Saturday, April 15, 2006

Black Sabbath

What must it have been like for the disciples as they awoke this morning? For Peter, eyes crusty with dried tears? For John, having to get up and take care of his new Mother?

They must have been thinking, "Is this it? Is life just going to keep on going? Was this whole thing a tragedy, a farce? Have we been following a madman with delusions of godhood? Have the Romans set us straight?

Luke 23:56 says "Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment." That's as much as we know. What a dark day that must have been!

What was it like for Mary that first Holy Saturday? She had a keener understanding of Jesus' mission than anybody else, but still she was overcome with sorrow. Did she know he would rise again?

And what must the wicked one have been thinking? Was he hung over from the high of his hideous victory? Was he throwing a party? Or did he smell a trap? Was he afraid? Did he know what Jesus was planning on doing when he descended to the dead?

And for Jesus himself: what was it like to enter Hades and to free the holy dead? Did King David dance before him? Did Moses and Elijah joke with him, "Long time no see!" Did Adam and Eve rejoice and fall prostrate at the restoration of their souls? Was Paradise sparked into existence by the joy of the redeemed? Did the sudden renewed intimacy of man and God reunite the spirit of the incarnate God with his body again?

This day of doubt must have been agony for the followers of Jesus. We have an advantage in 2006 because we know what happens next. But to know the joy they felt when they met the risen Lord, we must know the despair they felt when they saw the shrouded form of Christ's body vanish into darkness as the stone was rolled into place.

We must try to understand how they coped with the fact that the sun still rose the next day.

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