It is Saturday
We are bewildered
We are scared
What happened to Him could happen to us
We are waiting for what He said but the silence is deafening
Doubt-filled fear controls most moments
If true, why silence?
If true, why wait?
If true, unleash power.
Show us now…. now!
The doubt is unbearable
Say something! Do something! Hurry. It is Saturday
~ Marty Caldwell
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which He went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him.
~ Peter, speaking of Jesus, in 1 Peter 3
“‘I saw the Lord always before me, for He is at My right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore My heart was glad, and My tongue rejoiced; My flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon My soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to Me the paths of life; you will make My full of gladness with your presence.’
~ Peter, quoting King David in Psalm 16, speaking of Jesus, King of the Universe, in Acts 2
Oh beloved, it is true.
If you were there, it would have been a wreck. There, John and Jesus’ mom, Mary – along with a few other courageous souls – watched Jesus bleed out and die. It had to be much more than a visceral experience. It had to be terrifyingly normal. For, in that time, to maintain Pax Romana, the local occupation forces regularly tortured, brutalized, and crucified people who were seen as someone who would get in the way of the Roman government.
He bled. He gagged on his own spittle. He defacated and urinated. And, the very people He loved even unto death, spit back in His face. He had spent 33 years being a perfect son, a really good teacher, and an Authority on Life and Love. However, as oppressive governments often do, they thought that killing someone was the easiest way to avoid a problem with a person.
So… from the perspective of everyone on the planet, another guy had just been killed off by the people in charge. They watched another man walk through the one-way door into death. Jesus did indeed die. However, he did not simply moan and expire. He yelled out one the clearest and most powerful linguistic constructions in all of language. In the original, it was τετέλεσται (tetelestai). Which translates rather easily into every language. It means: It is finished!
It does seem to this fool of a writer, that the evil forces at work to put Messiah Jesus to death would have looked up at Jesus as He bellowed this Reality across all time and space. And, those who truly know of The King of The Universe would have realized that something was not going according to their plan.
The devil and his demons had no clue.
Jesus’ victory over death was not when He walked out of the grave. The resurrection is powerful and crucial. But, it did not represent the victory over death. No, the resurrection was Jesus coronation as the Firstborn among many brethren. Jesus had already won the battle, and was just showing up to show off for 40 days, as a teaser for the coming forever Kingdom of Heaven.
And, this changes everything in our thinking if we allow it.
Can we see it?
Jesus’ victory at the cross put Him in the position to do some very important work. Death, the most formidable foe of G_d, the very Author of Life, was now to be subject to some significant changes. Jesus – on the blackest of Saturdays in the world – leaned His head into the doorway of the place that no one had ever escaped.
And… He yank the keys to that door right off the wall. Further, He went and spoke to the prisoners in that place. He preached the Truth of Who He was, is, and will be. And, many in that place still rejected the offer of Life. They felt quite comfortable in their condemned state.
For they knew that if they gave into the preaching, they would no longer be in control of their own destiny. Jesus was inviting the dead to get up and leave the place they had chosen as their home. Oh, it was miserable and dark… But, at least it was their own place. So, most stayed.
However, others didn’t. And, while the words in The Word do not give a clear picture of how it was done, Jesus lead untold millions into freedom. He had visited the door of death, and He had torn it off its hinges. Now, no place in all of creation has been untouched by His Life and His Love.
So, what really happened on the blackest of Saturdays, that was so quiet on the earth, was a crushing display of Life and Power on the part of Jesus, in the other world on the other side of death’s door. Life met death, and beat it at the cross. This same Life went down through the place of the dead to lead others to life as well.
So again, are you able to see that everything that Jesus does, is a message to us? If Jesus went and spoke to the captives in the grave to offer them freedom, how much more is He offering it to those who are still alive? Everything declares His goodness, and power, and glory.
Even His death.
Tonight is your night. Time to see the time between Jesus’ death and resurrection in a whole new light.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: The chief end of our life is to live in communion with God. To this end the Son of God became incarnate, in order to return us to this divine communion, which was lost by the fall into sin. Through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we enter into communion with the Father and thus attain our purpose.
~St. Theophan the Recluse, Letters to various people, 24
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.