Holy Week Day 5 – Unleashed
Matthew 27:62 – 28:10 (ESV)
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate  and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’  Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”  Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”  So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. [28:1] Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”  So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
Dawn breaks on Sunday. No one was expecting what they were about to experience.
At the end of Friday, a stone was rolled in front of the tomb and then in order to make sure no one interfered with the body of Jesus the tomb was sealed. The fear was that someone was going to break in and tamper with the body. No one expected something to break out of the tomb. No one expected something to be unleashed from within the tomb. The only thing they had considered was someone going in.
So the tomb was covered with a stone and sealed and guarded. The guards standing at the tomb were focused outward. They were looking for something coming to the tomb, not for something coming out of the tomb.
As the sun rises a few women come toward the tomb to take care of what they think is a lifeless body in a lifeless tomb. They arrive and instead of having to find a way past the guards and into the tomb they find that something has broken out of the tomb. Something has been unleashed from within the tomb.
What no one realized is that when they sealed the tomb, they were trying to contain what could not be contained. On Sunday something was released. Righteousness was released, salvation was released, healing was released, a new covenant was released, and hope was released.
This hope means that we can face anything that comes at us. We can be confident in the midst of uncertainty, stress, or anxiety. Hope was unleashed and it means every day, every situation and circumstance can be lived from the place of hope.
While everyone’s focus was on what might try to get into the tomb. The world was forever changed by what was unleashed from within the tomb.
Our prayer for you today is that hope would be unleashed into your life and through you into the lives of the people around you.