Saturday, April 15, 2017

When God Was Silent and No One Knew What to Do

When it was evident Jesus was dead, his body was taken down from the cross and carried by Joseph of Arimathea to his own tomb. Joseph's friend, Nicodemus, brought the burial spices and, together, the two men did the work of preparing Jesus' body and winding the linen wraps around his corpse. 

It was grisly work for two men who'd spent their adult lives as religious professionals. They'd been careful to keep their hands ceremonially clean, but, that night, nothing mattered except honoring the One on whom they'd staked their eternity.

When the body was prepared, the tomb was closed with a stone, secured with a seal, and guarded by soldiers. 

After the rush of the Thursday night arrest and trial, followed by the Friday crucifixion, hours of agony, and Jesus' death, the stone that blocked the opening to the tomb must have seemed like a symbol of hopeless finality to His followers.

People probably milled around a bit in the garden, wondering what to do, then finally wandered home. There were lots of tears. Deep shock. Overwhelming grief. 

Three years of hope and anticipation had ended in utter failure. Complete loss. I can almost hear them thinking, "Jesus must not have been the Messiah, after all." 

On that dreadful Saturday, when God was silent, the world didn't know what to do, what to think. It was the worst kind of uncomfortable silence. 

There were no prophets around to say, "Hang on. Something wonderful is coming." No one to offer a word of hope. 

You probably know how it is. When disaster strikes you or your family, all your training, all your knowledge can fly right out the window. It's impossible to remember those important points you've been cautioned not to forget. 

Jesus made it clear He would return, but who could remember that when they've never anticipated the crucifixion and death? 

On that dreadful Saturday, God was silent. Hope was gone. The evil one had won, or so it appeared. 

Ponder a world without hope for a moment, a world where God has been rendered insignificant after a stunning defeat delivered by sin and death.

Hold there. Let it sink in...

For those who don't know Christ, that's the world in which they live, and move, and have their being. It's dark, lonely, hopeless.

We, Christ's modern-day disciples, face Silent Saturday as those with hope because we know Sunday's coming. We know the stone was rolled away, the tomb is empty, the King reigns and will return, but not everyone does. 

As we move through Silent Saturday, let's spend at least a portion of our day in silence. Even if it's only part of an hour, use the time to pray for those who are trapped in the darkness of God-silence, because no one has shared the love and light of Christ with them. 

How might you share the hope of Resurrection Sunday with someone who lives in the hopelessness of Silent Saturday? 

Sunday's coming. Let's share the good news, for a Resurrected Savior makes all the difference. In this world, and the next. 
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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Lingering with the Loss

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