Resting & Waiting
Jesus had died on the cross. As everyone who knew him and loved him stood at a distance and watched, Jesus cried out and gave his life. With Jesus, their hopes for their expected Messiah also died.
On the cross, they’d lost a beloved friend, a son, an honored teacher and mentor. They lost the one they believed was the Messiah, sent to rescue them from oppression. They lost their hope. The women had lost a man who saw them as worthy, valuable, equal to the men. And for some of them, there was some concern they could lose their own lives for being his disciples.
After Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb. The women all went home or to the rented upper room. Luke tells us (23:56) that they rested on the Sabbath because that was the commandment. The women would return to finish embalming Jesus’ body on Sunday, but first – they’d honor the Sabbath.
They’d rest and wait.
Their lives had fallen apart. All their understanding of God was shaken as the earth quaked and the sky darkened. These women had lost a teacher who saw them, who looked into their eyes and saw them as full human beings. Jesus had accepted them and taught them. He had received their offerings. He had welcomed them as disciples into his circle. Jesus had healed them and their friends. He’d raised other people from the dead. Jesus was love and acceptance and hope and healing — and he’d just been brutally beaten and hung on a cross where he gave up his life and died. Jesus had just been placed in a tomb. Dead.
I imagine the heart-crushing grief of these women. Would anyone ever honor and respect them as Jesus had? Would anyone teach love the way he did? What had they misunderstood? What had Jesus said about resurrection? How long would he be dead? How long would their hopes be entombed?
Confusion. Grief. Fear. Disappointment. Sadness.
And still – they honored the Sabbath. Sill, they trusted God enough to follow God’s laws. Still, they stuck to the routine they’d always known. They prayed the Sabbath prayers their hearts knew. They rested. And they waited until Sunday.
Are you overcome by grief or fear? Are you disappointed in the way things have turned out in your life? Does it seem like God isn’t keeping up God’s end of the bargain? Have your hopes been crucified? Has your earth shaken and your sky turned black?
Dear friend, let me encourage you — rest in what you do know. Pray the prayers your heart knows. Lean into what you know of God. Be still. Rest. And wait. When the time comes to do the next thing, you may be surprised. You may be surprised by restored life. You may be surprised by Love gently saying your name. You may be surprised by resurrection.
For today, rest and wait.