The day was Saturday, the Sabbath of the Jews.
Jesus’ body had been wrapped and placed in a tomb. The despair that the disciples
of Jesus must have felt is beyond description. Less than a week before they had witnessed
the great entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem, hailed as King of Kings and Lord
of Lords. He had cast out the money changers of the temple and had called the temple His
own. He had spoken with power to the Pharisees and had usurped their power on every hand.
He had spoken words of comfort and peace to the disciples in the upper room. He had spoken
of overcoming all things. Yet now He lay in a tomb. His life of teachings and influence
had ended literally overnight. From the time of His arrest to the time of His death would
not have been more than about 12 hours. He had been tortured and executed. He had died
and had been buried. How could heal the blind and deaf and even raise the dead, and yet
He could not prevent His own death. How ironic the disciples must have thought,
that on this Sabbath day, on which Jehovah had rested from his labors after creating
the earth, their Lord and Master would rest and lie in a tomb. The Sabbath was to be a day of
delight and joy; it was to be a day of rest and rebirth. On the Sabbath day Jesus had healed
many, yet He could not bring this same power unto Himself. This day that was to be a delight,
was anything but a delight. Each of us is faced with moments of despair
and depression; moments when we feel lost, alone, and forsaken. At these times of agony
we often ask how the Lord could permit such an event to occur. How could the Lord let
the righteous suffer so? We may feel that because of our loss the Lord does not love
us, or we have in some way displeased the Master. Yet, these moments of despair and
loss are given to us that we may learn. It is only after sorrow that we can feel joy;
it is only after loss that we can feel restoration; it is only after death that we can know life.
Had the disciples witnessed Jesus die of old age, they would still have reason to mourn.
However, because He died in such an appalling and agonizing way the disciples were given
the chance to experience complete loss and total despair. Because of this, when Jesus
was raised from the dead the next day, the light, glory, joy, and happiness that must
have filled their hearts is beyond description. By His death and suffering He literally helped
them to learn what true joy was like. Though we often may find ourselves in despair,
let us look to Christ and put our faith in Him completely and totally. Let us never question
what He has told us. Let us never doubt the promises that He has given. He had told His
disciples that He would be killed and rise again; yet, the agony of the moment overshadowed
their hope. In our times of trial, let us never allow our faith to be overshadowed by
fear and sadness. Let us always place our faith in the Lord who is mighty to save. For
after great trials comes great blessings; after great sadness comes great joy; after
death comes life and resurrection.