Waiting….Let’s face it. Not many of us like to wait. This last year has been a waiting year for us. We are uncomfortable with waiting. It’s been interesting to watch my Facebook feed. Even yesterday, some were already fast forwarding to tomorrow – the celebration of the resurrection…but wait….just wait…yes…we know the end of the story – but let’s rewind back 2000 years ago. The disciples did not know the end of this story. Their leader – the one they had followed and learned from for three years had just been killed – crucified on a Roman cross and buried in a new tomb – with soldiers guarding it. Look at the story found in today’s scripture reading from Matthew:
As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.
The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”
Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.
So you see, the disciples were sort of the bad guys in this story. The Pharisees had killed Jesus and they wanted to make sure that this trouble maker and his disciples were never heard from again.
I encourage you to check out this blog from my Facebook friend Cathy. It has some additional thoughts about this day.
So, if you were one of the disciples, what would you have done the day after Jesus was crucified. You really couldn’t do much – after all it was the Sabbath. About the only thing you could do was take a nap or go to the temple or synagogue. Being that this was a Passover Sabbath – it was especially holy. You couldn’t do anything – because the law said you couldn’t do anything — all you had time to do was thing about yesterday’s events – and fear for your lives that the officials didn’t come looking for you… and so you wait.
As I said at the beginning, we has humans, don’t like to wait. Pam and I know this well from the last year. It has been tough to wait out God’s story – It’s been tough to wait on God’s timing…We have wanted to fast forward – just like those who want to fast forward to the resurrection. Perhaps it is too difficult to think about all that Jesus went through for us…and yet I like this pause in the story – Jesus is dead – even that is hard to write. But for the disciples, they didn’t know part two of this story.- at least not yet. So put yourself in the disciples sandals today—-and—-wait. Pause….there will be time for celebration…but for now…just…wait.
I’ve used this song as an Advent song – but this is very appropriate for today as we wait.