Psalm 121: 1b, “Where does my hope come from?” Or rather what help have I when there are no hills to look for? Does the Maker of Heaven and earth lend His Hand to my aid? Yet I have stumbled and even fallen. Here it seems that my toe has caught upon every stick and stone in my path. All this week in my weakened state, I have not slumbered, I have not slept. Sickness knocked at my door, yet here I am.
Psalm 42:5, “Why so downcast? Oh my soul? And why are you in such turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Indeed, I have come through this week with a new thought for the Holy week. What about Saturday?
Friday’s dark hour of death and my Lord’s shadow upon the day of Passover’s Memorandum. The Kingdom of the the Son of man and the Son of God had come to this: Death on a cross. We cannot grasp the gravity of the whole. We cannot fathom the depth of despair. We cannot grasp the gift of grace so freely given. Yet here it is every year. The grief of the women at the foot of the cross. The awe of soldiers as the “King of the Jews” gave up His majesty for a criminal conviction. Good Friday is the day of darkness with an earth shattering rending, wrenching display of the ugliness of sin. Amidst the pain and confusion God spread out his Love on full display and gave His only Son as the Ransom for us. Once and for all, a redemptive act of everlasting kindness. The bridge over the gulf of separation, guilt and shame.
Saturday’s sorrows must have been bitter and gripping. The sadness that threatened to steal away every hope. How can one go on in the midst of such deep loss? How could the women have rested on that Sabbath day and made plans for the morrow? How could the disciples have found each other in the turmoil of emotions and confusion? What had gone so wrong?
But God is Sovereign in Saturday also. Is He not? There is no mention of the day in the scriptures. There is no mention of the gatherings, or lack of get togethers. There is no mention of the attempt to mend the cloth of the Holy of holies. There is no talk of this unrestful day between the sacrifice and the Son’s rising.
How did their hope carry them through the day? How did their fear shut them in? How did their sorrow grieve them? Were they sifting through the memories? Were they searching for a string of help? Did they have belief in Christ’s return?
What do I want to see? What am I seeking when I rise early in the morning and tend to my garden tombs? What hopes, dreams, sorrows, dispair have I buried and not returned to embalm? What love carries me to the grave side?
Sifting through sorrows sounds impossible. Even considering the way that loved ones are layed to rest has some unfeeling character to it. Considering one’s sorrow more tragic a loss than another’s is like take apathy to a new level of morbidity. There must be a cinder box of empathy when handling the emotions of grief. Defining one’s own loss as more or less would be like sifting Saturday’s sorrows while panning for gold. Is one person’s loss worse than another’s?
Saturday’s sadness from the Holy week is not considered in the whole of the story. Unless of course you consider the life of the betrayer, Judas. And the hopeless estate of his pieces of silver in relation to the whole event seems to be a touch out of the hand of providence. Or was it true that just as this had been prophesied, God was sovereign even in this case also? How do we find hope in the depths of the mire?
The Psalms repeated tell us to “Look Up!” And so it is truth, when we look at ourselves, when we look at others, when we look down, we feel the inevitable pull of the gravity even upon our very souls.When we look at the cross we see love. Love deeper than any ocean, wider than expansive sky, farther than from here to there.
Sabbath rest is the promise that toil is not eternal. Sabbath rest is the Creator’s promise of sovereignty of God. Sabbath rest is the hope that carries us through the ashes. Sabbath rest is my Lord and Savior offering me a love unlike any other. We shall have rest from our labors. “Come to Me, “ said my Lord Jesus, “all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”