One day in the Passion Week is especially poignant for us right now. Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and before the morning of the resurrection, there is a day of darkness and isolation for the disciples. It says in John 20:19 that the disciples were behind locked doors “for fear of the Jews”. After the seeming defeat of the cross many of the disciples gathered together, not to wait for resurrection, but to hide for fear that they were next.
The Saturday of Passion Week is typically set aside as a day for waiting. It is a day for keeping the cross and death before our minds. It is a day of preparation for the morning of resurrection when Jesus rises from the dead and life conquers death. On the next day Jesus comes out of His tomb, and the disciples are brought out of hiding, but not yet.
I think Holy Saturday is especially important for us right now.
Today, we are caught behind doors, not for fear of political authorities, but in caution for health and safety. We wait, but we don’t know exactly what we wait for. We anticipate a new day, but we have a hard time envisioning what it will look like. We know that Jesus has already risen and is triumphant, but this unique time of quarantine and disruption of normal life comes at an incredible time for followers of Jesus Christ.
It is good for us this year to pay attention to waiting on our Savior. Many of our questions today would resonate with the disciples’ situation. How will this be resolved? This changes everything – what does that mean for us? Will there be new opportunities? Even though we may not be able to see it now, where will we find hope?
While We Wait
For the Christian, waiting is not passive. Normally, being told to wait seems to tell us to sit back and simply see if something will happen soon. After all, Doctors and DMVs have “waiting rooms”. But waiting on the Lord is more anticipation than it is inaction. We have a lot more to do than simply mark time until God does whatever it is that He does.
Waiting on the Lord is far more anticipation than it is inaction.Tweet
My father tells a story of a young lady in his church who started buying all new clothes and losing weight. When she was asked why, she said her husband who had been deployed overseas was coming home. She was anticipating and preparing for him to come. We need to do the same, anticipating the coming of the Lord.
While we wait, we fill our minds with scripture and prayer. We need our thoughts to be guided by the things of God instead of the things given to us in the typical media barrage, or the kinds of emotions that run rampant in our own hearts during a crisis.
But this filling of our hearts and minds should not be a frantic download of information and activity. We are gradually putting the things of God into their rightful places in our lives, and over time God has a way of making them stick. Fruit trees don’t grow overnight, and it can even take years for them to produce fruit. But that process is not wasted time. Roots are sinking deep, finding water and good soil. Bark is hardening to protect the core of the tree, and leaves begin turning light into energy. And then, when the time is right, fruit is born.
If there was any time to be proactive in your own walk with Christ, this is the time. If you have dropped reading Scripture for yourself, now is the time to start again. If your prayer life is lacking, now is the time to go back to God and ask for His voice and presence. If you haven’t thanked God for the basics of your life in a while, whisper your thanks to Him now for whatever you can think of.
If there was any time to be proactive in your own walk with Christ, this is the time.Tweet
We Realign Our Hope
This kind of anticipation in waiting can realign what we look for when we hope for the future. Hope for the follower of Jesus is not in progress or politics. It is not in the promises of others or in our own optimism. The Christian’s hope is in resurrection and new life.
While the disciples were locked in their room, Jesus was leading captives free and taking the keys of death and hell. A day that seemed to be all defeat and darkness was in reality the triumph of God’s power at work in places they could not see. And then, when the sun came up on Sunday, Jesus walked out of the grave.
Only then, did Jesus lead the disciples who were captive to fear back out into the light. Fear began to go while courage and faith took its place. Any fear of human or spiritual opposition began to fade while the power of the risen Savior began to work in their lives.
This resurrected Savior was their only hope. Their day of fear and waiting ended with their victorious Christ leading them out into the light.