First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Life needs to and must go on.

April 15, 2017

    It's no secret, we as a people, don't take waiting around easily. There is something that seems wasteful about waiting. There is something inconvenient about waiting; maybe even painful. Waiting, in a word, just 'stinks'! Many things in our lives vie for attention and we sense a great need to be attending to them as soon as we can get to it.  Yet, circumstances will often allow nothing to occur except waiting. One of those circumstances is death which brings a numbing effect that slows our senses and brings us face to face with that waiting nemesis.

    I soooooo want to know what all of Jesus followers were doing the day after the crucifixion. I understand Saturday to be their Sabbath and I'm sure they tried to observe this important part of the Jewish faith. There is no way their Sabbath observance was like all the others. They had just watched their Rabbi, friend, teacher, healer, and miracle worker die a horrible death. Their hearts were crushed along with any hope of freedom. Waiting in a locked room was not part of their Sabbath plans just a couple days before. 

    All the Gospels are strangely silent on the day between the death of Christ and His glorious Resurrection. We are left to surmise what went on behind closed doors.  It could be suggested there were some women still trying to move forward with life. In Luke 24, it mentions they had left the closed tomb and went home to prepare burial spices. The text also points out they rested on the Sabbath. These women were trying to move forward with a stark reality that death had come and life must go on. Here is what the Gospel of John documented.

 

John 19:42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. 

The Empty Tomb 

John 20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

 

I suppose it is a stretch to suggest that we are always living into the Saturday between the crucifixion and the Resurrection. There is however an overwhelming sense of waiting. We are born, we live, and some people come to faith in Jesus. We believe Jesus is capable of forgiving us and providing for us a path back to God's presence. Even though our lives are meant to go on, sometimes they do not. Failure, loss, death, or any other catastrophe that befalls us can run our life off the rails and we cease to keep moving through life. Each day for some folks is another edition of the 'silent Saturday' in scripture. They wait for a Resurrection that will never occur.

    Tomorrow, dawn will streak the eastern sky and we'll gather in a solitary place to celebrate an undeniable truth. The tomb of Jesus has been opened, it is empty, and He is Risen! We'll once again bolster our hope in God's promise to redeem humanity through the sacrifice of a perfect lamb, His Son. We'll be glad that we submitted to the final work of Jesus on that Roman cross and we'll marvel at His dying words, "It is Finished."

    Waiting isn't nearly as formidable when one clings to the Savior of the world who not only overcame death, but has the power to forgive sins and regenerate our dead lives.

    "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.' (Romans 6:4-5, NIV)

 

How the rest of our lives unfold is up to us. We can wander in a dark stupor thinking all is lost or we can live into the light and love of Christ that shouts, "Life needs to and must go on!"

 

 

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