Luke 23:44-56 / Luke 24:1-12
“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.”...“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.”
This week we celebrate Holy Week, the week that Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin so we could live freely in Him. The week where Jesus was crucified on a cross, shedding blood to cover our life. And the week where He triumphantly defeated the grave, rose again, and set the world free. If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time reflecting on what this week means, and the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Each year, as I ponder these scriptures and seek the Lord, He reveals a completely new idea to me. He is always faithful to show me something in this story that I’d never considered before.
The phrase, “Friday is here…but Sunday's coming” has been beautifully used to describe the feelings of believers during this week. We are mourning the death of our Savior, but we know that Sunday is on its way. We weep for the treatment of Jesus on the cross, but we know that Sunday tells a different story. We can easily get so caught up in waiting that we forget about all of the ministry that can happen in those three days.
This has me thinking about the idea of waiting, whether it's waiting on a miracle, waiting for something you’re longing for, or simply waiting for a difficult season to end. The bible has a LOT to say about waiting. Verse after verse tells us that those who wait on Him are blessed.
Psalm 27:14: "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Isaiah 40:31: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Psalm 33:20-22: “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”
When we read these verses, it can be easy to create a picture of yourself quietly waiting on God, for days, months, years. But I think about the disciples, Nicodemus, Mary, and all of Jesus’ followers. During the three days He was gone from the Earth, they didn’t sit still. They knew they still had work to do, they stewarded their waiting. I think about what Jesus was doing during the three days, and what the apostles were doing as well. There is a lot of debate and ideas about what happened during this time, but we know that Jesus was actively moving and working for salvation. I can imagine that on Earth, there was deep grief and mourning. Heartbreak from the ones who loved and followed Him. They knew God had called them to prepare and to spread the good news. Even though it would be more than 40 days until they would receive the great commission (Matthew 28:19), they had work to do. They had ministry to do.
My question for you today is: how are you stewarding your waiting? Are you sitting still and waiting for God to push you? Or are you moving forward and allowing Him to guide your steps?
Friday is here, and Sunday IS coming, but there is so much ministry to happen in the three days between.
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