SATURDAY 15TH APRIL 2017
TOPIC: ALWAYS DARKEST BEFORE DAWN
TEXT: Luke 23:53-56 “Then he took the body down from the cross and This was done late on Friday afternoon….
As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee.Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments…”
Have you ever lost a loved one? Someone who meant a great deal to you? As children, the idea of losing someone is almost unfathomable but the older we get, the more real death becomes. It’s probably safe to assume that the disciples couldn’t imagine a scenario where their Master— who healed the blind, walked on water, calmed the storms, and raised people from the dead—would be killed. Even though Jesus told them repeatedly that He would be delivered into the hands of the religious leaders and be killed, they still seemed to brush His words off. Then, it happened. Jesus said, “It is finished!” and “gave up His spirit” (John 19:30). Though the gospels tell us only John was there to see it, you can imagine the other ten quickly learned of all that transpired. Jesus died and was buried immediately afterwards, as the Sabbath was upon them and though He was laid in a rich man’s tomb—a tomb that had never been used (Luke 23:50-54) — Jesus wasn’t given a proper burial. Did you know the disciples couldn’t even hold a funeral for Jesus the next day, as it was the Sabbath?
So, what do you imagine they did on that “darkest of day”? Did they sit together and talk about what He meant to them? Perhaps reminisce on how great He was? It’s possible but after all they had seen and gone through, having placed their lives, hope, all their eggs into His basket, it’s more likely they may have simply sat in silence, hopeless, full of despair, fearful, that confused, angry, distraught, inconsolable. No doubt, it had to be the darkest and most empty day of their lives, but, it’s always dark before the dawn, and the dawn was coming the dawn of a new day, a new era, a new promise, a new covenant.
The early church endured their fair share of dark days, too. “Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8), but he was stoned to death and don’t forget the apostles, who were executed, or the thousands of believers who’ve given their lives since. For them, it wasn’t hopeless, because their hope and ours is in the One who conquered the grave, the One Stephen saw and spoke of just before his death saying, “Look I See the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56). Every now and then you will undoubtedly find yourself in a dark place. During those times, remember, weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Your Master has overcome for you!
MEDITATION: Ps 30:5, 11 -12
Lev. 19; Ps. 23&24; Eccl. 2; 1 Tim. 4