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Black Sabbath

You know the feeling that you have when you wake up the day after something terrible has happened, and you wish it was all just a bad dream? Jesus's followers must have been feeling just that on this dark Saturday. It was the Jewish Sabbath, the day of ceasing of usual activities to create space to worship God. Yet, for them, this was a day of mourning, not worship. Their Messaish lay in the tomb, and they must have been wondering if the same fate lay ahead for them.

There are not many verses in the Gospel accounts to paint a full picture of this Black Sabbath, save this passage recorded by Matthew:

Matt 27:62-65 (CSB)

62 The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come, steal him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take guards,” Pilate told them. “Go and make it as secure as you know how.” 66 They went and secured the tomb by setting a seal on the stone and placing the guards.

The religious leaders remembered that Jesus said he will rise again after three days, while Jesus' own followers had to be reminded (post-resurrection) that he had said that

Luke 24:6b-8 (CSB)

Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” 8 And they remembered his words.

It seems like the enemy was more fearful than the disciples were hopeful that there would be a resurrection story. The religious leaders anticipated having to do damage control, while the followers of Jesus had little expectation of the damage Jesus was about to do to the enemy! While the followers were confused, hopeless, devastated, crushed, and reeling with shock, the religious leaders were thinking about what Jesus had said.

I wonder if the enemy takes the promises of God more seriously than the followers of Jesus do sometimes!

The Gospel message is one of forgiveness, freedom, abundant life, and every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. Jesus' death and resurrection open the way for all who will believe to be transferred into His good Kingdom, and slowly but steadily transformed into His likeness.

Whatever situation or struggle you are facing right now, remember the words of Jesus. He will always do what he said he will do. You can hold onto His faithfulness, no matter how dark the day may seem. There is always a light in the dark, so, you can live with great expectation of what God is going to do.

1 Peter 3:7 (NLT)

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

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