We Can Only Wait
I exalt You, my God and King: I will praise You forever and ever. You are good, Your love endures forever.
Read Matthew 27:57-66
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Although Jesus had great appeal to the poor and disadvantaged, he also appealed to the wealthy (57). It is hard for the wealthy to desire the Kingdom of God, but there are those who embrace it.
Only after the death of Jesus do we learn of the faithful vigil kept by the women at the cross and then at the tomb. Then a wealthy disciple, of whom we have not heard before, uses his social status to approach Pilate for the release of the body. Crucified victims were not usually buried, but Pilate gives permission. These disciples seek to honor Jesus in death, in a way they could not in the final days of his life. There is no hint of hope for resurrection, just closure with dignity. And in case the disciples should try to steal the body, a guard is placed.
We find Holy Saturday hard to cope with. It is either a day off between the pathos of Good Friday and the joy of Easter or it is an in-between space that we think we should mark but don’t know how. But Holy Saturday is the day of encouragement for everyone whose circumstances seem hopeless, for everyone seemingly beyond rescue, for everyone who can do nothing to change their lot.
There was nothing more final than a sealed and guarded tomb and ruined hopes. The incarnate Son of God lay dead. But in faith he had given his spirit up to the Father. The great purposes of God, revealed in the Scripture that he had fulfilled, time after time, remained. These included his own prediction of his resurrection (63). The future depended on the Father’s act of new creation. In the light of the events of the following morning, those in the deepest darkness of despair, those who are powerless to change appalling circumstances, those who can do nothing, may trust in the faithfulness of the God who keeps his promises. It may be Saturday, but Sunday is coming.
What does the presence of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary at the tomb of Jesus (61) have to say to us?
Father, I can so easily identify with the disciples. I become afraid when my world seemingly crumbles. Remind me that You are in charge; I can trust in You.
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