It is Saturday afternoon. It has already been a busy day with a church elder’s meeting and yard work. As I sit in solitude in front of the computer to write this week’s update I am suddenly very aware that it is Saturday in the week of Passion. Oh, we are all looking forward to tomorrow because it will be a wonderful day of celebration and singing, especially with those who are in church because they love Jesus and truly understand what Easter is all about. But this is Saturday……and I realize that in the sequence of the Holy Week….He is still in the tomb.
Saturday. What a dark, dark day for the followers of Jesus. It is the Sabbath so no one is going much of anywhere. Lots of time to sit and think….and despair. Overwhelmed, some undoubtedly were simply making plans to go home the next day when they were free to travel again. What else could they do? He was gone. Many had traveled specifically hoping to receive physical healing as others had. Some came to be set free from the demons that tormented them. Still others secretly wanted to hear Him say to them, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more,” as He had to the woman caught in the act of adultery. All of them wanted to hear His words of authority and truth. But none of this was possible anymore. No hope of things changing. Yes, tomorrow they would walk away from this place.
And what of the disciples? Unlike the crowds that had come with a specific need, they had invested all of who they were into Jesus. Peter had once commented to Jesus, “Lord, we have left it all – business, home and family – to follow You.” So what now? A pervading sense of fear, confusion and loss, even abandonment, filled the room where they were gathered. Very dark, indeed.
But none of them would have felt as they did if they had been able to see what was happening behind the scenes. Actually, they did not even have to know the particulars – amazing hope would have come from simply knowing what they were presently experiencing was not the end but merely a chapter in His book. And oh the glory of the next chapter!!!! Jesus would burst out of the tomb the next morning and all He had promised (and more that He did not have time to tell them) would be a very present reality. What a day tomorrow would be!!!
But this was Saturday……….
When I look around I see lots of “Saturday” people. Some of them come to talk with me. I listened to a sermon CD by John Ortberg recently and he was reminding we who minister that no one comes to see us because “life is so amazing and wonderful and I just have to find a counselor right now before I burst with joy.” They come because they are in the “winters of their souls” –it is Saturday for them. And our opportunity, our responsibility, is to help them hold on until “tomorrow” because there is more going on then what they see with their eyes.
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow….” Rejoice with me as we turn the page to the next chapter.