Go back a long time ago when Jesus was still in the tomb. Imagine you are one of the disciples sitting in the upper room. You are grieving the loss of Jesus and all you want to do it be around other individuals that are doing the same. You know you can't work today because that is breaking the sabbath so you are lounging around, crying, talking, laughing.
You tell stories of the first time you meet Jesus. Some thought he was some "hippie" teacher. Then they started listening to what he was saying. Oh the power of this words! He seemed to know exactly what was going on in your mind. How did he do that? You would look into his eyes and this overwhelming sense of love flooded over you. You think, I will never experience that again.
The tears start to pool in your eyes as another person speaks up and tells how Jesus provided money for the temple tax by making it appear in a fish. Your tears turn to laughter as you remember this incident. You remember him playing with the children and marvel at the gentleness of this single man.
Oh, the hope that you had place in him. Now that object of your hope is dead in a tomb. The tears flow freely now as you think about how you were too scared to follow when they took him from the tomb. Maybe you weren't even there but the story has been told over and over again because you can't actually believe that He is dead. John has told and retold the horror of the cross. Every time struggling to get through the telling. The Marys simply sit in the corner crying. You still can't believe that he is dead. What about all the things He has promised to do? Were you wrong in hoping for the coming kingdom that He has promised? Were you wrong to believe that He could actually bring you peace with God? These questions and many more seem to float about in your head creating a whirlwind of emotions. You can't deal with them so you push them aside. Forget about the future, you tell yourself. What future is there when Jesus is not a part of it?
Your cry yourself to sleep and wake up realizing it has only been a couple of hours. Still Saturday. Will this day ever end? Will hope and light ever return to the world?
Praise God we know the end of the story! Sunday morning they find the tomb empty! Jesus is alive! They still don't understand what the future holds. They still have a lot of questions but they pale in comparison of the fact that He Is Risen!
Sit in their shoes for a bit. Think of the desperation, hopelessness, despair they are struggling with. How 24 hours makes all the difference in the world!
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
Thank you Jesus for the cross and the empty tomb.