Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tombâ€¦ John 20:1 (NIV)
If you check the four gospels, youâ€™ll find that there is no mention of Saturday. The gospels, each in their own way, records the burial of Jesus on Friday (three specifically mention the haste of burying Jesus before the Sabbath sundown) and then the scene picks up on Sunday morning. Early. What did the disciples and the women do on Saturday?
Saturday is Sabbath to a practicing Jew. Work isnâ€™t done on the Sabbath. That includes things like cooking and cleaning. It would includes chopping wood for a fire that warms and cooks.
The week prior to this Sabbath had not been â€˜normalâ€™, â€˜usualâ€™, or â€˜quietâ€™. It began with a glorious triumphant procession into Jerusalem where some may have thought, â€œMaybe, just possibly the Romans are going to fall from power and our nation, Israel, will see itself in glory as God has promised.â€ But Jesus dispelled that dream. Jesus said His kingdom was not to be of this world. His chosen people, Godâ€™s children, would not see that kingdom on this side of Heaven. Jesus pulls those disciples close to Him that week and almost seems to cram the principles into their hearts. Thursday night, he shares a Passover meal with them and graphically demonstrates to them how to be a servant. He even washes Judasâ€™ feet. That would be something to recall in the days and years ahead as persecution comes. Johnâ€™s gospel especially speaks to my heart in chapters 14-17. The pure and undiluted gospel of Jesus that gives comfort, the need for connection, warnings and affirmation of persecution, and then Jesusâ€™ prayer. Such richness! But all of these events did not leave time or forethought to preparing for the Saturday Sabbath.
Did the disciples huddle together, hiding, eating stale bread and whatever leftovers they could find? Did they hide individually, isolated and afraid to congregate together? Life had forever changed and they must have felt so alone. And remember — everyone of them had run away from Jesus the night before. Did shame make them even feel they couldnâ€™t cry out to God? Was this a Sabbath in which they couldnâ€™t even say the ritual prayers?
There have been â€˜Saturdaysâ€™ like that in my life. â€˜Fridayâ€™ has been so awful and overwhelming and like the disciples, I didnâ€™t have the hindsight of knowing that Resurrection Sunday was coming!
THAT IS THE GOOD NEWS!
RESURRECTION IS ALWAYS COMING!
NOTHING in my life ends on â€˜Fridayâ€™!!Jesus sealed that covenant when He set His eyes and feet toward Jerusalem. When He got up from His knees in the garden, He walked toward victory!
While they were wondering about this,[an empty tomb and no body] suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their freight the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, â€œWhy do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; HE IS RISENâ€¦â€ Luke 24:4-6 (NIV)
Let us LIVE like we know about Resurrection Sunday no matter how many â€˜seemingly deadâ€™ Fridays and Saturdays come along! Anticipate it! Trust Him! HE IS RISEN!