Again we come. The frozen landscape’s winter solitude has yielded to a fresh, new season. Evidence is in the air, the trees, the flowers. Birds share the news of the day as they busy themselves building their nests. Trees and flowers already show signs of promise with spring blooms and hint of summer leaves, all poised to paint the landscape in fresh rainbow shades. I look down at the mat of green at my feet. The passing of the dead sprigs of winter into the bright green sprigs of spring are a sign of promise too. This is our land, of sorts. We bought a piece of it ~ kicking and screaming and flailing in protest. It seems we had no choice. Someone we loved dearly ended his short life and needed a place to rest in Saturday’s death.
It’s a quiet Saturday outside Jerusalem. The horrendous beatings, fake trials, shouting and sobbing at the foot of the cross had all passed. Friends and family have quietly laid Jesus to rest in a borrowed tomb. They would return after the Sabbath hours to embalm Him as was their custom, but now was the time to mourn their loss. He had done what He came to do. Jesus had predicted (John 2:19) that He would rise in 3 days, but those words had slipped from memory. He was their Son, their Master, their Lord and now He was dead. Sunday was on it’s way. It would come right on time just as Jesus had promised, but now it was Saturday and it appeared to be never ending, stretching to eternity as far as they knew. How would they go on without Him?
Heaven had a different point of view. As horrible as it must have been to watch The Plan stretch out before them, the excitement was building. The Father’s heart beat faster. The angels milled around the throne obviously waiting for the moment to come. Gabriel was at his post, keeping his eyes on the Father. It would be his most important assignment ever and he was ready. Eternity’s clock ticked toward the appointed hour. Inside the tomb, all was quiet. The Savior had completed His work of saving mankind. His trust had always been in His Dad. He was not ticking down time. His job was over. He was sleeping the dreamless sleep of death. Now The Plan’s focus shifted heavenward and particularly to His Father’s throne.
It was a nail biter. Gabriel tried not to “bug” his Maker with intent staring. He was eager to get going, but God would give the signal right on time and when He did, he would move faster than the speed of light. As the black of night gave way to the first hint of red, Gabriel flexed his rippling muscles. Now! He was off! He bolted thru the cosmos encased in the bright beams from his Father’s face. Heaven hushed. No one dared breathe. God leaned forward in eager anticipation. The angels leaned forward too.
Gabriel ripped thru space trailed by lightening, breaking the sound barrier as he went. As his feet touched down in front of Joseph’s tomb, the light from heaven temporarily blinded the Roman guards who fell from their assignment like dead men. The earth trembled and rocked on its axis as an earthquake shook awake sleeping saints.
Gabriel rolled back the stone as it if were a pebble. In a voice that rumbled on earth but was heard as the sweetest music in the throne room of heaven, Gabriel cried, “Jesus! Son of God, wake up! Your Father calls You!
Sunday had come! The bleak darkness of Saturday had passed forever from view, never to repeat ~ except it still does on Planet Earth, does it not? We, like other loved ones, put out a new bouquet of flowers to brighten our son’s spot. Empty places had recently been filled, evident by mounds covered in cascades of funeral flowers. The cycle is forced to repeat day after day. Death follows life as it always has. Will it ever end? Will Saturday’s gloomy grip ever be broken? Yes! Sunday is coming!
And Sunday ~ whether it be Monday, Tuesday or any other day of the week as we know it ~ will come. Relief is speeding toward us with the Deliverer slated to be right on time. Jesus will return! He will wake up His sleeping children just as He promised! The Creator of life has broken the cycle and sin and death will be no more. Eternity has begun! Families who have mourned many dark Saturdays will soon forget the pain of loss when Eden is restored. Loved ones embrace and eternity is our new forever.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God’s Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever.
For God did not send His Son into the world to say it is guilty. He sent His Son so the world might be saved from the punishment of sin by Him.
Whoever puts his trust in His Son is not guilty. Whoever does not put his trust in Him is guilty already.
It is because he does not put his trust in the name of the only Son of God.
John 3:16-18, NLV