A Silent Saturday

Pilate was surprised to hear that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. – (Mark 15:44-46, NIV)

 

After the devastation of the cross, a faithful few prepared Jesus’ body and buried Him in a tomb. By sun up, it would be the Sabbath, and no one would be going anywhere or doing anything. The disciples and other followers of Jesus likely spent the day in mourning. Meanwhile, the chief priests and the Pharisees were not at all at ease. They went to Pilate because they recalled the words of Jesus, and clearly had concerns about what might transpire in the coming days.

 

“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So, give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that He has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” – (Matthew 27:63-64, NIV)

 

Consequently, Pilate ordered his guards to make the tomb secure and to stand guard at the tomb. That Saturday, all seemed to be silent. Jewish law kept mourners from moving about and doing much of anything, and I imagine that each of the faithful followers of Jesus retreated to their own homes and pondered all that had transpired in the previous twenty-four hours. It is as if the world stopped spinning, and all were stuck in a silent space of grief and disbelief. For me, knowing the whole story, I am in a space between awe and agony at the weight of all that Jesus bore on my behalf, and the anticipation of celebration, knowing that He conquered death and rose again the very next day.  Today is a space of waiting. Silent reflection and appreciation are what flood my heart and mind. I mourn my own sinfulness, yet overflow with gratitude for the salvation that is granted because He bore it all for me. May we each find our own quiet moments to reflect on the magnitude of what our Maker did for us all as we stay in this space of sacred silence.

 

This day of waiting, A SIlent Saturday

Sabbath long ago;

The Savior, buried,

Seemed hope’s final blow.

The world lay silent,

The Savior was dead;

Where were they to go,

What could have been said?

Silent reflection,

Such grief on that day;

What could have been done,

Unrealized grace.

O painful waiting,

To go to the tomb;

Observe in anguish,

Savior’s seeming doom.

The stillness gave way,

For we know the end;

Death could not hold Him,

As He rose again.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your one and only Son to make the way for us to be restored unto You. Thank You Jesus, for bearing the weight of all of our sin upon Yourself; for we are the ones deserving sanctions of suffering, not You. Forgive us for not fully embracing the weight of what You have done for us, or for questioning whether or not Your sacrifice truly covered it all. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would receive the mercy and grace provided at the cross, and demonstrate our gratitude by living a life that ever seeks Your will. Show us how to love those around us in a way that makes the promise that joy comes in the morning no matter how dark the night appears, evident. May many come to embrace the grace that You made possible through Your death and resurrection on this holy weekend so long ago. Be glorified O God, as we set our hearts in silent reflection over all that You did to make us acceptable in Your sight. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. – John 16:22

Called Clean in Christ

Centurion man

image by Al

image by Al

seeking in prayer.

Gave generously,

called on God “out there”.

Angelic visit

to Cornelius.

Prayers being answered,

by our God with us.

Sent men to Joppa,

for Peter to find.

Housed with the tanner,

ready, set, and kind.

Peter on rooftop,

who’d gone up to pray.

Learned a new lesson,

about pure that day.

Directly He spoke,

the voice of the Lord.

“Call nothing impure,

that I have restored.”

Three times this happened,

and then Peter knew,

that God was for all –

not just for the Jew.

Peter went with them,

to Cornelius.

Who had gathered all,

to hear of Jesus.

He fell at his feet,

Peter said, “Stand up,

I am just a man,”

to God, raise your cup.

Peter clearly spoke.

Spirit presence near.

Mighty did He move.

Evidence so clear.

Empowered in gifts.

Spirit pouring out.

Baptism, new life –

the God-ordained route.

(Responding to Acts 10)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though none of us deserve to be deemed clean before You, because of the sacrifice of Your Son on the cross, all who ask, are covered and considered clean before You.  Thank You that when You look at us, You see Your spotless Son rather than our sinful selves.  Please forgive us for seeing ourselves or others as “unclean”.  Help us to remember that the only way that anyone is called clean, is in You.  Lead us to live lives of love that honor You by loving You and loving people well.  Teach us to trust You to lead us well, and to provide what we need to go wherever we are asked.  Thank You for Your goodness and grace, and may You be ever evident in this place.  May many come to know how deeply You love and long for relationship with Your created.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present