Saturday, March 31, 2018

Despair and Desperation

It's Saturday, the day in between Good Friday (oh, the irony) and Easter Sunday, and I've been very contemplative about what that day must have been like.  We know it was the Sabbath so, as we saw when we were in Israel, everything would have been shut down and it would have been a day of rest and contemplation. I wonder, though, what were the thoughts of those who had been in the crowd calling for Jesus to be crucified? What were Pilate's thoughts as he contemplated his cowardice and the way he backed down in leadership and allowed an angry mob to call the shots?

Friday was a day of darkness. For 3 hours the sun was blotted out and when Christ finally died the veil was torn, the earth quaked and the rocks were split in two. Nature acknowledged what humans were unwilling to admit...a grievous act against an innocent man was complete! And now it was Saturday and they must wait. Much as a disobedient child who is sent to their room to "think about what they have done", I have to believe that for many a knot had formed in their stomachs and they were forced to contemplate their role in putting an innocent man to death. The day of darkness had rolled into a day of despair and desperation and they were left to think.

Think about what they had done. Think about what was to come. Think about how to minimize the collateral damage. Think about how to keep His brazen claims that He would rise on the third day from appearing to actually come true. Pilate may have made a valiant attempt to wash his hands and declare his innocence in front of an angry crowd and a doubtful wife, but when the Pharisees came requesting the tomb be sealed, he was forced to acknowledge that their desperate measures would be hopeful at best. Now they must rest and wait.

I've had times in my life when I felt like I made a mistake that could never be made right. My failure felt final and I was left to contemplate what I had done. I was left to question my motives and struggle thru whether Jesus could ever come to my rescue in the midst of my despair and desperation and make things right. And yet, in the midst of my despondency, He had me tethered to the hope that maybe my failure wasn't final and maybe my despair could give way to deliverance and delight.

Let's not waste this day of waiting. Let's not become so focused on our past that we fail to prepare our hearts for what is to come. This day in between may be filled with many conflicting thoughts, but our deliverance is only a day away!!

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