Saturday, April 15, 2017
A Sorrowful Sabbath
Daily Gratitude Year 5- Day 105: Today, I am grateful we are given the example of a sorrowful Sabbath.
On the 6th day of the Jewish week...from Thursday at sundown to Friday at sundown...Jesus had been tried tried, found guiltless, brutally beaten, mocked and crucified anyway. It was the Passover and the Sabbath would begin.
All work would stop for the Sabbath. The grieving would continue to grieve. Yes, a deeply sorrowful Sabbath... with no work allowed... they would have to grieve and wait. Some grieved alone. Others gathered together in hiding and in fear of being next.
They had the Sabbath to weep, to be mad, to be sad, to be shocked, to be confused, and to feel the sorrow. There is a good work that happens in grief that is important to healing. Reflecting on a great loss is how we learn what is most valuable. Those who loved Jesus spent a broken Sabbath with hardly the words to express what they were feeling.
I wonder if the shock was as big as the grief? Had they spent the day of the crucifixion waiting for the miracle... not realizing the miracle in Jesus choice to be our sacrifice? I don't know, but I love to ponder it all. It becomes more real and personal when we reflect on the fact that these were real people, witnessing a real event... in real distress. Jesus dead? In a grave? Death was his to command, right?
John tells us in John 21:25 that Jesus miracles were too many to record: "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." How could this crucifixion and death happened to Jesus?
The women where distressed that they didn't have time to do a proper preparation of the body for Jewish burial. They were women on a mission for Sunday morning. Mark 16 and Luke 24 give us a brief snapshot of their plan.
After sundown on the Sabbath day... officially Sunday by Jewish law...did they begin to gather and prepare the spices they would take to the tomb? I love to wonder at their conversations or quiet as they worked. Their hearts were broken and full at the same time. Grief does that.
Each woman had special, private memories of Jesus filling their heads and their hearts. Some of the women are listed by name. We have to look at the gospels collectively to get a better picture, as each gospel author penned it from what they actually saw and heard. Without phones to call or text - some came together, but perhaps... others with the same idea came alone. We know there were women and some of the names, but the evidence is that there were several there to prepare or simply grieve the one they loved.
Personally, even in the deepest grief, those who loved Jesus in death were at a better place than the government officials and church leaders who had just ordered and put into play the execution of Jesus.
Jesus was no ordinary man... but God and man. Those who killed him were nervous. They didn't understand that his death was for them, too. His victory would be over Satan, sin and death, and he would long for them to believe, not long for revenge. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Roman soldiers were place at the tomb where there was already a big stone in place. Really? Was that necessary? They knew that Jesus had raised Lazarus (John 11), the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7)and Jairus' daughter (Mark 5 & Luke 8)... so I wonder if that seed of resurrection was already planted in the minds? The leaders knew of his many miracles. Still, they let the innocent healing man of God... the man who they feared might be God... be executed. Imagine their emotions.
Today, we remember the sorrow of those who mourned Jesus death on the cross. We know what they had not figured out. Sunday is on the way!
Today, I am grateful we are given the example of a sorrowful Sabbath.