Matthew 27:62-66 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Can you hear the stillness? It’s the day after the crucifixion, and all of creation is holding its breath. Didn’t he say he’d be back on the third day? The disciples are still in hiding, some have gone back to their boats in Galilee. Pilate was certainly hoping that any uprising Jesus seemed to be leading would just go away. The soldiers remembered what he had said, so in order to prevent anyone stealing the body to support this ridiculous claim, they placed a seal on the stone of the tomb and posted a guard.
Waiting. It seems like we are in a holding pattern, here in our part of the country, for the second Easter in row. We aren’t supposed to see loved ones, we are waiting for vaccine to be delivered and administered. Waiting for numbers to fall, and ICUs to return to normal patient admissions. Waiting for God to do a miracle. Waiting, waiting, waiting. It’s not something most of us do well.
It’s our final stop on this Easter Journey together. No pictures of the tomb (spoiler alert – it was empty!) We’ve never made it into the Aedicule, but really the tomb was only borrowed for the weekend, and because I believe Jesus walked out of it, I’ve never been disappointed to see the actual spot. For pilgrims who make this trip along the Via Dolorosa and the complete Stations of The Cross, we are all in that waiting period. Before the ascension, Jesus promised that He would come back – and so we wait.
Our picture today show’s centuries of markings by piligrims stopping to let people know they had been there in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Rather like the Inukshuks that dot our northern highways. I have repeatedly said, over this last year, that Jesus needs to come soon. Until that happens, I and millions of other Christians wait for his return. He’s left us our instructions on how to live, and what our task is in the meantime.
Good Friday is a hard day, but I think waiting in the silence of Holy Saturday is a day to lament. We grieve with his followers who were sure it was all over, the ministry, the promise, the new way of life. But…
Sunday’s coming, and because we are an Easter people, we know how the story ends. Don’t miss the chance to sit with the weight of sadness in the waiting, and then sing and shout your Hallelujahs tomorrow!
Friend, thank you for reading along with us. Our planned pilgrimage for last year was cancelled, and there is no reset date at this point. If you would like to know more about how you can bring your Bible to life and experience God’s Story in the land where most of it happened, please let us know and we’ll be in touch about when we will be returning to Israel. We’d be honoured to have you join us.