Darkness. Despair. Dashed hopes and dreams.
Between the crucifixion and the resurrection, there was Saturday – a day of bleak despondency for the disciples. In hindsight we know Jesus promised to rise on the third day – but the disciples didn’t understand that yet, and it seemed that the promised Messiah, the Hope of Israel, was gone.
Sometimes we experience “Saturdays” in life – when we feel abandoned by God, empty and useless, without purpose. We see things from the perspective of being inside the tomb, surrounded by darkness, with light too distant to help. Maybe your thoughts have echoed those of Mary’s as she stood fearful and weeping outside the empty tomb saying, “My Lord is gone, and I don’t know where he is.” (see John 20:11-14).
But in the midst of her despair, Jesus made himself known to Mary. The empty tomb represented not his absence, but his presence. It represented a way for human beings to exchange their sin for the righteousness of Christ, eternally reconciled to God. It represented a power beyond human comprehension that conquered Satan, sin, and death – the same power that is available to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit as we do life on planet earth.
We don’t know how long our Saturdays will last, but we do know that Jesus is with us in the midst of them. He is with us in the dark, despairing seasons of dashed hopes and dreams. He is with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He has gone before us to point the way to the Father and the resurrection.
So we can know that Sunday will eventually come.
Sunday, when that which was hidden will be revealed. Sunday, when we will see Jesus face to face. Sunday, when there is no more sin and all of our tears are wiped away. Sunday, when the wedding feast of the Lamb will surpass any Easter dinner we’ve ever prepared or eaten.
But what about until then? Are there Sundays in this life, after Saturdays of darkness?
- Yes, when we receive the great love that he has lavished upon us.
- Yes, when your light depends upon the presence of Jesus and not your circumstances.
- Yes, when you defeat the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s word.
- Yes, when the One who wields the power that raised Jesus from the dead wields that power in your life, when you choose his way and not your way.
- Yes, when you step outside the darkness and into his glorious grace, which God has freely given us in Christ.
What “Saturday” are you experiencing right now? Be encouraged that it won’t last forever. Jesus came to shine his light into your darkness – will you follow him into his light?
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know… his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…
(Ephesians 1:18-20, NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®