John 16: 5-33
Saturday paints a dire scene, indeed. The hero of our story, of the world is, seemingly defeated. Guards have been posted at his tomb, the entrance sealed in cruel defiance and abject mockery of his promise to return. His followers sit heartbroken and dejected in rooms filled with the potent fragrance of burial spices that they are forced to wait to use. They are sealed off from even tending to Jesus’ lifeless and broken body, denied the most basic right of grieving by the law and their oppressors.
Those spices haunt my imagination. I can’t stop imagining the heavy, cloying scent of them lingering in the air while these heartbroken people were supposed to be resting on the Sabbath day.
It’s hopeless and taunting and cruel isn’t it? The idea of resting and waiting, of wading through grief and confusion hanging heavily like fog in the air. Falling upon them as persistently as their tears.
The truth of the matter though is that Jesus knew there would be a Saturday. He knew the people he loved so dearly would live this day. This day of waiting and wondering and grieving and resting. That’s why he left them with promises.
His last days were filled with explanations and promises and prayers meant to shepherd their hearts on this very day. The day between despair and rejoicing.
John 16 is filled with some of those promises. Jesus promised them comfort, joy, the Holy Spirit, and power. He promised that they would see him again. But all of that would have to wait for Saturday’s end.
This day of waiting was meant to be marked by resting in the promises of Jesus. By looking upon the work that he did on the cross and saying that it was good. And so it goes with all of the in-between days for us, the followers of Jesus.
During those days and those seasons when we are in between despair and triumph, we can recall the promises of Jesus. We can look upon his great sacrifice and great love. We can speak his words and his promises and in all of it, we can find rest for our souls and proclaim, “It is good.”
The waiting might be heavy. It might reek of sadness and despair but we know that all is not lost. We know that “he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23) and that we can “remain confident of this: we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
Evaluate the areas of your life that are lingering an “in-between” season. Where are you waiting for breakthrough, hope, joy, power? Now think about what Jesus has promised you. Think of all that he has done in your life before this and what his word has spoken about your situation.
Remind your heart and mind that he is good and faithful and sometimes, we have to just wait and rest and dwell on his promises.
If you know someone who is in an “in-between” season, encourage them with the promises and love of Jesus.
Pray for patience, endurance, and rest in whatever your season of waiting is.
Pray for those around you who are in similar seasons. Pray that the hope and promises of Jesus would carry them through until breakthrough happens.