When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!”
All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil. ~Luke 23:47-49 The Message
Living on this side of history and the cross it is easy to lose perspective on what those closest to Jesus were feeling and experiencing as they watched the sun mark the passing of the hours on the day after His death.
One of the most amazing things about scripture is that it is always clearer looking back. The Pharisees missed Jesus because they believed they had the prophecies figured out but they were wrong and refused to let Jesus open their eyes to a different way of thinking salvation would come.
Jesus had spoken to those closest to Him about this wondrous weekend, but they didn’t get it. Reading this we see that after Jesus died the people were overcome with grief. They mourned, they beat their chest. Those closest to Jesus did something different.
They stood only a respectful distance away. Rather than turning away to mourn, they crept as close as they could and the word says “They kept Vigil”. Was this the moment they got it? Seeing His lifeless body did it finally click? He talked about resurrection. He talked about the Son of Man coming back to life. What if, what if that is true? He has given us a new life, we must wait and see what happens.
We must not do what the rest are doing and go away and mourn what appears to the earthy eye as the death of a promise. We must press in as close as we can get and hold vigil.
I know in past years I spend Saturday like everyone else I know, being in that place between feeling the gravity of Friday and the excitement and expectation of Sunday. The first believers didn’t have that. They didn’t yet have the knowledge that Sunday would be great. All they had was the promise, and a not very understandable one at that.
This year I am contemplating all the promises and words GOD has given. Asking for forgiveness for all the times I was like the crowed and went away and mourned the promise instead of pressing in and hold vigil. I am also remembering all the promises I have held in my heart and continue to pray for. Looking at the life ahead of me through the lens of Christ and His resurrection I am going to make 2 Corinthians 1:20 my hearts cry when it comes to the promises of The Lord.
Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. ~2 Corinthians 1:20 The Message.