Summary: Eternal life has already begun and the Father will raise us up as He did Christ. Because of this, live for eternity. Remember the truths we know. Persevere through “Saturday” trusting God’s faithfulness. Rejoice! Jesus Christ has risen indeed!
Can you imagine what it must have been like for the followers of Jesus on Saturday, the day after Jesus had been crucified? All was lost. Jesus was dead. They had given up everything to follow Jesus. Everything in them had sensed that He was truly who He said He was. They believed with all of their hearts that He was the promised Messiah and Savior who had been prophesied about for hundreds, even thousands of years.
Yes, they had run away when Jesus was arrested. Yes, they feared death as much as the next person, but they truly believed. Every verse of prophecy that had been foretold about the Messiah came true in the life of Jesus Christ. It was beyond imagination.
For those who had ears to hear and eyes to see there was no mistaking that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. He made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk and the mute to speak. In addition, He had turned water to wine. He had fed thousands with just a few loaves and fish. He healed a leper. He cast our demons. He calmed the sea. He even raised the dead to life again. Truly the Savior had come. . . And now He was dead.
It must have been like a nightmare that you keep trying to wake up from, but you can’t. Jesus of Nazareth, their Messiah, the Messiah, was dead.
Now what? How could this have happened? He was God in the flesh. Even though Jesus had warned them, it was as if they never saw it coming. (John 2:18-22; Matthew 12:39-40; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 27:62-64)
Even with the fulfillment of all of the Messianic Prophecies and Jesus’ predictions of His own death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus’ followers must have been devastated on that Saturday as Jesus Christ lay dead in the tomb.
Have you ever experienced a “Saturday” in your life when everything goes wrong and you are devastated? When God seems to be gone and life seems to be hopeless? In those moments what do we do? We climb into the loving arms of God and wait.
So there they were, in hiding. Scared for their own lives and devastated that Jesus was gone. But then we read about the courageous women who, regardless of fear, went to the tomb on Sunday morning to put spices on Jesus’ body.
Luke 24:1-12 says it like this, “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third-day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words,9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.”
They remembered. They were familiar with the prophecies. They had heard Jesus’ words about his upcoming death, burial, and resurrection, but in the midst of the struggle and devastation, they had “forgotten” the truth that they had built their lives upon.
So many times we do the same. Life has suddenly become so difficult that we focus our attention on the storm that rages around us and we forget the rock that our life is built upon (Matthew 7:24-27) We forget the promises of Christ and the character of God. We begin to worry and doubt like one who has no God, but that is not who we are. We will never be left alone.
Jesus was alive! It did not happen in secret where there would be no witnesses. The Apostle Paul writes in Acts 15:3-6
“He (Jesus) appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive.”