Luke 23:56, Holy Saturday

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

//There you have it, folks. That’s everything we know from the Bible about the day in which Jesus lay in the tomb. Well, there’s a little story in Matthew about guards being placed at the tomb this day, but this is all we know about Jesus’ followers.

Can you even begin to imagine their heartache? It seems like they were all just beginning to grasp the concept that Jesus, with his radical vision of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, was God’s appointed Messiah. In Jewish terms, that meant the man who would overthrow Roman oppression and finally set the world right, ushering in the righteous reign of God. But just as their hopes began to climb, one of their own—Judas—sold Jesus to the authorities. He was brutally tortured and nailed publically to a cross as an example of the futility of directing an uprising against the Roman empire.

So, here Jesus’ followers sit, eleven heartbroken souls, on the Sabbath of Passover week. A day of rest and peace, a reminder of the age all Jews dreamed of, but they could not join in the gaiety of the crowds.  And so, the disciples “rested according to the commandment” … surely wondering, all the while, whether the Sabbath was a broken dream. On the following day—the celebratory Feast of the Firstfruits—the hope of Jews all around them would be rekindled with new anticipation of the coming Messiah; a Messiah that Christ’s followers imagined had already appeared, and failed. God had let them down.

Is this the end?

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