesus did for me and you.


Jesus walked as a man, ministering and keeping the Covenant of God. He did what God said to do and honored God every moment of his life.

Jesus had to be a man born who could stand the test; the first man (Adam) failed. Death was never a part of the original plan of God for man. Death only became a part of the human experience after Adam fell into sin. Romans 5:12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Man was the key to the fall, and Jesus was the key to the redemption. He was not an immortal Man. Jesus was pure, clean, absolute – the heart of God Himself walking inside an eternal body. If Jesus were not immortal, he wouldn’t have died. Immortality means “not subject to death.” Jesus became immortal at the resurrection.

Listen, Jesus was separated from God when he hung on the cross with our sins upon Him. Matthew 27:46 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? He experienced this separation so that we do not have to.

Jesus, once he died, deliberately went to the heart of the earth, Sheol, to legally get back what Adam forfeited.

Matthew 12:39,40

no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah, because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

His spirit descended into Sheol, the place of departed spirits. On the day of His death upon the cross, He went first to the place of the spirits of the righteous, called “Paradise” or “Abraham’s bosom.” Since the scripture indicates this at the death of Christ on the cross when he spoke to one of two thieves, it seems natural to suppose that Christ was in Paradise to welcome the departed spirit of the repenting thief who followed Him there.

From Paradise, Christ then went further down into that area of Sheol reserved for the spirits of the wicked. It would appear that His descent into this place of torment was necessary for Him to complete the work of atonement for man’s sin, since He had to endure in full not merely the physical but also the spiritual consequences of sin.

Then, at God’s chosen moment, when the complete penance had been accomplished, the spirit of Christ ascended again from the realm of Sheol to this present earthly world. At the same time, His body, lying lifeless in the tomb, was raised from death, and spirit and body were reunited and seen (Luke 24).

When we place our faith in Jesus, He takes our “law-breaking record” on Himself and places His perfect, sinless record on our account, making us righteous before God.

This Resurrection Sunday, I have a deeper appreciation of the ‘death’ and resurrection of Jesus. Let us worship our Redeemer! The Resurrected King of Kings and Lord of All.

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