As we prepare for Passover and Resurrection Sunday, we rejoice that the tomb is empty! We recently visited the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. And now, Rabbi Curt Landry has a good word for us to meditate on as we remember the hope we have in Yeshua’s resurrection.
What is the Garden Tomb, or the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea?
The Garden Tomb, also known as the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, was where Jesus’ body was buried. And now the tomb is empty!
Joseph of Arimathea was prophesied about in Isaiah 53:9…
- “And they made His grave with the wicked—but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.”
Jesus was killed alongside the wicked, or criminals (Luke 23:32-33). So, it would have made sense for Him to have been cast into the grave of the wicked. But He wasn’t. He was buried in a rich man’s tomb, just as Isaiah prophesied. The rich man was Joseph of Arimathea. He was a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin, a group of Jewish religious leaders.
Though most leaders opposed Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea did not. He was a secret follower of Jesus and went to Pilate after Jesus’ death, asking for His body so he could give Him a proper burial (Mark 15:43). Joseph and Nicodemus, another Jewish leader, prepared Jesus’ body and placed Him in Joseph’s tomb located in a garden near the place where Jesus was crucified. This is why the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea also became known as the Garden Tomb.
How Do You Know Jesus—As Crucified or Resurrected?
How do you know Jesus—as crucified or resurrected? Statistics tell us that 80-85% of Christians think of Jesus as crucified, not resurrected. In other words, many know Him at the cross but not through the cross.
Christians need to know Him in the resurrected state in order to walk in the power of the resurrection. Mediate on the truth that the tomb is empty. It is for this reason that we have hope!
- “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…”—Philippians 3:10
There are historical accounts of witnesses seeing Him after the crucifixion. This made Him different from other gods that people worshiped—He conquered death!
Jesus Was Not Like Other Gods
Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). No one could come to the Father except through Him. God also said there should be no other gods before Him (Isaiah 45:5, Deuteronomy 6:14). This is because Jesus wasn’t like the gods of the other nations. He was the only true God, the only one who could truly deliver on His promises.
- “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”—2 Corinthians 1:20
What else makes Him different?
- He died a criminal’s death on a cross.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”—Philippians 2:8
- He was resurrected on the third day.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”—1 Corinthians 15:3-4
- He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.”—Mark 16:19
The Tomb Is Empty!
The tomb is empty! Read John 20:1-18 and let this truth wash over your mind today.
The same Word that became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) does not reside in a tomb. He now sits at the right hand of the Father!
- “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”—John 1:14
When you pray in Jesus’ name, you are praying with the power of the Creator.
- “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”—Matthew 28:18-20
- “‘…as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him…’”—John 17:2
All power and authority is in Jesus, and this is what He wants you to receive from Him. Jesus said…
- “‘Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.’”—Luke 10:19
- “‘And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’”—Mark 16:17-18
- “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.’”—John 14:12
You Are Called to Be a Transformer and Informer
As a born-again Believer, you are called to be an ambassador and to share the good news of Jesus. He died, but He is risen again! The tomb is empty, and He is seated in Heaven at the right hand of the Father!
“‘He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.’”—Matthew 28:6
- Be an influencer in the spirit.
- Plead the blood of Jesus.
- Pray in Jesus’ name.
- Bring the healing power Jesus paid for to others.
His promises to you are yes and amen!
He is risen again, and that resurrection power is in you.
- “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Rabbi Curt Landry speaks to you…
“This place of the Garden Tomb cries out, ‘Resurrection!’ In the name of Yeshua, may the power of the resurrection, the power of His glory, the power to see and know Him, the power to embrace and experience His love that was in the tomb for three days but now sits at the right hand of the Father draw you near to Him. Breathe in that breath. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
“We’re praising God that you will know Him in the resurrected state, with all power and authority. Receive Him as Lord and Savior. He’s not on a cross. He’s not in a tomb because the tomb is empty. He sits at the right hand of the Father and is waiting for you to declare His name, Yeshua Hamashiach. He will fill you with the Holy Spirit. When He prayed to the Father to take the cup from Him (Luke 22:42), He also prayed that the Father’s will would be done. He took the cup, satisfying the wrath of God so that you could know Him in the living state, not in a dead state.
“He loves you and embraces you. He wants you to be an ambassador for Him and spread the good news everywhere you go, taking the healing power He paid for to others.”
Receive the Hope of the Resurrection
As you prepare to remember the resurrection of Yeshua, we pray that you continue to pursue God’s perfecting work in you, becoming more like Christ. Reach forward to the things to come, keeping your attention on the race ahead and “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)! Join us live for Resurrection Sunday on Sunday, April 9, 2023, at 11 AM CT at https://www.curtlandry.com/live! Or catch the service later on YouTube here.