Read: Isaiah 53:10-54:17
Two thousand plus years ago, this was the worst Saturday conceivable. Did the disciples begin to hear dismissive thoughts from those who called them out time and time again: “Didn’t we tell you? He was just a man.”
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Did they gather together and compare stories? Just a few days earlier, they were having supper with Jesus and Passover was upon them, another grim reminder of the great and mighty God they serve. In my imagination, I hear them going over everything Jesus said, how he changed the progressive Passover meal to end differently than Jewish custom. He washed all of their feat, even the feet of Judas, and told them clearly:
“I am telling you now before it happens,
so that when it does happen
you will believe that
I am who I am.
I wonder if one of them thought about Isaiah 54. I don’t know how they kept the scrolls back in those days, but I’m confident they knew the words of the prophets better than I do. I can see them scrambling for the parchment, “here, read this…”
“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
Don’t listen to the voices of the naysayers that never heard the wisdom of Christ nor witnessed the love and compassion for those hurting, the lame, the blind and the lost. They weren’t with you over the course of three years. Jesus walked with them more than 1,000 days on earth, we get just a glimpse in the Gospel records. “You will not be humiliated,” affirms Isaiah — 700 years before the crucifixion, even before death on a Roman cross was invented.
I hope someone remembered Isaiah’s words:
9 “To me this is like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
never to rebuke you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Yes! The unfailing love of God will not be shaken!
This is a somber Saturday, the time between the cross and resurrection, a time to reflect. Lord, help me to feel the pain the disciples felt that day. I can’t imagine the grief anymore than I can understand the pain a mother feels in childbirth, but I know the joy far outweighs the momentary hurt.
My prayer is to remember this pain as a way to understand the harsh reality for those who don’t know Christ; those who have abandoned beliefs they were taught from childhood or perhaps never understood in the first place. Help me, Lord, to grieve for those who don’t know you, to have a heart for the lost, those far from Christ, that don’t even know what Good Friday or Easter means.