This Easter weekend I was reflecting on the horror and brutal sadness of the crucifixion.
In human terms, I was wondering just what that scene must have been like – especially for the followers and friends and family of Jesus. Here is the man who you have loved; your teacher, your healer, your friend, being brutally executed. The wailing and sorrow must have been horrific.
But for some reason this year, it was Saturday, not Good Friday that really captured my imagination. I was struck with thoughts and imaginations of how difficult that Saturday must have for the disciples of Jesus. They must have spent that day full of guilt for not standing up for their Lord. They must have spent that day full of sickening nauseous pain in their stomachs as they remembered the physical brutality they had witnessed. They must have hated themselves. They must have doubted God. They must have spent the day in fear, wondering will the next knock on the door be the Romans come to crucify me too?
On Saturday, all was lost. Everything they had believed; everything they had worked for; everything they had hoped – lost. There would be no triumph for the followers of Jesus. It was all over.
Except that it wasn’t over, because on Easter Sunday, God changed history.
Have any of you ever thought about that Saturday? 11 defeated disciples cowering in fear with a handful of supportive women. Their Master lying in a cold tomb.
If you haven’t thought about that – please do. And reason in your mind how this cowering broken band of 11 men managed to change the course of human history.
People say they don’t believe in miracles – and it makes me smile. These 11 had more influence on Western Civilization than any king, general, or philosopher. A group of regular guys – ordinary people, changed the world because they were divinely appointed by God to do that. The odds of that happening are impossible – would anyone have said on that saturday before Easter – “You know what’s gonna happen now? These 11 and their followers are going to change the world.” Who would have said such a thing?
On that Saturday – they were broken, scared, and ready to quit.