Do you hear that? It is the deafening sound of my own heart pounding in my ears? Do you feel that? It is the sickening feeling of fear that promises to drown me in its unrelenting waves of trepidation? Do you see that? It is the most grotesque pictures of the day’s events ever present before my eyes. It is all the sinking knowledge of my hand in the betrayal of my Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Oh to hear His tender voice saying, “Blessed are you….” To feel the indescribable love, joy, peace, and contentment of being in His presence. Oh to see His gentle face laughing with the children, rejoicing with the healed and restored ones, smiling at me when I finally got what He was teaching!
How will I ever get through this night….
Shhh, what is that noise? It is only my own guilt rising up to condemn me; my own heartache that will not be consoled.
I witnessed Him beaten and tortured. He was barely alive as He carried that cross. I saw the nails driven in His hands and feet. I watched as that soldier lanced His side. Oh! the Blood! I’ve never witnessed so much blood. I helped hold His lifeless body. I helped lay Him in the tomb. My Teacher, my Master, my Friend, the One who loved me most is dead.
Oh, how will I ever get through this night….
Oh how this day has dragged on! It is Sabbath and a High Sabbath, at that. A day of rest to reflect upon G-d’s goodness and love towards us. How many times have we sung the passage from the Song of Songs upon this night? But after yesterday’s events….Oh surely, this could not have been His will for our Rabbi to die! Not the death of a criminal! What did He do to deserve such atrocity? He only did good wherever He went and taught us to do the same. Lepers were healed, the lame walked, the mute spoke, blinded eyes were opened, demons were driven out, and the dead were raised to new life! He wanted that for all of us, even for the ones who ridiculed Him. But He…He lies in a borrowed tomb!
How can I rest! Whenever I close my eyes I am plagued with the brutal imagery of yesterday. The grotesque sounds of horrific death mingled with the angry mockery of the people standing there is deafening in my ears. Oh, the distress written across His mother’s face. How did He even have the strength to place her into my care? Why would He? I could do nothing to help Him. Will I be able to protect her?
All I want to do is run to where we laid Him. But because of the Sabbaths we can’t even properly prepare His body. There is a deep craving within me to be doing something…but fear of those I am suppose to trust has kept me, all of us, hidden in this room. The urge to run to the ends of earth is nearly overwhelming.
How will I ever get through this night….
This is excruciating. Today is our weekly Sabbath, so yet another day of rest. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to rest again. I know my attention is supposed to be focused upon the LORD. but all I can think about is my Rabbi and all the brutality He endured at the hands of His own people and His friends. I’m trying so hard to remember the last 3 years of conversations, but all I hear is the jeers of the crowd. I desperately long to recall His gentle face, but all I see is the unrecognizable form struggling under the weight of that rugged cross. If I can just manage to go to sleep, when I wake in the morning I can go to the tomb and at least prepare His torn body for a proper burial. But how will I ever get through this night….
We all spent last night getting everything together we would need to prepare our Lord’s body for a proper burial. I’ve always looked forward to Sabbath, and especially the High Sabbaths. But the last 3 days have been filled with fear, anger, and inconsolable sadness. None of us has been able to talk about the events of that day with each other. We’ve tried, but we are overcome by the brutality of it all and are at a loss for words. So we fall silent once again.
But this morning there has been a buss here where we are staying. Fear of the authorities is prevalent; we just don’t know if they want us all dead. We’ll have to be careful as we make our way to the tomb. Surely, they are expecting us to go to the grave site today. We’re all agreed that it will be safer for the women to go. And we are more than happy to do so, if “happy” is the word we can use about such a thing. Our only concern is about the soldiers who’ve been assigned to guard the tomb because the officials were told that we would steal our Lord’s body in order to say He was resurrected. But maybe they will help us roll the stone away….
I truly dread to see my Lord’s body in that manner, but I do not want to leave Him as we had to do so quickly on Preparation Day.
Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! This morning the women went to where we laid Jesus and He was not there! They came back in hysterics, beating on the door–we were afraid to open it because we thought the authorities were onto us all. When we did let them in, they began frantically talking about how they went to the tomb, the soldiers were in a stooper, the stone was rolled back and His body was not there! Then Mary Magdalene tells us how she saw someone she thought was the gardener and asked him where they took Him. She then said that Jesus called her by name and told her to come get us and meet Him in Galilee. Well, none of us believed the women! The events have been too much for them! But to quiet them and to inquire where they took His body, John and I took off to the tomb. When we got there everything was just as the women said. We even held the linen wrapper and His face napkin!
We’ve all gathered up and are now heading out to Galilee. Mary said that Jesus asked for His disciples and me specifically. I don’t know why He wants me, unless it is to punish me. And I understand. After all, I did deny Him 3 times. I know I can never be part of His disciples again, but just to see Him alive again! Oh, that will be joy enough for me! Can it really be true? After all we have witnessed, has He truly been raised from the dead? Oh, we must get there quickly!
Oh, oh! It is all TRUE! Jesus is ALIVE! And He is beautiful, although I can see the beating and nail scars He took in my place. The moment I saw Him, it was like a fire quickly starting and I began to remember and understand so much of what He had said to us in the days leading up to Passover. How could we be so dull? How could we not understand that He is God’s Son, our Messiah, the King who chose to be a Servant to all, our Passover Lamb?
He has spent the day going over the Law and the Prophets, showing us from Genesis to Malachi Who He is and God’s redemptive work throughout Scripture.
We kept trying to get Him to take control and rescue Israel. And all along He was and is in control, and His desire is to rescue people–from Israel and every tribe, tongue and nation. And He intends to use US. Can you believe that? He told us that we will be going into all the world preaching the Good News and making disciples.
Peter was so afraid that the Lord would reject him after his denial. But Jesus seemed especially gentle with him. 3 times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, and Peter answered Him with a yes. Each time Jesus made it clear that He wanted Peter to teach His sheep. It has been very humbling for all of us.
There are no words to describe our joy right now! I only wish I could impart our realizations into you. For if that were possible, you would be elated too and you would be springing to your feet to tell someone that Jesus is alive. He is our Redeemer/Kinsman. He has paid it all, in full and it is finished, once and for all!