As Christians during this Holy Week we remember the events of Good Friday with an eye towards Resurrection Sunday. We find sorrow (at least for a moment) in the anguish suffered by Jesus on our behalf, but still wait with anticipation for Sunday. We do this with good reason: we know what happened that Sunday some 2,000 years ago. So for us, the anticipation of Sunday’s celebration makes it that much easier to briefly reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus.
Now let’s turn back the clock to that Sabbath following the death of Jesus. We find the disciples hiding together. There is no hope, no anticipation, no expectation. Fear, dread, hopelessness, and helplessness dominate the day. These 12 (now 11) men had spent the last three and a half years following a teacher that they truly believed was Messiah. However, you have to remember that the Jewish idea of Messiah was someone that was going to overthrow the oppressive Roman government that controlled Palestine. I’m sure at many times during those years, they thought that surely it was about to happen. It never did. The hope and anticipation of Messiah was gone. The fear and dread of possibly being rounded up and executed like Jesus had them cowering behind closed doors.
I have to admit there is a part of me that wishes I could climb into Doc Brown’s DeLorean and travel back to that Saturday to let them in on the secret that Jesus had been trying to make them aware of in some of His final teaching moments with them. The grave wasn’t going to hold Him down. He was coming out of that grave just as He had raised Lazarus from the dead not that long ago. What would it be like to see their reactions if I could play them this famous sermon clip?
You see there are many times where I wish I could have seen Jesus as He engaged in His earthly ministry. Today is not one of those days. I’m thankful to know how this chapter of history ends. I’m grateful to not find myself huddled behind a locked door praying that the temple guard or the Roman soldiers don’t barge in and drag me off to hang on my cross. I already know what the disciples would find out in 24 hours. My cross was occupied by Jesus. My sins have been placed on Him. Jesus is about to bust out of that man made tomb holding the keys of death, hell, and the grave. It was Friday. It’s now Saturday. Sunday is still coming!!