Saturday: At the tomb. Mk. 15:47, Mt. 27-61-66, Lk. 23:55-56
Jesus was dead. Hope was gone. The Jewish leaders were still plotting. There are many dark hours in our lives where all hope seems to be gone. A child is dead. A job is lost. A spouse has left. A friend has betrayed. A sin has been committed. It seems as if we are buried under a load of guilt, fear, anger, loneliness, or helplessness and there appears to be no way out. The Saturday after Good Friday had to be the darkest of them all. The realization that Jesus was really dead began to sink in. You don’t bury someone unless they are dead. Often in those grave moments in our lives, we forget the promises of God. Ask God to let you feel the hopelessness of Jesus’ followers for just a moment. Think about the utter emptiness, the sad darkness, the lightless tunnel that the disciples must have experienced. It may be hard because we know the outcome. We know that Sunday will bring an empty tomb and a risen Lord Jesus!
We can handle Friday and Saturday because we know about Sunday. But sometimes we can’t see Sunday. Sometimes our darkness is so great that it overwhelms the light. This is the time to simply trust the Lord. He is the God of resurrection! Try to reflect on the promises of God. He will never let you down. It is always darkest before the dawn. But there is a dawn!
I have observed many people who have gone through agonizing loss or severe depression but with the Lord’s help they eventually found hope. God tells us through experience that, if we trust Him, things will get better. Either the situation will change or we will be given the grace to adjust to it. “He will give those who morn a garland instead of ashes.” There will be a new day. God has a plan.
Night is followed by day. Spring follows winter. Apparently lifeless trees sprout leaves. Dead flowers come to life. God, even through nature, is telling us something. “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” He speaks through His creation. We can trust Him to bring renewal.
The witness of scripture is even more powerful. We can trust God and we can believe His word. “I am making all things new.” There will be a new day. There will be a dawn! “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” “My grace is sufficient for you.” I don’t minimize the pain we sometimes feel—it is real. But let us maximize the reality that there will be resurrection. God has a plan.