Saturday, the day before the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter had to by far be the hardest and loneliest days for Jesus’ followers. Here is a group of men and women who have openly followed the man who was hated by the Romans and the “religious” Jews, and their Messiah had been crucified. They lay in wait for what Jesus claimed would be a physical resurrection rather than just a spiritual resurrection. The odds are stacked against the followers of Jesus at this point.
The disciples had claimed Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah and Lord of the world and even though Jesus had been reliable in all that he said up to this point, I can see why some of the disciples would be doubting. (Matthew 28) It must have been such a scary day as many of them have distanced themselves from any relationships they previously had to follow Jesus. The disciples went through the same thing that we deal with in 2016 culture. When the disciples of Jesus first started following Him, it was the most revolutionary lifestyle any of them had ever lived. It was a couple of years of being countercultural, and then all of a sudden, in a matter of days, the Messiah had been crucified and, bang, silence.
How many reading this have felt like you were in the presence of the Savior and within a matter of moments it felt like it was all taken away from you? I know that I have been in that same situation in my life. I felt Jesus closer than ever before and then all of a sudden I felt like I was on my own. Well, you have more in common with the disciples than you might think. Jesus was known for quoting the Psalms to the crowds and to the disciples. They had knowledge of what the word said and they had the knowledge that Jesus was going to return in one day’s time, yet they worried and doubted.
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:1-7)
I love that God allows the word to be pertinent to all people of all generations, first to the contextual audience, then to Jesus’ disciples in their ministry, and eventually to us thousands of years later. Jesus quoting the Psalms to disciples was much comfort and as he was two days into death, should have been a comforter. Instead the disciples did what many of us do, they hid and doubted that the Savior would come through even though he had already proved to be reliable in their life and undoubtedly reliable in the Christian life.
Psalm 37 reminds us a couple of wonderful truths about our Lord. Trust in the Lord, take delight in the Lord, commit to the Lord, be still in the Lord, and wait patiently. If we do, the Lord is faithful to take our hurts and pains on himself and give us the desires of our hearts as they align with His plan.
An Activity for the Day
Today, I want us to take time and write down issues in our hearts that we want the Lord to resolve on a piece of paper and pray over them. Pray for resolution, and also pray for the ability to be still and wait patiently on the Lord. His timing has never been wrong and will never be wrong.