Matthew 27:61 I picture a distraught group of ladies sitting and staring at Jesus' tomb, through the mist of their tear-stained eyes.
"Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb."
What else is there to think at a time like this? Your friend and Rabbi lies a few meters from you, hidden behind a huge Stone boulder. You are so close to him, but still so far away. Remember that they hadn't quite understood what Jesus meant by being raised to life. Perhaps if they had, then they would have been dealing with their sense of loss in a totally different way.
I always feel that we are so privileged to encounter the Easter story knowing how the whole week ends up. When you know the story has a 'Good News' ending you are much happier to go through the painful parts first.
It is hard not to draw a parallel with Covid-19 at this point. As a planet we find ourselves on the "Saturday" of the Easter story. There is death, depair and disappointment all around us.
We don't know how long lockdown will be.
We don't know if the virus will impact our homes, schools, churches.
We don't know if we will get salaries at the end of the month.
We don't know how many people will get sick.
We just don't know!
Of course, decades from now, people will be reviewing history and they willl experience Covid-19 with different eyes - they will know how it ends and when it ends. This doesn't help us at all, except it puts us right back in the shoes of the first disciples. How will we react to the uncertainty of our futures? How will we trust in our Saviour, when he seems far away?
Friends, I do not have neat answers for us, execpt to note that this story has played out before. Darkness will be overcome by light.
Hope replaces despair.
Courage suppresses fear.
All we are asked to do is this: "Trust in the Lord your God. Lean not on your own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge God and he will direct our paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Living in Grace