Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Between the Cross and Empty Tomb

The Bible doesn't tell us everything that happened in the life of Jesus.  It tells us everything we need to know but not everything.

"Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25

"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name." John 20:30-31

The Bible tells us everything we need to know to have a saving faith in Jesus.  But have you ever imagined what might have happened in the spaces we don't know about?  Have you wondered what Jesus was like as a child?  How on earth did Mary and Joseph raise Him and how did His brothers and sisters react to living with a perfect brother?  Did Jesus ever play a goof with the other disciples on Peter or Thomas?  What did His laugh sound like?  How did Mary, Martha and Lazarus get to know Jesus?

There's so many things about the earthly life of Jesus that I want to know.  John said there isn't enough room in books to write them all, I mean every moment of His life was holy, but eternity has enough room to hear them all.  I do so look forward to asking James if there was a time Jesus laughed so hard He cried or if Jesus gave Bartholomew a perfectly timed hug.

But today is Holy Saturday and today I wonder what Saturday felt like for the disciples.  Between the cross and the empty tomb what was the mood like?  What were the conversations like?  Did Peter's failure feel final?  Was John boastful that he was the only disciple at the crucifixion?  Were the women disappointed thinking that they'd misunderstood Jesus' message?  Did they hide for their lives?  Were they filled with sadness or anger?

On that first Holy Saturday I bet they all felt stuck, defeated, confused, upset, bamboozled and afraid.  Jesus had made so many promises, He was supposed to be the eternal King in the line of David; what happened?

We all have the benefit of knowing that Holy Saturday is followed by Resurrection Sunday.  We all know that Good Friday is in fact good, that it wasn't defeat but victory.  We all know that the tomb couldn't keep Christ.  We all know that sin, death and Jesus entered the tomb and only one came out alive.  We know that Jesus won the fight.

But we all know the feelings of Saturday.  We know the feeling of being stuck between the announcement of victory and the experience of victory.  We feel the tension of the "here but not yet" Gospel.  We exist between the first coming of Jesus and the second coming of Jesus and we eagerly await the consummation of the Gospel.

Below is a post I wrote in 2012 about Holy Saturday.  I know this post is getting long, but I encourage you to read it because I know, even though I wrote it, that I am encouraged by it today.


Yesterday was Good Friday and tomorrow is Easter.  Today is Saturday.  "Duh, Matt."  But let's think about that a bit today.

On my Good Friday post I wrote about Jesus' victory cry of "It is finished!"  Tomorrow we will celebrate Easter which is the experience that the victory cry is truth.  Saturday we are left unsure.  If Jesus just dies for us He is just one of the most loving people in history, but He is not Savior.  Good Friday is great but it is only a neat story without Easter.  But what about Saturday?

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in Saturday.  What I mean is I know the victory is mine to claim with Christ, but I haven't seen its completion.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6  I know that He will completely perfect me, but it hasn't been completed yet.  I'm stuck in Saturday.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or morning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4  I know this is true but I see cancer and heartache every day.  I'm stuck in Saturday.

"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." Romans 16:20  I know I will crush Satan's head but right now he's tormenting me.  I'm stuck in Saturday.

We live much of our life in Saturday.  The victory has been declared but we can't realize or see it fully yet.  That is why we must hold on to the promise of victory in faith.  Easter will come into its fulness in everything that was promised.  Until then believe the truth of Good Friday, "It is finished!"  Saturday will pass and the sun will come up tomorrow.  The Son will return and we will see that "It is finished!"

Hold fast to the promises of Christ because they will come to pass.  Look forward to tomorrow and in doing so endure today.

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