Easter Retreat 2023
Easter Weekend Devotional:
The Saturday When Silence Reigned
Jesus’ body was removed from the cross and transferred to the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea shortly after his death. Because the Sabbath was imminent, Joseph and Nicodemus quickly wrapped His body with seventy-five pounds of spices and strips of linen.
Myrrh, the spice used to prepare His body for burial is the resin of a Commiphora tree. A “wound” (or piercing) is inflicted on the tree, which “bleeds” myrrh resin. This resin can be used as an antiseptic and for the healing of wounds, just as the precious blood of Jesus, spilled on the cross, cleanses and heals the wounds sin has inflicted.
Saturday, the Sabbath, was a day of rest, waiting, silence. No work was allowed. Scripture tells us very little about this day, but I imagine the disciples huddled together, likely in shock, grief, and fear.
Jesus was dead.
No one expected Him to die, much less endure the torture and horror of crucifixion. The disciples reeled from the events of the night before and probably feared for their own lives. Would they be next? No one knew.
It was the question in everyone’s mind. Everything depended on the coming day. Three days, Jesus said. Would He rise? Was it possible? Yes, of course, it was, they must’ve reminded each other. Jesus raised Lazarus less than a week before. He could raise Himself, or so they hoped.
Surely, they remembered His words, but maybe not. Maybe it felt as if the God-silence of four centuries, broken by a brief interlude of three beautiful years, had begun again.
How could they live without Jesus? Could they return to boats and nets rather than fishing for men?
In the eyes of those who followed Jesus on this day, the movement died with Jesus. All hope was lost. Despair and fear set in. They hoped he was the Saviour, but clearly, that was not the case. It’s hard to live in the in-between, but that is often how it feels for those of us who follow Christ. We know this is just our temporary home and we anxiously await the day when we will spend eternity with our Saviour. Saturday feels like the in-between. We know Jesus died on the cross, but we know He will rise again.
Silence reigned and earth waited, as our Saviour waged war with darkness. Hope hung in the balance. Redemption. Eternity. It all depended on Jesus’ victory in the unseen war He waged.
It’s easy to forget the time before we knew Jesus when His voice was seemingly silent. For most people in our dark and perishing world, their experience is one continual Silent Saturday. They have no hope of seeing Jesus. They live life without comfort from His presence or direction from His wise leadership.
Trapped in silence.
These are the people to whom we are sent, and they wait for someone to share the good news of Jesus with them. Will we speak or allow them to perish in the silent darkness? Let’s consider those who live lives without Christ and ask ourselves:
Why do I allow the silence to persist? What should I do about it?
Take time today to praise God for living in the in-between because you know what the future holds. Let’s also spend a portion of our day in silence, remembering the quiet as a world waited and the silence of those who do not know Him.
Easter Weekend Devotionals Suggested Reading for today:
Songs for reflection: