Holy Week – don’t be stressing, just keep a Sabbath.
What happened on the second day?
“Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” John 19 v42
Jesus had no place to lay his head (Luke 9:58) and he had no family tomb either. His death came suddenly for the disciples and no one had thought of what to do with the body of their Lord. Two secret disciples had a solution. Joseph had a tomb very near to the cross that had never been used and so he and Nicodemus before sunset on the Friday laid Jesus there temporarily before the Sabbath began on the Saturday. Isn’t it a lovely thought that Jesus was laid there temporarily?!
So it is Saturday.
What is happening?
- The enemy secured what they thought was their victory.
- The religious leaders were not observing what they taught which was one of the charges they laid at Jesus – keeping the Sabbath, ““The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.” Matthew 27
- They were remembering the words of Jesus more than the disciples. The last thing on the disciples mind was stealing the body! They were not thinking about the teaching of Jesus, there was no expectation, “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 v63-64.
Sometimes it may feel it is getting worse than it gets better. The enemy of your soul will try and secure your defeat.
Keep your eyes off what you think the enemy has done. Turn your face away. Don’t listen to the voice of negativity that tries to knock at your door. It’s not over. There is someone else who is active.
- Jesus was doing something though we are not absolutely sure what that was.
We know that Jesus told the thief he would be in Paradise with Jesus that day (Luke 23 v42). We also know there are various Scriptures that would indicate Jesus went to preach in hell (Acts 2 v27; Romans 10 v6-7; Ephesians 4 v8-9; 1 Peter 3 v18-20). However, many have debated over the generations on what these Scriptures actually mean. So I think it is fair to say Jesus was doing something but we are not 100% sure what that was even if we might have an idea. I like this position. I don’t like the position of being so sure of what and where God is. Prophecies during a pandemic are to be taken lightly. To have had them before would have been more helpful.
On the Saturday of your trauma it is simply enough to know that God is still active. Whatever He is doing it will be for the ultimate good. That is enough to rest on. That brings us nicely to the third point.
- The disciples are not stressing, they just keep the Sabbath.
“Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation…” Because it was the day before the Sabbath and everyone rests on that day they laid Jesus in the tomb.
Luke helps us here. The women saw where Jesus was laid, “Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” (23 v56).
It is not a day to do nothing. That feels like a waste to me. It is a day of rest; of sleep; of worship; of silence; of fuelling the tank; of friendship, love and kindness.
So ignore what the enemy has done or may still be trying to do; trust God hasn’t stopped working for you and you choose your Sabbath and rest your soul, heart and mind. For tomorrow will be quite a day!
Don’t be stressing, just keep a Sabbath.