The Final Week...(day seven)

Saturday (Nisan 16): Sunday is Coming

Bible Text: Isaiah 53:5-7
But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned - everyone - to His own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.

Devotional:
Its Saturday, and Jesus is in the grave. The very One who declared Himself to be the Son of God is dead. No heartbeat, no pulse, no brain activity. The One who created life, is lying in a tomb lifeless. All Scripture tells us about this very ominous day is that Pilate places guards outside of the tomb. So what can we learn from this day of silence? What truths can we take away from the death of the Son of God?

First, we should be very careful not to gloss over the horrid details of the cross. Listen to the language of Isaiah 53 in regards to Christ’s suffering: He bore our grief and carried our sorrow; smitten by God and afflicted; He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our sin; he was chastised and wounded and oppressed. History tells us that crucifixion was one of the most excruciating forms of death. The Romans wanted to make a punishment so extreme that the victim gladly welcomed death to relieve the torment. And Jesus endured the excruciating, agonizing cross so we didn't have to! When we feel the weight of the crucifixion, when we feel its emotion and horror, it is then that we celebrate the resurrection well!

Second, imagine the feeling of the disciples. Three years ago these guys left everything behind to follow Jesus. Surely they were thinking, “Did I make a mistake?” or “I’ve wasted my life!” or even “Was Jesus crazy?” On Saturday, the disciples had to exercise faith - were they going to trust in what Jesus said He was going to do? Now on the post side of the crucifixion, we must exercise faith, not that Christ will raise from the dead, rather that He will return for His bride. Do we rest in God’s faithfulness and believe that when Jesus said He’s coming back, that He really will?

So, on this Saturday, let’s stop and reflect on the the death of Christ. Our hearts and minds should overflow with gratitude and affection for the King of kings who was brutally murdered on a tree. We have hope on this Saturday, because Sunday is coming!

Questions:
When is that last time you really stopped and thought about the death of Christ?
Do you long for the day when Christ returns for His church?
How can you help your family live with that perspective?

Pray Together:
Heavenly Father, You are the author of our salvation and the One who planned our redemption. Your love for us sent Your only Son to earth. Jesus lived the perfect life we could not live, and He died the criminals death we should have died. Today we celebrate Christ, who bore our sins on His body on the cross so that we might have life! Father, please help us to never get over the cross. We want the reality of Jesus’ death to grip our hearts and change our lives. We can celebrate the death of Jesus because we know the grave could not hold Him! Amen.