Perhaps it is the fact that today is Good Friday, but for whatever reason, my random thoughts today have gone to the subject of tombs.
It started with a conversation I had with someone who was dealing with some pretty "rough" characters the past few weeks. As I tried to encourage her (and myself) that we are called to be the light no matter where we are, I made reference to a couple of different Bible stories that we are all familiar with. I said, "At times I think I'd rather be dealing with those whom run among the tombs than those who are nice and cleaned up like the Pharisees and the Sadducees." That's what got the thought-wheels turning.
The more I thought about it, both groups of people in those stories, the heathen and the religious, had tombs in their lives. It was obvious the problem the demoniac had. He was living (if you could call that living) among the dead. He was surrounded by tombs and it showed. The other groups, the "religious 'right'" I guess some might call them (not a political statement by the way) had their own tombs to deal with. The problem for most of them was that their tombs were hidden where no one could see - no one but the Son of God that is. That group had their lives all cleaned up, but on the inside they had their own problems. They were "white-washed tombs".
Every day we deal with people who are dealing with death. Some are surrounded by it, and some are dead inside. Visible or not, death has a way of making its presence known. The difference is with one you what you see is what you get and with the other you have no idea what you are facing.
We don't call them tombs much any more, at least not in the South. We call them graveyards. As a child I remember going with my mom to the graveyard to tend the graves (something I never really understood.) As a young adult, she once asked me where I wanted to be buried. I told her I didn't really care, I wouldn't be there anyway.
Some are afraid of graveyards. When I was little, it seemed that every scary story had a graveyard/cemetery somewhere in it...but Jesus wasn't afraid of tombs. He went to the demoniac who wandered among the tombs; He called out the Pharisees and Sadducees for what they were - white-washed tombs; He called his friend OUT of the tomb; and just to make sure that all could see His power over death, He broke free from the tomb. No tomb was a match for Him, whether it was inside or out.
Today marks the day they laid my Lord in a tomb...a borrowed one at that. In just two days we celebrate the realization that what He had told His disciples was true...three days after the Temple had been torn down it would be restored. That alone is news good enough to make us want to go out into the "graveyard of a world" and proclaim release to those who are trapped among the dead. And for those who "look good" on the outside, it's good news that they don't have to be a walking tomb themselves, zombies as it were. Dead is dead, whether outside or in.
Jesus promised something much different - life abundant...and that is Good News!
Jesus healed the demoniac