Jesus body lay in darkness, and his followers were now living in that darkness. It seems death had won and Jesus was no more. Friday had come and gone, and those who watched Jesus be crucified wondered how Jesus could have raised a man from the dead just a short time earlier, but couldn’t save Himself now. Oh how we limit our thinking sometimes! It never occurred to them that Jesus could save, even Himself, from death… even after death. His power, after all, came from the Father on high.
The disciples were scattered. Some of them, no doubt, pondered the things He had said and wondered if there might be truth to His return, others (like Peter) were left to wallow in their own betrayal of Him as He was taken away to be buried. His death, no doubt, now hung extra heavy on their hearts. Regardless, nothing “felt” like a victory… in fact it all looked pretty bleak. It looked like failure.
His disciples had left everything… families, jobs, possessions in order to follow Jesus.
Was it all for nothing?
What was left to do?
We have the luxury of knowing the eventual outcome and that more was brewing underneath the darkness… soon the world we would see a risen Savior! But we can’t minimize the feeling of loss that the believers sat in as the stone sat like an unmovable force to be reckoned with. Jesus would begin the reckoning soon.
But even those who had Jesus killed sensed something big was coming. If only they knew it was so much more than they could have imagined!
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “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.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Tomorrow we will celebrate… but it’s today that we realize that sometimes God’s will, and even God’s victory can be masked as failure, at least as far as appearances go.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.