A day of waiting, a day of rest, Saturday the Jewish Sabbath, the day that Jesus body lay at rest in the tomb, undisturbed and alone. A day his disciples and followers would reflect on the events of Good Friday. Did they weep and mourn, did sadness overwhelm them? This was the day before their understanding would be complete. The day before their joy would overflow. The day before the world changed forever, how did they feel?
THE DAY BEFORE
The day before the sun rose again, the day after you hid your face, so much left to say, reflecting on the day we lost him, contemplating our loss, thinking of his body on the cross, sadness overwhelms, what do all the realms of glory have to say? Victory may be on its way but for today we are silent, we sit in quiet reflection not knowing of the resurrection to come, the wondrous truth to come of an empty tomb, the news that the Lord himself has gone before us to conquer death and sin has not sunk in, we sit and wait, we sit and mourn, remembering his words but not comprehending, it is finished was his cry, not the ending but the beginning, we may be bereft and hurting but tomorrow hearts will be stirring as the wondrous truth sinks in that Jesus Christ is risen, death where is your sting?
As thoughts turn towards Easter and what this means for us I was considering once again the incredible love God has for us, that he sent his son. It’s easy sometimes to talk about Easter and the “story” but does familiarity with the story blind us to the true love and sacrifice that it represents. Do we grasp all God has for us, I mean look at what Jesus went through for us, are we as quick to offer ourselves for him?
Perfect majesty, tragedy, the hero, broken and bloody, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, the sin of the world pinned him to the cross, exhausted and defeated the crowd baying for his blood, this the story of man’s inhumanity meted out to the Son of God, hard to believe that against all our expectations his body finally lay at rest in a tomb, the wounds ran deep but his love ran deeper, God was not to be defeated, this not the end as some would believe, “It is finished” interpreted as a fresh beginning, you see the beauty of the cross was that Jesus destroyed his enemies by dying for them, the Lamb of God took away the sin of the world, including those who persecuted him, God’s power raised him from the dead, resurrection joy, raised with Christ, called to die to my sin, his resurrection gives my life meaning, freedom, life, hope and new direction, transformation, for the same power that raised him from the dead lives in me, intimacy with God as the curtain tore in two, not merely an escape from death, he conquered it turning the inevitably of death into the invincibility of life, his sacrifice paid the price, he is risen and there can be no greater love ever written in truth or in fiction than the love of my Saviour who is risen.
Struck me today that Jesus told the disciples at least three times that he would rise again after three days but still they were all shocked and amazed that the tomb lay empty… praise God that he keeps his promises and maybe we should have a bit more faith at times…
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 – ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
HE IS RISEN
He is risen just as he said, you see he told you he wouldn’t stay dead, “I will be killed but after three days I will rise” so surely it’s no surprise that the tomb was empty, he gave us plenty of warning that on Sunday morning he would be gone, but we are weak it’s Jesus who is strong, our minds only have the capacity to recognise the finality of death, humanity struggling to accept the reality that Jesus was a far cry from normality, a deity, son of God, perfection required for resurrection, death defeated so we could be completed, yes Jesus trampled death with death, he died, he rose and he’s coming again, the tomb is empty, Jesus forever glorified, forever lifted high defeated the night, death and the enemy where is your victory? Life is mine, I am free because that day Jesus died for me, spent three days defeating sin and death and yes he did that all for me, overcoming pain, rising again, the tomb was empty but he never left, his time on earth an investment in our future, he was a mover and shaker, Jesus my maker mixing it up with the Jews and the Pharisees, Jesus my God dying for me and Jesus your God dying for you, Hallelujah Christ is risen, the definition of love, Jesus hanging on that cross.