So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. – John 19:40
In the season of Lent, we are invited afresh to wholeheartedly follow Jesus. This journey begins in the desert and today reaches its final destination: the tomb.
This day has been called many things throughout history: Holy Saturday, Easter Saturday, and Easter Eve, to name but a few. It is a day that is quietly wedged in between the pain of Good Friday and the triumph of Easter Sunday.
If we aren’t careful we will blink and miss it! Yet, if we can quiet our spirits and limit the day’s activities and distractions, we will hear an invitation to enter into the silence and solitude of the tomb, because it’s in the tomb that the reality of the cross is made inescapably clear.
Before we enter into the joy of Easter Sunday, we must first let ourselves feel the desperation and longing of Holy Saturday. Feel the finality of death, the chill of the tomb. Don’t rush ahead. Meditate again on the depths God went to for us and for our salvation.
Part of believing in the power of Jesus’ victory over death is trusting him when he says he will accomplish the same victory in our own lives.
Jesus’ descent to the dead is the ultimate display of God’s love for us, for in so doing he brings his healing presence to our deepest place of need.
Death is the ultimate alienation from an eternal God, so it is death itself that Jesus takes upon himself to reconcile us to God (Col. 1:20). The tomb, once seen as a symbol of the triumph of death, is now the launching pad from which eternal life springs forth!
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4
In order to live in the abundance of resurrection life, are we willing to first be baptized into the death of Christ? Are we willing to give up control of anything that keeps us from new life in Christ? Can we trust that God will replace fear, insecurity, and anxiety with trust, confidence, and peace?
Part of believing in the power of Jesus’ victory over death is trusting him when he says he will accomplish the same victory in our own lives. Since God is reconciling all things to himself, even sin and death, there is nothing in your life that God cannot heal and make new! Trust him today, believing that as we meet him in his death, we will more gloriously meet him in his resurrection.
Prayer: Father, thank you that you love us enough to meet us in our deepest place of need and restore us to full relationship with you through the death and resurrection of Jesus.