To us this is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The day after Jesus died, but the day before he rose again.
To Jesus’ followers, this was only the day after Good Friday. They didn’t have the anticipation of waiting for Easter Sunday. All they had was the sorrow.
And imagine how deep that sorrow must have been. Not only had their leader died, (and one of their closest friends betrayed him, then killed himself) they had lost their whole purpose in life.
For years their life had been following Jesus. They had given up their jobs, and secure stable lives for him. Now that Jesus was dead, what did they have left to live for? Their lives had been totally turned upside down. They must have felt completely let down, as if they had no hope on that day.
As Christian, I think we are often living in that Saturday frame of mind. We can look around the world and see so much pain and suffering, and really at times it all feels too much.
Maybe, you personally feel like you are living in the despair and hopelessness of the Saturday. It feels like everything used to be so good. That you were walking closely with God, but somehow, things have happened, and it feels like he is distant that.
Even though naturally, we may be living in the Saturday. Super-naturally, we can live with the hope of Sunday.
We have the hope that one day God will make sense of the pain and suffering, and that one day it will be no more.
It’s almost impossible to put into words the greatness of what Jesus did for us on that first Good Friday. I know that I definitely am unable to do it justice. However I start to explain it, it somehow feels weak in comparison to the power of what Jesus has done for us.
As I was reading about Jesus crucifixion, one of the things that struck me were the actions of some of the disciples leading up to it. A lot of people had a lot to feel guilty that day, not only Judas, but the other disciples as well.
Peter had a lot to regret, not only had he denied knowing Jesus. He had also fallen asleep, along with James and John, when he was supposed to be watching over him.
Imagine how the three of them must have felt, when just a short while later, Judas approached to have Jesus arrested. This was the last chance they had to spend time with Jesus, before his death, and they had just blown it!
Imagine how they must have felt when he was sent to be crucified, knowing the suffering that he was going through, and realising they didn’t take their last opportunity to support him.
Imagine how they must have felt as he was dying, realising just how badly they had let him down.
Looking at the cross, it’s sometimes hard to remember that we share in that same guilt. That it’s our sin that put Jesus on the cross. Like the disciples, we have taken our eyes off Jesus, we have been selfish and we haven’t trusted him when we should have.
When we look at the cross this Good Friday it should convict us, we should feel guilty about the things that we have done. If we don’t feel this way, our faith must be very shallow indeed. After all Jesus took the punishment that we deserved to endure, and that is not fair.
But Jesus did it because he loves us.
We should take time to reflect on our guilt and shame, because without it, the cross is meaningless. Without it we would never be able to understand just how much Jesus loves us.
We shouldn’t stay in that place of guilt though. We have been forgiven from all the things we have done to put Jesus on the cross. We can open our hands and let go of them. The disciples were given another chance when Jesus came back to life again. And so are we.
Today is Maundy Thursday, the day Christians typically remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples.
As I was thinking about this passage there was one emotion that sprang to mind, and that’s confusion.
You see, the last supper was actually a passover meal. A traditional meal that Jesus’ disciples would have celebrated every year. And traditions rarely change. But Jesus turned this tradition completely on it’s head when he picked up the bread and said: “This is my body broken for you.” And passed around the wine saying: “This is my blood shed for you.”
These are words which we may have heard so many times before. Words which we may have become so used to that they have almost lost their meaning. Words, which from where we stand, we can understand the full meaning. We know that Jesus was referring to his death, which was to take place the next day.
The disciples would not have yet fully understood this. Why was Jesus so completely changing this traditional meal.
Sometimes things in our life may happen that make absolutely no sense. I am currently going through a very difficult time in my life, having recently left a husband who was abusive, and return to my parents home. From where I am standing right now, it is almost impossible for me to understand why God has allowed this to happen to me. I just have to have faith that God knows what He is doing, and that one day it will all make sense.
In the same way that from where the disciples were standing, the last supper wouldn’t have made much sense, but just one day later they would have understood it. And more than that, it made sense of the future.
We all think that we are better than someone. We just might not realise it.
Maybe it’s that person who you work with, who seems to do everything so slowly, and then takes extended lunch breaks!
Maybe it’s that lady you know who has a baby, yet abandons it to go out partying every other weekend. Continue reading