Anticipation

April 8, 2023
Anticipation

Saturday (The Guard at the Tomb/Waiting) - The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, ‘Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while He was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent His disciples from coming and stealing His body and telling everyone He was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.’ Pilate replied, ‘Take guards and secure it the best you can.’ So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. (Matthew 27:62-66)

DAILY DEVOTION

If yesterday was Good Friday and tomorrow is Easter Sunday, what does that make today? It’s Saturday. In many of our church campuses today and in churches around the world, Saturday is filled with Eggstavaganzas, Hop-A-Trunks, and Life Group or Family Egg Hunts. For many Christians, there is a sense of anticipation for the Resurrection Sunday services. For others, it’s a holiday - a reason to spend time with family and friends. However, the disciples of Jesus probably didn’t feel any of those things on the day after their Leader, Teacher, and Friend was executed.

As we see from the scripture above, the priests and Pharisees thought Jesus’ disciples might be planning to steal the body of Jesus. Instead, His followers were more than likely wallowing in the silence and unanswered prayers on that Saturday. Here’s what they were thinking: Jesus is still dead. We very well might be next. Could we have been wrong about Him?

On Saturday, the disciples were probably collapsing because of their confusion, grief, and disappointment. They must have forgotten about Jesus’ words just a few days earlier: “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to Me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.” (John 16:20-22)

Jesus is talking about His own death in this scripture. He’s talking about the dark times the disciples are going to experience. He knows they will be surrounded by silence. He knows what it’s going to be like on Saturday. But He’s asking them to wait. To hold on to the hope He offers them-the hope that lies beyond the silence and pain and grief and hurt and doubt.

The silence of that Saturday may have tempted the disciples to abandon the cause and to stop believing in what they had spent three years learning from Jesus, the Messiah. But despite the silence, Jesus had promised that joy was coming. In our times of pain, grief, misunderstanding, and confusion, when we are left wallowing in the silence and our own seemingly unanswered prayers, in our silent Saturdays, we can hold to the promise that Jesus shared with His disciples so long ago: Joy is coming. And it’s a joy that no one can take away. Tomorrow, we shall declare that He is risen indeed.

FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY

Today, as you anticipate the Easter Sunday celebrations of tomorrow, write out a prayer to the Lord, letting Him know that you trust Him regardless of what is happening in your life and regardless of the seemingly unanswered prayers and questions you may have. If you’re leading your family through this devotion time, ask them to write out a similar prayer and then read them aloud as a family.

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, even in times when it seems like You are silent, help me trust in You and look forward to the joy that is coming. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Scroll to Top