By Scotty Smith
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
Dear Lord Jesus, as “Good Friday” gave way to silent Saturday, the range of emotions following your crucifixion was as broad as the Grand Canyon. I can only imagine the degree shock and the depth of sadness which filled the hearts of your disciples, your family and friends. And yet, there were also those who were filled with glee and relief, that you, “the deceiver,” could no longer threaten their existence.
As the sun rose on Saturday, no one could have possibly understood that the most undeserved death imaginable would yield the greatest return calculable. As you were nailed to the cross, the written code—God’s law, with all its regulations and requirements, was taken away from us… losing all condemning power over us. As you drew your last breath, you were actually disarming the powers of darkness and triumphing over all authorities marshaled against the reign of God (Colossians 2:14-15).
No one yet grasped that your mortal punishment would bring our eternal peace… your fatal wounding would secure our everlasting healing… your being crushed would lead to our being cherished by the thrice holy God (Isa 53:1-12). Though they had the Scriptures, they had no clue.
And yet, the chief priests and the Pharisees did remember your promise of resurrection. They weren’t sad about your death, they were mad with fear about the possibility of your life. Having already plotted to put to death a resurrected Lazarus, they weren’t about to indulge a resurrected rabbi.
Oh foolish, silly, sinful men… they had sooner secure the non-rising of the sun than the non-rising of the Son of Man… the Son of God… God the Son! Resurrection Sunday was coming and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it. The silence of Saturday would soon be shattered with the shouts of Sunday, “The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!”
Jesus, continue to astonish and nourish our hearts… my heart… with the whole Easter story, and the full glory of who you are and everything you have done. So very Amen, I pray in your peerless name.
– Heavenward by Scotty Smith