You notice clouds gradually building in the western sky. As the afternoon hours go by, they grow darker and more ominous. The wind picks up and you brace for what comes next. Suddenly the wind stops and everything is quiet. It’s called “the calm before the storm.” The stillness is only a temporary reprieve before the storm hits with full force.
The Saturday after Jesus’ crucifixion was calm. It was the Sabbath Day. No one was out and about. Jesus’ body had been hastily taken down from the cross and put in the tomb the day before. But while there was outward calm, the minds of Jesus’ disciples were anything but still and peaceful. They were afraid this was just the calm before a storm of terrifying intensity. Jesus was dead. His enemies had gotten what they wanted. Now what would happen to them?
Have you had that feeling of impending disaster? You see the storm clouds of trouble building, and while there may be a lull for a time, you’re bracing for the storm to hit full force. What’s more, you know that you haven’t earned God’s help. Rather, your guilt just adds to the anxiety.
The day after Jesus’ crucifixion was the calm; however, not the calm before the storm, but the calm before the glorious sunrise of a brand new day of celebration. Jesus’ death was not a sign of hopeless defeat, but the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation. Jesus had promised, “I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again” (Jn. 10:17-18). The calmness of Saturday would be shattered by the news which still reverberates around the world and fills our days with joy and hope: “He is not here. He is risen!”
Spend some “calm” time with the Lord’s Word today before the celebration of the Resurrection tomorrow.
Yours in Christ,
The Easter service begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow with brunch to follow. Both the choir and children are singing in the service. Everyone is welcome! No Sunday school or Bible class.