Scripture Reading - Matt. 27:62-66

Even the chief priests and Pharisees remembered Jesus words, “After three days I am to rise again.”  Odd, isn’t it, that His disciples seemed not to remember?  Jesus spoke of both His death and resurrection several times on a number of occasions.  Indeed, He promised to rise from the dead.  There are at least 10 Scriptures in which Jesus predicted His resurrection or referred to it metaphorically - Mark 8:31; Matthew 17:22; Luke 9:22; John 2:19; Mark 14:58; Matthew 26:61; Matthew 12:39; Matthew 21:42; Matthew 27:63.  The chief priests and Pharisees remembered His words well.  But His disciples . . . .

The conspirators would ask that Pilate put the seal of the emperor on the stone so everyone would know that it had been secured.  Pilate, the representative of the emperor had so ordered.  The most powerful ruler on the face of the earth had guaranteed that the body would remain in the tomb.  To be safe, guards would be posted.  But His disciples . . . .

While all of this was going on they were presumably huddled in that Upper Room where they had last met with Him.  They were, by all accounts, afraid.  Disappointed and afraid.  Despondent.  It was now the Sabbath but there is no record of them going to the synagogue.  Years ago, we would sing, “Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior.  Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord.”  The disciples seemed only to remember that He was dead and forgot much of what He said.  

If Jesus was dead, and He was, then everything He said was pointless.  1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “. . . if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless . . . .”  Whatever faith the disciples had once confessed was now worthless to them.  Jesus was dead.  Dead!  The tomb was sealed.  Plan B.  What was Plan B?  There was no other plan.  Everything that was anything was, for them, now nothing.

I find it sad that almost anything can erase from our minds the words we read in our Bibles.  Someone special dies and faith sometimes takes a holiday.  We get a bad diagnosis, and our faith is drained.  We rehearse again and again the words spoken to us in a moment of disappointment or loss and sometimes remember them for the rest of our lives!  It seems so easy to remember words spoken by a doctor or friend or enemy or stranger and so hard to remember the promises of God we find in His Word.

Several years ago, God gave me a promise regarding a great need in our family.  It was in a committee meeting of the church board at College Church in Olathe in 2005.  He chose a layperson to bring a word of hope to me!  Wow!  Patty and I received confirmation of this promise in a worship service at a district assembly on the Metro New York District in 2008.  The preacher, Jim Cymbala, spoke from Psalm 119:49:  “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me HOPE.”  

That layperson in Olathe had said to me, “O, pastor, there is always HOPE!”  I have never forgotten that word from God.  I have it marked in my Bible.  I have noted in my daily prayer list the date when that promise came to pass!

Sometimes all we have is His Word!  It is enough.  The disciples would recover their faith once they saw the risen Lord.  On this Black Saturday I am believing that our Lord wants to give to each of us a promise; a promise on which we can stand in very uncertain times.  Perhaps a life verse to guide us along the way and to inspire us to believe for the best!  My life verse is Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

I have a promise for the “black Saturdays” of life and I have a plan, a life verse, that gets  me through those dark days.

On the journey . . .

Pastor J K

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