And the whole world waited. It was 3 in the afternoon when Jesus died. I imagine those who stood there watching his anguish and death may have lingered there in disbelief. Jesus, the one who made the storms cease with two words. Jesus, the one who healed the sick and multiplied bread and fish. Jesus the one who not too long ago, rose Lazarus from the dead. The King we have been waiting for. Our hope and road to God these last few years. How could this be? I imagine an air of disbelief as they walked to the homes they were staying in. That sinking feeling of shock and horror that many of us know from trauma or death of a loved one. Their stomachs turning as moments they witnessed, play out in their minds, confused how this stronger-than-life leader ended up losing, and gone forever.
Then comes the second day. It’s Sabbath, the day of rest. There’s nothing to distract them from the sinking feeling and shock that sit in their gut. If they get any sleep at all, there’s that feeling of waking up and then remembering this new reality all over again. Flashes of their last moments with him, cross their minds, even if it’s not how they want to remember him. Disbelief clouds them. This Rabbi...this Lord that gave Hope beyond anything they had ever experienced, that gave them access to see the wonders and movement of God around them, is gone.
He’s gone...He’s gone. Shock becomes grief. HE’S GONE!!
I wonder what this day felt like? These believers may have been grieving or confused, but not alone. I imagine them in their “home church” communities, that would have been natural for that time, based on culture and their “neighborhood” context. I’m curious how they talked to each other, wailed together, and gave each other space that day. I’m curious what they said or asked God, when they prayed those unbridled, raw prayers that don’t have energy to be dressed up. Perhaps they eat together, as the children around them are fed. I imagine not many have an appetite. Is Peter reveling in despair and guilt that he betrayed Jesus like he promised he wouldn’t? Mary and Martha aren’t mentioned here specifically. But they would have heard the news. Is Martha busying herself to distract from the confusion and her anxious faith? Or perhaps she’s been transformed by Jesus’ last few invitations to her. I can see her fighting her temptation to distract herself with chores. I see her instead bent over, next to Mary, both in grief over their affection for Jesus, asking God for a miracle like they had just seen weeks prior.
Sabbath is nearly over, as everyone prepares for another restless night, soaked in disbelief and heartache.
Mary Magdalene, Salome, and James’ mother decide they will go to the tomb first thing, to bring some spices to anoint His body. They don’t worry about the details (who’s going to open the tomb and how?). After all, grief is not logical, and their devotion to honor and bless his body supersede any other concern.
1. How do you deal with waiting and grief? And what about celebration? What are your barriers to doing both without fear?
2. Talk to God honestly about that and invite Him to teach you how to do both today, not perfectly :) but with less fear.
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