April 14, 2017
It was the darkest day in all of history.
The God-Man who had been dwelling on Earth for a little over 30 years was no more. His heart-wrenching question still rang through the minds of those who had been there, at the foot of the Cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
They could still smell the vinegar which had been offered to the Prince of Peace on a sponge at the end of a stick raised up to his lips.
The Bible tells us that Jesus gave up his spirit then and the curtain of the temple tore in two from top to bottom. Matthew wrote that the earth shook and the rocks split open.
Surely, people had started realizing this was different than any other crucifixion at this point. Certainly they had felt the overwhelming darkness that flooded the earth as God died for a while.
The Gospels tell us that, when Jesus drew his last breath, the centurion and the others guarding him cried in terror, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
The women stood in the distance. Exhausted from following Jesus to care for his needs on the way to his execution, I’m sure they wept, buried deep in grief.
Still caught up in their love for God-on-earth, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary followed Joseph, one of Jesus’ disciples, and watched as he wrapped the limp body of their beloved in clean linen and carefully placed it in the new tomb Joseph had cut out of the rock, just for this purpose. He rolled a large stone across the opening of the cave and left.
The women stayed, sitting on the ground there, just to be near Jesus a little while longer – even if it was only his earthly body leftover.
I’m sure the darkness felt like drowning in the sea.
I can only imagine the suffocation of the realization that all hope was lost. I can hear the women and the disciples whispering through tears, “What do we do now?”
Jesus told them he would rise again, but did they understand him? Did they lay in bed, head spinning and heart racing, trying to remember the last words Jesus had spoken to them? Did they fully understand what was coming in just a few days?
I’m sure they were confused and scared and their hearts had been broken open.
All they could do was wait.
Today, we do the same. Each of us stand in our own form of the gap of darkness that bridges old life to new. We stand, exhausted but hopeful, waiting with outstretched arms raised to the heavens – crying out for our Savior.
When the darkness is too deep to wade through…
When the hopelessness feels like a rope snaking around our necks…
When we are certain there is no future for us…
We wait upon the Lord.
Resurrection is coming.