by Vince Oliveri, Youth Ministry director at our Pulaski campus
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again
and that its shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
Saturday is the loneliest and emptiest day of Passion Week for Jesus’ disciples. Jesus died on Friday, and the memory of his death is burned freshly in his disciples’ minds; his absence from their midst is overwhelming. I wonder how the disciples felt on Saturday. They had given up everything including their jobs and families to follow Jesus. They spent every day for three years walking with and learning from this man. Just two nights ago they were eating supper with him, and now he is gone. Their hope, like a once pristine alabaster jar, lies dusty and shattered in the shadow of their Lord’s bloody and barren cross. Their dreams of their leader ushering in an eternal kingdom of power and peace have evaporated like the morning’s dew. Not only did they lose their Lord; they lost their friend. Perhaps as they were solemnly mourning in the upper room they meditated on the words of a fellow broken man, Job.
“Man breathes his last, and where is he?”
Is man like the tree? Is there hope for him? Is their solace for his friends? Can his death be the seed of new life? If only the disciples had understood and remembered the promises of Christ. He had told them up until his last night with them that he would die and return. In Mark 9:31, Jesus tells his disciples, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” He had explained to them exactly what needed to happen, and on Saturday we can be certain that these promises had not yet taken root in the hearts of his followers. While Saturday was a hopeless day for the disciples, today we can look back and see the entire beautiful picture of the Gospel from Friday to Sunday because Jesus died our death on Friday and he offers us his life on Sunday.
As we meditate on the words of Job and on the day between the cross and resurrection, let us consider these few questions:
How would I have felt on Saturday if I were one of the 12 disciples?
What promises of Christ do I need to remember in my life? How does the Gospel clarify and bring these promises to life?
Who in my life is still living as though it’s Saturday, as though Christ died but has never been raised? How can I share the true Easter message with this person? Take time to pray for them.
Leave your feedback below and come back again tomorrow to read our devotional for Easter Sunday!