Tread softly around the cross, for Jesus is dead. Repeat the refrain in hushed and softened tones: the Lord of life is dead.
The infuriated mob that cried for His crucifixion gradually disperses; He is dead.
And the passersby who stop just to see Him go on their way; He is dead.
The Pharisees, rubbing their hands in self-congratulation, go back to the city; He is dead.
The centurion assigned the task of executing Him makes his official report to the Roman procurator, “He is dead.”
And Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus of the Sanhedrin go personally to Pontius Pilate and beg of the Roman governor His body, because He is dead.
Mary His mother and the women with her are bowed in sobs and in tears; He is dead.
And the eleven apostles, like frightened sheep, crawl into eleven shadows to hide, and they cry, “He is dead!”
Wherever His disciples meet, in an upper room, or on a lonely road, or behind closed doors, or in hiding places, the same refrain is sadly heard, “He is dead. He is in a tomb; they have sealed the grave and set a guard; He is dead.”
Simon Peter, the rock, is a rock no longer.
And James and John, the sons of thunder, are sons of thunder no longer.
And Simon the Zealot is a zealot no longer.
He is dead, and the hope of the world has perished with Him.
Then, then, then…
—W. A. Criswell