“There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin. The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.”
It was Saturday. As dawn broke, Jesus’ mother, Mary, His deciples and the ladies that accompanied His party must have awakened, wondering if yesterday’s events were just a really bad nightmare. Sadly, they were not! The reality was that Jesus, their leader had been arrested, convicted and brutally executed.
As they contemplated all that He had taught them though, some things from yesterday actually began to make sense. Yesterday had been the national passover day and John the Baptiser did call Jesus the “Passover Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world”. (John 1:15) Jesus had told them that He must suffer many things at the hands of the Jewish leaders and had actually rebuked (scolded sternly) Peter for contesting Jesus about this, especially after the great day of ministry Jesus had that day, as well as Peter’s declaration of Jesus being the Messiah-God’s Own Son! (Mark 8:27-35) Parts of Isaiah and other ancient writings about Jesus had sadly come true, like Isaiah 53, but in a way they hadn’t seen coming! Jesus, one time had even compared Himself to the serpent on the pole Who would bring healing to anyone who looked to Him for help (John 3:12-15 & Numbers 21:4-9).
Then an exciting, yet impossible thought came: had Jesus not comminted that if the temple was torn down, would He not restore it in 3 days (John 2::17-20, Mark 14:58)? What if He spoke metophorically as He often did in parables? What about that one day when Jesus spoke about denying ourselves and embracing our cross and said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.” (Luke 9:22) That day we ignored what He said about suffering and dying, but now “that day” had come, but could Jesus seriously have meant that He’d come back to life in 3 days? As impossible as this seemed right now, He had, after all raised other people from the dead (Mark 5:21-43 & John 11:38-44). Could it be? The disciples had just a glimmer of hope!
Saturday was the longest day ever . . .
Think about it!