After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. Matthew 28:1-3 NIV
More imagination at work. We have a record of what to Jesus after He was crucified and buried–but nothing until the angel announced His resurrection (more on Sunday as we celebrate). What happened in the interim?
Looking at what we do know–that Judas’ eyes were opened after the betrayal and even his greed took a backseat to his guilt. After returning the money to the high priests–who refused to acknowledge what he had to say, picked up the money Judas had thrown on the floor and later purchased a burial field for the poor–Judas hung himself.
Now, in order for Jesus to rise–early one morning on the third day–with all power in His hands–something had to happen–that made even the devil regret the role he played in deceiving people. For when Jesus–the man died–the Spirit Jesus–unencumbered by flesh and bones–was free to wreak havoc on the devil’s territory and He did.
For any who were listening closely they would have heard the rumble underneath the surface and heard the screams of utter terror as Jesus cleaned house in the abode of the enemy. All who had once succumbed to the wiles of the enemy and who had no possible access to heaven, attempted to act as barriers–to protect the devil–but they discovered rather quickly, they were no match for the One who had created all things and without Him, nothing was ever created.
Jesus tossed them aside as though they were feathers and blew them into oblivion to await their final resting place in the lake of fire–prepared for the devil and all who followed him.
Now, with no further obstacles in His way, Satan–that beady-eyed mongrel–the master of deception and father of liars, the one whose only goal was to steal, kill and destroy, stood quaking–fearful of the only outcome possible–his defeat and though he knew he was defeated refused to give up the fight. Attempting to use his charisma–deceptive ploys–his poisonous smile, totally disingenuous, he began to explain what happened with Judas and the high priests and all who played a role in the arrest.
Jesus patiently waited for him to finish telling his tall tales and after hour upon hour of the lies, Jesus silenced Satan with one look and the devil knew all his lies had been for nothing. Backed into a corner, whimpering like the sniveling snake he once portrayed, he fell upon his knees begging for another chance. Jesus reminded him of the chances he’d been given–before he attempted to overthrow heaven, in the garden, and all the people he had influenced-the kings who denied God and caused people to live in opposition to His law, and the people who fell for the lies. It didn’t take long because with every Word Jesus spoke, evidence piled up against Satan grew higher than a mountain. Knowing he was about to be blown into oblivion as well, he tried one more time to appeal to God’s nature of love.
After listening for a few moments, Jesus silenced Satan and told him, “When I leave here, I leave with all power and the keys to hell in my hands and I will give that power to whoever shall call upon my name. And when I return and I will return, all who hold those keys shall enter into heaven and stand as a testimony against you.”
“You’re giving me another chance?” Satan asked, surprised.
Jesus looked around at the pitiful abode the devil called his home and looked at him, pitying him.
“I’m not giving you another chance. I’ve giving mankind another chance to see you for who you really are and to choose between you and me.”
Emboldened by his lack of understanding, Satan stood up grinning. “And you think they’ll choose you over me when I can teach them all manner of evil to overcome being a goody-two-shoes like you?”
With a wave of His hand, all the chains and shackles that held those in bondage under Satan’s influence fell apart and they were free and all the holy ones revived. They stood waiting for direction from Jesus, while Satan choked on the fear rising in him.
“You may convince a few, but there are so many more who will choose me when they discover you never cared about them and used them to annoy me. But your day is coming–soon. And you know with the Father, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day, but I will return and then the final judgment will be made for all. Only those who refuse to repent and call upon me will share your fate for all eternity.”
And with those final words, Satan became mute, unable to speak, and could only watch as the earth opened and Jesus rose with those saints who had died before Him, and all the power Satan thought he had–was ripped from him so Jesus could give it to all who chose to follow Him.
Imagination is grand and though this is my own creative thought–I’m sure that something along these lines occurred and now–we all have a decision to make–to follow Christ or allow the devil’s influence to guide us.