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Silent Saturday

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The one they placed all of their hope in was gone. Saturday was the day they didn’t know if Jesus was coming back.  He said He would, but He was now in a tomb.  What were they supposed to do? What were they supposed to think?

“Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law.  He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.”  Mark 8:31 NLT

I can’t imagine the feelings of the disciples and others close to Jesus.  He was their friend, their leader, they believed He was the Messiah.  And He was dead. He was the only one who said He was.  Those close to Jesus spent Saturday waiting.  Hoping.  It was the Sabbath, so it was even more still and silent than we would already imagine because they wouldn’t be working.

We spend a lot of our lives living out the Saturdays of life in between the valleys and the mountaintops.  A lot of the time, this can be the best season of opportunity and growth, but we don’t necessarily see it as that.  We want to skip to the joy of Sunday.

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5 NLT

We all to often live for the mountaintops, not to grow.  But we need to realize that our lives are often not defined by the sorrows of Friday or the joys of Sunday, but by a bunch of Saturdays; periods of waiting to see how God is going to move.  And in the mean time we need to be faithful.  We need to keep watch, because both Fridays and Sundays will roll around in our spiritual walk.  We will have times of great joy and great sorrow, sometimes both.

If we use the stillness of Saturdays to grow, when we experience a Friday or a Sunday we will be well equipped to handle either the sorrow or the joy.  Saturdays are for gaining wisdom, understanding, and growing closer to God and others.  But sometimes we don’t realize that until it’s too late.

My personal Saturdays have been the times that I have had to wait to drive for six months after having a seizure.  At 16 and 17 years old, let me tell you, thats a looonnng time when all I wanted to do was drive.  There were times I didn’t choose to use these times wisely and there were times that I did.  The times that I did I am incredibly thankful for now.  But I had no idea then that I would be.  I didn’t know that the time I spent just complaining about not being able to drive I would regret, wishing I would have spent it better.

The Saturdays of our lives aren’t always a blast, but are definitely important in making us the people God created us to be.

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The Holiday I’ve Never Understood

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I can’t be the only one who hasn’t thought that calling the Friday before Easter “good” made any sense whatsoever, can I?

Nothing inherently good comes to mind of the events that happened on “Good Friday.”  Let’s take a look at the events of the day, shall we?

Judas was a close friend of Jesus had already betrayed Jesus.  What does he do on “Good Friday?”

“Very early in the morning…Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.”  Matthew 27:1,5 NLT

He began to feel remorse for his sin and, unfortunately, he took his life because of it.

The night before, Peter vows to Jesus that he will not betray him.  But..

“Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.  A servant girl came over and said to him, ‘You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.’ But Peter denied it in front of everyone.  ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ he said.  Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath, ‘I don’t even know the man.’ he said. A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said ‘You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.’ Peter swore, ‘A curse on me if I’m lying- I don’t know the man!’And immediately the rooster crowed.'” Matthew 26:69-74 NLT

Both Judas and Peter are focused on in their betrayals of Jesus.  But it is clear that each of the disciples betrayed Jesus between the Last Supper and Jesus’ trial:

“‘Tonight all of you will desert me.  For the Scriptures say, God will strike the Shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'” Matthew 26:31 NLT

Why did we need accounts of both Judas and Peter, though?  Judas was an example of allowing sin to overcome our lives.  Peter was an example of allowing grace to overcome our lives.  We need to see both to be able to choose.  Still, on “Good Friday”  it wasn’t good.  We can see the outcome now, but that particular day Jesus was betrayed by His followers when He needed them them the most.

Jesus is then put on trial where the crowd is given the option to free him or a murderer and they free the murderer.  They mock him, spit on him, whip him then take him to be crucified.

Here’s where we make our turn from what I’d call worst Friday ever to maybe what we should call “Best Friday Ever.”  Because of three words:

“‘It is finished!’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 NLT

He’s saying “Done.  Complete.  You don’t have to wait until Sunday to know that I’ve already finished the job.”  The disciples walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, watched Him work miracles and all of a sudden Saturday came around and somehow those words fell on deaf ears, though.  They knew his promises, they knew that He was coming back.

Jesus went through the suffering of Good Friday to say three words that have changed my life and the lives of countless others.  Jesus carried out Luke 19:10 on Good Friday.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” NLT

It was so much more than just a “Good Friday” because in just three words, Jesus made it clear that we had the option to have a different destiny.  He provided the sacrifice necessary to atone for all of our sins.

Go check out my post about “Silent Saturday”