SATURDAY | SILENCE
Saturday’s here and the silence seems surreal. It’s the day of rest for the Jews in Jerusalem, and they rest in their homes and hotel rooms. The crowds are no longer thronging around Jesus because Jesus is locked in a stone tomb, dead. Jesus’ followers aren’t speaking to one another. They have nothing to say. They just knew he would escape the arrest. They knew he would be released from the trumped-up charges. They knew he would come down off the cross. They just knew it couldn’t be. But it was. Their Messiah, the man who they gave up everything to follow, the King of Israel, dead. Through the silence of the Sabbath their souls are searching, “Why? How? What now?” But there is no one to answer them. No teacher to tell them truth. No leader to walk their weary hearts through the fog.
- Read Luke 23:56. Have you ever had a time when you were disappointed by God because he didn’t come through on something you thought he surely would?
- Read Isaiah 53:7-10. Though Jesus’ death blindsided his followers, it was prophesied about him hundreds of years before. What’s your reaction to verse 10 as Isaiah prophesies Jesus’ death, “It was the will of the Lord to crush him, he has brought him to grief”?
A few weeks before this, the disciples are their way to Jerusalem for the Passover, and Jesus pulls his disciples aside from the crowd to tell them something pressing, something they need to hear. He says, “see, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” This is the third time he has told them this, but they don’t believe him. Maybe he’s kidding or maybe it’s one of those confusing parables he’s telling again, but he can’t be serious because God wouldn’t do that to his Son!
- Read Isaiah 53:10 again. Think about the horrible evils of the cross. The most innocent of all innocents condemned to be tortured, to be shamed and to die as the most guilty. Is it hard to believe that this was the purpose and will of God?
- How do you react when things happen in your life or in our world that you don’t fit your concept of “the will of God?”
- What might it look like for you to actively trust God through suffering, confusion, and the unknowns of life in a fallen and sin-cursed world?
Do we get the answer? Does God tell us the reason he crushed his Son on the cross or are we left to accept it in the dark? He does. All of Scripture he does, but it’s written in plain sight in the most popular Bible Verse of this generation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son.” God crushed his Son out of love for you, love for me, love for this world. That’s the big “why.” It was the only way to redeem his children from the ransom of their rebellion and pay the punishment due for their crimes.
- Read John 3:16. Take some time now in silence. Meditate on the breaking of Jesus so that you could be mended. The loss of Jesus so that you could be found. The death of Jesus so that you could be made alive.
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