Holy Saturday/Fortieth Day of Lent
We know what it feels like to wake up on and to try to get through the day after a loved one dies; we are familiar with the shock, numbness, and exhaustion that come with grief. So we can relate on some level to what the disciples of Jesus were going through on the day after his crucifixion.
In their case, though, a lot died with Jesus besides their personal relationships with him; in particular, their hopes that Jesus might be the Messiah—that he might be the one to set Israel free from the Romans and from everybody and everything else—died with him.
We know what they did not yet know; we know what it coming tomorrow. But help us on this day not to jump ahead to tomorrow. Help us to realize and to ponder the ways in which the death of Jesus does not fit the kind of Messiah that we, despite all the evidence that tells us we are wrong, still want him to be.
Help us to remember, as we ponder Jesus lying dead in the tomb, that if we follow him then we have died with him. Before we turn to our celebration of new life in him, help us to focus on his summons to come die with him. Help us by your grace to put to death our pride, our self-centeredness, and our delusions of grandeur that we might truly rise to a new life of grace, humility, and love.