Friday, we focus on the sacrifice, the death. Sunday, we celebrate the fulfillment of a promise…of THE promise and the resurrection of Jesus, Who still lives.
But what about the day between? What about the day between the grief and the glory? Saturday. Today. This day was a day of confusion, of sorrow, of lost-ness. Did all who hope in Him before His death dare to hope in Him even in His death?
Did they feel betrayed? Let down?
Did sorrow threaten to consume them?
Did they sleep through the night after His death?
Were they steeped in mourning and without appetite?
Did they know?
Did they anticipate?
Did they hope in the midst of hopelessness?
Here in my home, thousands of years later, my thoughts rest on the thoughts of the people who were there. I wonder. I just wonder. Did they know what they had just witnessed? Did they know with Whom they had been? Were they aware?
When they shouted out words of mockery to Him, did they know they fell on Redemption’s ears?
When the people stood aside as His flesh was torn, did they know His wounds were for them?
Did they know they stood infinitely more bare than He before the naked Saviour on that cross?
When He cried out, did they know it was on their behalf?
Did the silent onlookers know they were heard?
When the sun ceased to shine and the physical darkness overtook the world, did the people fumbling in blindness know that love was slain? Did they know the darkness fell as the Light was snuffed out?
Did they recall His promises? Did they dwell on the words He had spoken while alive?
Did their minds drift to the years before when all of the things they were witnessing in that moment had been prophesied?
Did they sit in the quiet aftermath of the crucifixion trying to make sense of what they had seen? Were they hopeless? Longing? Despairing?
Did they look forward with any hope, with any thought that the Messiah had truly come?
And on the third day…on the third day, did they rush to the tomb in anticipation of finding Him gone? Was everyone surprised? Did anyone dare to hope that they would see an empty cave and a discarded cloth?
Did the scent of the perfume poured out on him days before still linger? Did they breathe it in and remember His words the day it was poured out onto Him?
And when they saw Him who was hanging breathless on a splintered cross three days before, standing before them, did they understand the significance of the moment they were in? Did they grasp the worth of it all?
I wonder as I’ve wondered for years before, and as people who have lived for hundreds upon hundreds of years before me have wondered…Did they know?
And I wonder about you, dear friends. Do you know? Do you understand? Do you grasp the weight and the worth of three days?
In three days the broken bond between humanity and his Creator was mended. Love suffered separation from its Lover. The earth shook in despair. The rocks cried out in man’s silence. Hope was buried. Grief overwhelmed. Sorrow consumed. Death won…for a moment. But the veil was torn by innocent blood spilled; and death? Death was defeated! Hope rose up from the tomb. Tears of sorrow turned to those of joy. Man shouted out into the silence, “HE IS RISEN!”, and silenced the murmuring rocks. Love was restored. Perfect sacrifice made the way to perfect communion between man and God. Jesus the Christ overcame the overcome-able, fulfilling words spoken in the beginning to the crafty serpent, as snake bit heel and heel crushed head. He overcame! He overcomes still. He lived. He died. He lives again. And because Jesus lives, so do I! And so you can, too.
“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. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.’ So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. ” Matthew 28:1-8