Saturday. Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, but a secret follower of Jesus, asks permission of Pilate to take down the body of Jesus from the Cross and bury Him in his own tomb.
Nicodemus, also a secret follower - the "one who came to Jesus by night" - comes to help him.
They found a never-used tomb nearby at Golgotha, dressed Jesus' body with 100 pounds of spice he had brought and wrapped His body and laid it in that never-used tomb and rolled a boulder across the doorway to seal it. Soldiers were posted to guard the tomb, lest anyone spirit the body away. And so they waited. And we wait.
Darkness covered the land when Jesus died. The earth quaked. And "the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top to the bottom - ending the exclusion of the Holy of Holies forever.
Heaven and earth seemed to cry out at Jesus' death. History, itself, had been torn apart. The world waited, and somehow, each Easter Saturday, when it comes around, we too wait.
This year, at noon, with the help of technology, our church prayed by phone, together. Molly and I, being technologically inept, just waited, and wondered.
I wanted to be doing something, but seemed to just drift through that time. How I wish I could have gathered close, with the believers. I could have sung hymns, but didn't. I wanted to pray, but that was halting and somehow incomplete.
The television had temporarily forgotten about Jesus. The conversation had reverted to the heath crisis that was keeping us all homebound and wondering how long our lives would be stopped. Nothing seemed to connect. Just wait. Wonder. Think about Christ our Lord. About His death, and what it meant.
I wanted myself to be on guard. To keep watch. To wait out the long hours. To be faithful in my waiting. To somehow grow. To be ready for what will come. For the Great Day, the New Day, the Resurrection Day when we know again for sure, that "He lives. He is risen. He is with us." That great assurance on which our lives depend.
I will read the story again. I will remember the encounters of a lifetime that have shown me Christ is alive, and assured me that I have never walked alone. And that now, near the end of my own life, I do not walk alone, either. He promised to come and get me so I would be with Him. Forever.
I pray to be made ready for that. To be ready for a new life, eternal life. So much to think about. To prepare for. To expect. To HOPE. Help my thinking and praying toward all of that, O Lord.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES