There were many, many events in the old testament that foretold and foreshadowed the events that we have read about this week: the suffering, death and burial of our Lord and Savior. But, as Jesus was with His disciples the day before, breaking bread and drinking wine, he gave the “go forward” reminders as well. He told them, whenever you eat or drink, do it in remembrance of me. Don’t just remember me, but do it in my honor, in my memory.
Our lesson today mentioned on ritual many families observe of burying the dead. We place the bodies of departed family members into the grave, not for some mystic ritual, but because it reminds us that our savior also went into the grave, and, like Him, we fully expect all of His followers to rise again.
But this remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus is not and should not be limited to a time of death. When a baptism occurs, the new believer goes into the water and comes out a new person, a person who has begun eternal life.
We can do this in some many other ways that does not have to be limited to activities in a church: sleeping and waking, bathing, going in to and emerging from a house, going in to an emerging from a building, the darkness of night replaced by the brightness of day, the cold of winter replaced by the new birth of spring.
What if you looked at each new day with the attitude that when you wake from sleep, you are awakening in the honor of our Lord’s death and resurrection. What if your first thoughts of the day were not on your to-do list or even on how creaky your bones felt, but on remembrance and thanks to Jesus for rising in a way that, without Him, we could not?
He was not left to decay, but partially prepared for burial and placed in a sealed tomb
He was given a grave of a rich man who belonged to the council that demanded his murder
It was a new grave, unused, with no other bodies in it
Because the body decays and is no longer of use to us after life. In the same way, in baptism, our old selves are buried with Jesus but we are resurrected into a new life