April 17, 2013
We wait for the blessed hope-the
glorious appearing of our great
God and Savior, Jesus Christ … Titus 2:13
In the middle of the afternoon on April 15th, a push notification from a news service flashed on my cell phone. When I looked at it, I was startled to read that bombs had gone off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I quickly turned on the television, and saw what has been replayed many times since: billowing plumes of smoke followed by panicked people running in every direction. Then pictures of policemen, firemen, gurneys, ambulances, and bystanders running to help people who looked like torn rag dolls littering the sidewalk of the street.
In the days following, we are looking for answers. The shock is wearing off, but the horror is still mind-numbing. How could this have happened? Who would do such a thing to innocent people? We can’t seem to wake up from the nightmare.
My thoughts have turned back to two weeks ago, when we celebrated Easter. This year, God seemed to lead me to meditate on Saturday, the day that fell in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Good Friday is a day when traditionally the brutality of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trials, torture, execution, death, and burial are remembered. But then Sunday comes! And overnight, everything changes. We celebrate Easter as a day when we exuberantly rejoice, “He is risen!”
But Saturday had my attention. Saturday for the disciples must have been a day of emotional numbness and spiritual shock following the horror of Friday. They surely couldn’t reconcile all they had believed and seen and experienced and heard over the last three years…all they knew about Jesus…with the events that had unfolded in the last 36 to 48 hours.
Saturday was a day of silence. Of stillness. Of the total absence of life and joy and hope. It was a day of ruined lives. Shattered dreams. Oppressive fear. A day when shining hope spiraled down and down and down into black despair. It was a day the disciples had to live with the unthinkable. That hate had won. Evil had triumphed. Wrong had trumped the right. And God was so weak there was no evidence of Him anywhere that they could see, or feel, or hear. Actually, it was a day when God was dead. Literally.
Then I wonder… was it “Friday” in Boston, and in our nation, on April 15th? Because it, too, was a day when our minds reeled with shock. A day when our hearts were shattered by the scenes and stories coming across the television screen. When we cried soundlessly because we had no words except, “How can this be?” It just didn’t, and still doesn’t, make sense. There is nothing logical or reasonable to wrap our thoughts around.
But now, is it “Saturday” in Boston and in our nation? A day when the shock is setting in? A day when all of us are numb from the horror of what happened on Friday, unable to voice our thoughts or feelings, because what words could describe them? A day when many families and friends are beginning to live with black despair.
And so I have been pondering Saturday in Boston and in our nation and in our world…the enemy seems to be winning. Evil is rampant. Lies are believed to be truth. The spirit of the antichrist is everywhere. God seems removed and silent in many ways. Despair, discouragement, and defeat are felt by God’s people. BUT then I have remembered, Saturday immediately precedes Sunday. This is the thought that has come like a laser beam of hope penetrating the horror of darkness. Does this mean that we are very close to Sunday?
Because Jesus is alive! He has risen from the dead! He sits on the throne at the center of the Universe as The King of kings and The Lord of lords! He is fully in charge. And He is coming!
Jesus has promised He will return to expose the evil and hidden agendas that seek to enslave and terrorize innocent people. He will rescue the victims. He will pronounce judgment and send to hell all the bad guys who refuse to repent of their sin. He will heal the maimed. He will raise the dead. He will set right all the wrong. Good will triumph over evil. Love will win. Peace and justice will be established.
Praise God! There is Hope! It may be “Saturday” in Boston, but Sunday is coming! Because Jesus is coming! Is He coming very soon?