It was night in the garden. Judas had gone – songs had been sung, and Jesus had preached to his disciples about his coming death. He had promised them presence of God’s Spirit with them and Jesus urged his disciples to pray with Him saying, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Lk 22.40) He left them alone and kept on walking until overcome with the burden being placed upon Him he fell to his knees and began to pray and sweat and bleed. He knelt and prayed with great wrestling agonizing prayers until he came to the point of surrender. “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me…” Became, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Lk 22:42). As he knelt there surrendering upon his knees and probably upon his face -Luke informs us that an angel came and ministered to him (Luke 22:42) and no doubt the angel said “get up, my Lord.” And Jesus rose from that spot of prayer.
He came to his disciples and found them sleeping and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? GET UP and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”(Luke 22:46.)
Again he went away and he prayed the same prayer (Mark 14:39) Yet again he walked away from them until falling to his knees he began to pray and sweat and bleed. He knelt and prayed with great wrestling agonizing prayers until he came to the point of surrender. “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me…” Became, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Perhaps yet again the same angel came to strengthen him and say, “Get up, my Lord.”
Again he came and found them sleeping (Mark 14:40) and he simply left them. He did not bother to say to them, get up. But he went away the third time and began to pray and sweat and bleed. He knelt and prayed with great wrestling agonizing prayers until he came to the point of surrender. “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me…” Became, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.” At last, and perhaps strengthened for the third time by the angel saying, “Get up.” Jesus rises and wearily comes to his slumbering disciples and hearing the approaching footsteps of Judas and the guards he urges them saying, “Get up, let us be going; behold the one who betrays me is at hand!”
In comes Judas – while he was still speaking. With a grotesque display of feigned subservience the betrayer walks up to and kisses Jesus. It is John who tells us that Jesus stepped forward and asked them, “whom do you seek?” (John 18:4)
“They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” ” (John 18:5–9, NASB95)
As Jesus confesses that he is Jesus the Nazarene, they all fall down, overpowered perhaps by his daring? Or by the divine authority that rolled from his tongue and struck them. Surely if He had been like Peter and raised the sword, not a man would have been left standing. But not Jesus, this is why he came.
Stunned the Soldiers, the crowd, and Judas lay for a moment upon the ground until the soldiers start grumbling to one another – “Get up!”
Emboldened by Judas’ kiss. Astounded as Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus and Jesus heals it while he rebuke’s Peter; the guards leap forward and grab Jesus arresting Him and binding him like a criminal. Without turning to look, Jesus hears every last one of his disciples running away in the trees. Nearby there’s a scuffle as one young man leaves his clothing behind in an attempt to get away.
The hours pass as Jesus is taken first to Annas and he is struck on the cheek. Then he is paraded to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin until blindfolded and repeatedly punched in the face they asked him to prophecy who struck him. False accusations fly back and forth until Jesus finally informs them that he will be their final judge coming on the clouds and sitting at the right hand of power. The high priest pronounces the death sentence. This as Peter three times denies Jesus until at the last Jesus turns and meets Peter’s eyes as he swears he has never known the man.
Jesus, already beaten and battered is taken to Pilate who though finding no guilt in him sends him to Herod. Herod’s soldiers mock him, beat him and send him back to Pilate. Pilate finally agrees to scourge Jesus and he is lead away to the lash.
There, tied to a post and beaten until he cannot stand up straight we can almost hear the soldiers say with disgust, “Get up.” They twist thorns for a crown and ram it upon his bruised head. They wrap him with a purple robe and beat him over the head with a stick. But the crowds won’t be tamed. Spurred on by the priests they cry for Christ to be crucified.
There, handed his cross to carry he staggers under it’s weight as they walked the narrow streets. until finally he collapses and even though the soldiers yell at him, “Get up!” He cannot rise for his body is almost spent. But there in the crowd a man named Simon from Cyrene is pressed into service. “Get up. Grab his cross and come on,” the guards shout to him. As Simon hoists the cross they kick out at Jesus and spit, Get up! And he rises beside the cross and stumbles to the hill.
There they nail him, writhing silently against the brutal wood, and tugging at the cross to raise it up and set it down in it’s holding pit, the soldiers grumble to the stubborn wood laboring under his weight: “Get up!”
walking by the crowds scorn him saying, “you saved others, can’t you save yourself? Get up Jesus and we’ll follow you.” But Jesus would not get up off the cross.
Hanging there, He forgives, He consoles, He provides, He thirsts and finally, bruised and battered torn and broken He mourns “why have you deserted me” before He finally cries “it is finished” and his head droops low, his body relaxes against the nails through his hands and his feet. He is dead – dead men do not get up.
They stab him with the spear and watch the blood and water flow down. Nodding to Joseph of Arimathea they say go ahead and take him, he won’t get up again.
Nicodemus and Joseph wrap him, and carry him to the tomb where he will lay – with heavy hearts the close it with a large stone and the women watch them walk away. For there lies Jesus, their master – the messiah, gone. He…will not get up.
The chief priests remember what the disciples couldn’t figure out – “Pilate,” they said, “He said he would rise from the tomb on the third day, we have to take steps to make sure those disciples don’t steal his body and try to say that he got up.” The governor tells them to make it as secure as they can – and they do.
Rope, seal and soldiers in place – the tomb lays silent as Friday turns into Friday night. Saturday morning fades silently into Saturday night. And Sunday morning threatens silently to dawn. There in the silence lays a dead man – believed to be the son of God. Believed to be the savior. Believed to be the messiah, the Christ, the chosen one the Lord. But there he lays. Because dead men do not get up.
But it is not yet sunrise. Out on the road that leads to the graveyard, the women are walking, the soldiers aren’t standing, but Jesus ain’t rotting.
Together as one in eternal decree the God who is one yet three reaches the time towards which He has turned all of history. Everything has been lovingly pointed and guided by his sovereignty. The Son looks eagerly to the Father, the Spirit agrees to action, the Father opens his mouth and says, “Son. Get up!”
“Get up!” The grave has lost.
GET UP. The tomb can’t hold you.
GET UP! the grave clothes do not matter any more,
GET UP!the spices aren’t needed.
GET UP! The soldiers are powerless.
GET UP! The Nail scars are eternal.
GET UP! The side wound is forever.
GET UP! Death has lost it’s sting.
GET UP! All is swallowed up in victory.
GET UP! .
And passing from death to life the eternal Logos, the great I Am, the Son of God, the Redeemer of man, the mighty warrior, the prince of peace, the omnipotent savior, the magnificent lion of Judah, the king of kings, the Lord of Lords, the very representation of the Father opens his eyes, moves his hands, takes his stand, reclaims his glory, and calls for the angel to come and move the stone crying GET UP!
HE GOT UP!
And he walked out of that Grave forever. He is the lion and the lamb. He’s the master of angels, the descendant of David, the conqueror of death and the determiner of Satan’s doom. He is the savior of every man woman and child who will turn to him with repentance from sin and faith in his resurrection.
HE GOT UP!
The tomb is empty! The Cross is conquered and the crown of thorns is transformed into a crown of eternal glory!
He spent forty days with his disciples and then on the mount of olives, as if he had heard the call of his Father he departed from them and ascended from that spot to take his throne in glory.
But that is not the end.
For the day is coming…when He is coming. And on that day every believer on the earth alive, or over the earth and every believer under the earth dead and decayed will hear his voice from inside their tombs – and on that day he will say to them: GET UP Because I GOT UP!
And every Christian tomb will burst open; too weak to hold captive any who will live with Jesus! And we who will remain will in a flash, in the twinkling of the eye will be transformed. Our momentary dying outer man will fall away and be supplanted by a body fit for eternal glory, and we who on the earth still dwell will hear the trumpet and we will head his voice when he cries from heaven: GET UP!
And we will reign with HIM forever because HE has conquered death!
For we believe that as we died with Him and he rose so also will we live with Him as He is life itself.
GET UP! And praise Him who is your king!