They took Jesus down from the cross and buried him in the tomb. The Sabbath began and I wonder—what was the Sabbath like for the disciples, and those that had followed Jesus?
The disciples had expected Jesus to set up His kingdom on earth, not die on the cross. Even though Jesus had tried patiently to explain to them what was going to take place; He failed to get through. How do we know? Because in John 20:9,10 after Peter and John see the empty tomb on the first day of the week they went away still not aware of Jesus promise to rise again from the dead.
This Sabbath must have been the most mournful and disconsolate Sabbath that the followers of Jesus had ever experienced. I can only imagine the tears and the heartbreak. The numbness of loss they must have experienced. The confusion in their hearts and minds as they tried to fathom how it could have gone so wrong. Only a week before all of Jerusalem was welcoming Jesus as the Messiah and now—it seemed all hope was gone–all dreams dashed—
Have you ever been in such a place in your life? Have you had a Sabbath of despair? Did you feel like all hope was gone. Perhaps you are there now wondering why God does not send the help that you anticipated. You wonder if the situation that you are in will ever get better. It may be for you your darkest hour just like it was for Jesus follower’s all those centuries ago on their Sabbath of discouragement.
But then the day passed, the darkness deepened. Night enveloped everything for a few hours and then—-the sun began to rise–and the ladies went to the tomb and discovered something very mysterious. Jesus body was gone from the tomb. Can you imagine the rush of excitement and questions that followed their announcement. Perhaps some caught a whiff of the Spirit of Hope moving across the landscape. As that day dawned, Jesus purpose would be revealed. All doubts and questions would be answered, as He appeared to them. He had not died like any other man. He had not left them alone forever. He had not deserted them. He had a plan. But the plan took time to fulfill. It was not the plan that they had thought He had come to fulfill it was a much greater and more far reaching plan that would include the salvation of all people. Now on the third day the glorious plan is revealed. He has fought death and won. He has risen from the grave and given the power of eternal to those who believe on Him.
And so in the times of darkness in our lives when we feel like the answer to our prayers will never arrive. When we feel as if God has deserted us. When our feeble hope is fading –God has a plan—we may not see it yet—but He has a plan for you and me and the Bible promises that His plans for us are good. His answer to our prayers may not look like the answer we anticipated. His answer might even be a bit confusing at first but then as time passes it will become clear that He did answer our prayers–He did move on our behalf-=-He cares—He has not deserted us—And we find ourselves rejoicing just as they did on that first “Easter” morning.–Resurrection Day—when all the prayers of mankind before and after were answered in those words spoken by the angel–”He is not here but is risen” Luke24:6.
Low in the grave He lay——-Jesus my Savior!
Waiting the coming day——–Jesus my Lord!
Vainly they watch His bed———Jesus my Savior!
Vainly they seal the dead–Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep his prey—–Jesus my Savior!
He tore the bars away–Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumpth oe’r His foes;
He arose the Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!