Between Death and Life

“It was preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.  The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how His body was laid in it.  Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.”                          Luke 23:54-56

It was the darkest day in their lives.  It was the day after Jesus had been crucified on the cross.   They’d heard the as the nails were driven into His hands and feet.  They saw the soldiers pierce His side and watched as the blood and water drained from His battered body.    They had seen Him give up His Spirit.  Their Jesus was dead.

What must this day have been like for these women?  Were they numb with grief?  Or was it the kind of sorrow that aches deep in the bones?   Don’t you imagine they felt fearful and confused? This day must have left them empty inside.

As we look back from this side of the Cross, we know these grieving women were entering a time of waiting.  We want to tell them, “Just hold on! Don’t grieve. Everything is going to change tomorrow.”  As Paul Harvey says, we know “the rest of the story.” We know death could not keep its grip on Jesus. We know they will soon find the tomb empty.   But they didn’t.  They thought it was all over.  Jesus’ death was final.  The man they believe was going to change the world was dead.

They didn’t know they were only waiting.

No long ago, I felt “dead” – both emotionally and spiritually.  I thought my life and my dreams were gone. I became buried in a dark grave of depression, fear and anxiety.  Feeling of hopelessness and sadness threatened to suffocate the very breath from me. I felt God was done with me.  Earlier I had not answered God’s call to ministry.  I had let it die.  I believed my dead dreams could never be resurrected.  Like the women at the tomb, I was grieving what I thought was lost.  But like them, I too was entering a time of waiting.

But in recent months, God has begun stirring something wonderful and alive in my spirit. His call on my life was not dead.  Just like the women leaving the tomb, I didn’t know there was more to come.  I was only in a time of waiting for God to fulfill His plan.  It wasn’t death – it was the day between grief and resurrection.

Don’t mistake the waiting season in your life as the death of your dreams. Hold on. God promises that an abundant new life is coming through the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Holy Father – You are the Master at bring life from death.  By Your resurrection power, Jesus was brought back to life – and by that same power you will give life to my hopes and dreams.

Amen.

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