Who’s In Control?

And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover, and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.  John 19:42 NLT

“They” were Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.  After the crucifixion and death of Jesus, Joseph secured the body from Pilate, and with the help of Nicodemus, they prepared his body for burial.  They had to hurry.  The Jewish leaders didn’t want the body hanging on the cross on the Sabbath, and sunset was nearing.

But they hadn’t prepared for this.  They weren’t expecting Jesus to die.  They thought that he would become king.  They thought that he would liberate the Jewish people from the rule of the Romans.  But here they were instead.  Preparing the body of their king for burial.

Joseph brought the body.  Nicodemus brought the burial ointment.  And together they prepared the body of Jesus to be eternally buried away.

But what to do with the body?

Once it was ready for burial, they simply found a tomb that was “close at hand”.  Because they were in such a rush, and because they hadn’t planned for this, they simply acted.  They put the body in a tomb that was close by and available.

Don’t forget that this ‘convenient’ tomb is the place where all of mankind first learns that Jesus hadn’t just liberated the Jews from Rome, but he has liberated man from death.  Perhaps nothing in Christian history is more significant than the empty tomb.  And it was chosen because it was convenient.

God’s timing had placed Jesus on the cross on the day before the Passover Sabbath.  And God’s provision had provided a “close at hand” stage to reveal to the world that death, hell, and the grave had lost all of their power.

How many times do we look at our circumstances, fully aware of what we should do, and say…

“This isn’t right.”

“The timing is bad.”

“I should wait until I have a better plan.”

God orchestrates a perfect situation, via circumstances, timing, and divine provision, to glorify himself through our actions, obedience, and faith. And what do we do?

Wait.  We wait until we can work out circumstances and timing and provision so that in our limited minds, it is perfect.  And when that never comes, and moment passes by, we remain idle, doing nothing, and wondering why God doesn’t move in our life like he does in others.

Rather than waiting on perfection, put your faith in the one who is perfect, and act, trusting that the timing, and resources, and abilities are already perfectly broken and ready to be made into something perfectly new.