“…They rested on the Sabbath, in keeping with the commandment.”
Can you imagine the pain, anger, and anguish that Jesus’ followers were facing? They had spent years with Jesus. Listening to his voice, getting to know him deeply, knowing that he would always be there. They had spent the last few years in the presence of Jesus every single day. He was their teacher, leader, and friend. He was hope, and light, and life walking amongst them.
And then Jesus was gone. These followers had just witnessed cruelty and hatred. They had seen torture and pain. They had seen the death of Jesus in the worst possible way. They had buried the man who showed them what love truly means. They buried the man who taught multitudes about living in the Kingdom. The disciples buried their friend.
Did they feel like hope died that day? What about light? How dark the world must seem without Jesus. The Word says that they rested on the Sabbath. How sad and silent that Sabbath must have felt. These followers were exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. I can imagine them hunkered down with their families. Scared, knowing that there were soldiers and officials guarding the tomb and distrusting of anyone that followed Jesus. Silent, what could be said to provide any relief to the anguish they felt? Devastated, they seemed to have lost everything that their lives revolved around and now their lives were never going to be the same.
The disciples and followers of Jesus were left clinging onto memories and a vague hope in a prophecy that told of Jesus raising again. They didn’t know what we know. They didn’t know that tomorrow, Jesus would no longer be in the grave. He would be risen!
Our lives right now can reflect a bit of the emotion on that Sabbath. We are mourning the loss of our freedom. We feel hopeless to help those who are falling ill and those who are sacrificing to keep the rest of the world in one piece. We are hunkered down and frightened about what the future holds.
But we know what tomorrow holds. We know that tomorrow brings life and light and hope back into the world. We know that Jesus loves us and that he is risen. He will never leave us or forsake us. Because he gave his life, we know that we have the opportunity to spend eternity with Jesus. I know life is hard right now. There is a lot to grieve. It is okay to feel sad and angry. It’s okay to be scared. But I encourage you to lean into the meaning of Easter. Tomorrow is a day full of life. Our futures are full of life and new beginnings. Look at the green grass, the warm sun shining on your face, and the trees budding. Spring brings new life. Easter brings new hope. Life won’t always be sad and scary. Jesus’ love is enough to bring both into our lives.
Jesus loves you. Jesus cares for you. This quiet time of grieving won’t last forever. Tomorrow, life is coming. We can lean into that life and love because we know that the love of Christ will never fail us.
Pastor Cori Fouts – Youth Pastor