Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Easter Message

We are approaching Good Friday. We will imagine--the best we can--Jesus carrying His cross, resolutely following His Father's will to undergo torture, pain and death to redeem us.  We have Easter before us. It's the day where we proclaim, "He is risen! He is risen indeed!"

What about Saturday?  We have no name for that. 

I do. I call it Silent Saturday. Death is quiet. The tomb is silent. 

But it was silent beyond the tomb. It was silent in the court of God the Father. 

Throughout eternity, God was in loving fellowship with His Son. They created the world together: "Let us make man in our own image..." They laughed at the antics of the animals swimming in the seas, and rejoiced in the song of birds. They loved to watch the horses run across the fields and smiled at the beautiful wings of a butterfly.  They smiled at the man created from the dust, and enjoyed the praises that fell from his lips.  

Never was there a time when the Son was apart from the Father. Except on Silent Saturday. The Son's laughter had stopped. He no longer smiled. No more words escaped His lips. The Father, for the first time ever, was alone. 

Earlier, the Son talked to His Father on the cross, anguished that He felt His Father had abandoned Him.  Matthew records His last words as being, "Father, into Your Hands, I commend my spirit." John records His last words as being, “It is finished.”  

Both were said. 

An obedient Son, an observant Jew, He commended His spirit to His Father, but only after having declared that redemption's work was finished. Jesus was following His Father until His last breath. Then the Son fell silent.

The Father was alone.  But the Father waited. Anguished, pierced to the heart, alone, but the Father waited. For the Son would not stay silent. The heavens would ring once more with the Son's laughter and His praise to His Father. 

Perhaps you are in Good Friday, with pain that pierces you to the heart with a sense of abandonment. Perhaps you are in Silent Saturday, alone and waiting. This is what He meant when He said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

He told His disciples exactly what the week before His death would bring, with its final devastating conclusion. They would quickly forget, in the midst of their confusion, astonishment and fear that He also told them of His triumph.  Our overwhelmingly painful Fridays, our silent Saturdays, cause us to forget the triumphant Sundays promised to us by our Savior.  

The stone will be rolled away.  The sun will rise.  The Son of God rises in our heart and hope is once again the air we breathe. He overcame what the world threw at Him, to show His love has no limits, and His forgiveness is just one prayer away. 

May your Easter be rich and blessed.

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