The Darkness of Saturday

March 30, 2013

How mournful Your friends and family must have been — what a somber Passover Sabbath. When they were supposed to be celebrating God’s faithfulness in delivering their ancestors out of Egypt, they were no doubt overcome by confusion and disappointment, trying to make sense of the last three years and how it all could have ended this way. Surely they were fearful and embarrassed, yet they knew You were true! They remembered the miracles, the healings, the changed lives, yet You were dead. They didn’t understand the prophecies when You had walked among them — how much less now that they were filled with the pain and grief of Your public shaming and execution? What a sad and hopeless Sabbath that must have been, and they were required by Law to sit around — with nothing to keep them busy or preoccupy their thoughts. And how much worse for Peter! I know he was so precious to You! He loved You so much, and he wanted to so badly to have the courage he claimed to have. In the end, he injured You perhaps worse than Judas. None of Your disciples understood that what happened had to happen. They had no idea of the joy and hope that would come in the morning, that their aching emptiness would be filled. I forget sometimes about the humanness of these men and women, and how devastated they surely were. Thomas has the reputation for doubting, but certainly they must have all wondered, even for a moment, if they’d been duped. If You were just some deranged radical. But no — they’d chastise their thoughts — remember when He…? What faith it must have required to endure that day, and what courage they needed to muster in order to face a future without the Messiah they’d believed in and left everything for. What depths of sorrow and fear on this Saturday so many centuries past. Perhaps it mirrors, in a very small way, the agony of separation that will be felt by those in an eternity without You. Regret, hopelessness, despair. Yet for those still living, it is not too late! Lord, let Your truth burn in the hearts of so many uncommitted wanderers this weekend. Fill the pulpits across this country and around the world with Your Spirit, sending forth powerful, soul-saving testimony. Let Your victory be felt, and the sorrow forgotten, for I know that is Your desire and Your mercy and Your purpose in leaving us to endure this dark Saturday. Let us not forget!

~Maranatha

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Psalm 36, of His Steadfast Love

To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord.

Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil.

Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O LORD.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.

Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie fallen;
they are thrust down, unable to rise.
(Psalm 36 ESV)