Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Week Day 6: The Silent Saturday

Less than a week before, Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem on a colt while the crowds shouted Hosannahs and waved palm branches. For the disciples, it was probably one of the most exciting days of their lives. Dreams were coming true. Hopes were being fulfilled. Prayers were being answered.

And then...

Everything spiraled out of control.

Or so it seemed.

Before they could get past their shock and fear to decide how to respond, Jesus had been arrested, tried, and executed. They awakened that Saturday morning to their worst nightmare. Jesus was dead and buried. There was a Roman seal on the tomb. It was guarded.

Everything they had spent the last three years believing and working toward was over.

Or so it seemed.

I've felt that way before. Felt that God had given me clear instructions but, when I obeyed, nothing went the way I expected. It looked to me and those around me as if I had utterly failed. 

Or so it seemed.

I wondered if I had misunderstood what He said. I feared I had done the wrong thing. I couldn't understand. I felt ashamed and confused and afraid. Where was God in this mess that my obedience had made?

Maybe you've felt that, too.

It's where the disciples and the followers of Jesus were on that Silent Saturday. Jesus knew that, but He left them in their confusion. He left them in their fear. He left them in their uncertainty and their failing faith.

He left them in the silence because He knew Sunday was coming.  

He knew the stone would roll away and the tomb would be emptied. He knew the body would be gone and He would rise again. He knew He would soon walk with them and talk with them again.

God used my own worst disappointments to bring me to the end of myself and show me His own great glory. That's what He was doing for the disciples, too. They would soon be utterly amazed by the power of the God they served. By the Messiah they followed.

But they amazed weren't on Saturday.

On Saturday, they were devastated. Heartbroken. Afraid they could be the next to die.

On Silent Saturday, they didn't revel in the silence, but I do, because I know Sunday is coming. I know the glory and the splendor of my Risen King is just around the corner.

Silent Saturday reminds me that what looked like utter defeat on earth was simply a bigger battle in the heavenlies. It was simply a greater victory unfolding in a soon-empty tomb. Prayers that seemed forgotten were being answered in a way no one could imagine.

On Silent Saturday, it has become my tradition to be still before the Lord. To acknowledge all the confusion and uncertainty and unanswered prayers in my life and give them to Him, all over again. 

On this day, I recognize that what I see is not all there is and confess that, though my prayers may seem unanswered, there is a bigger battle in the heavenlies and victory may yet be won.

Today, join with me in being still before the Lord, offering Him our confusion, fear, and broken dreams and look toward the day when His glory will be revealed.

On that dark and terrible day, when all hope was gone, the Hope of the World was fighting a battle that only He could see, only He could win, and He won it. He defeated Sin and Death and set us free.

This day, let's remember that terrifying day, for tomorrow is coming. On day day, we'll celebrate the greatest miracle of all. Our Risen Savior.

"And so They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, 
as is the burial custom of the Jews. 
Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; 
and in that garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid. 
Therefore on account of the Jewish day of preparation,
 because the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
 John 20:40-42 nasb