I often wonder how it would have felt to wake up on Saturday, the day after Jesus was crucified. How do you get up in the morning when just the day before you watched hope die?
The brutal beating, the crown of thorns, the mocking, the cross - nothing could have been more different from the picture His followers and family had carried in their hearts of what they hoped the future held. How do you still keep on breathing when you've had the wind knocked out of you?
They didn't know they only had to hang on for 24 more hours, that Sunday was coming when the serpent's head would be crushed with the first step Jesus took out of the tomb. They didn't know that a hope greater than the one they had previously held onto was about to rise from the ruins and the darkness. They didn't know that in the hour of their greatest pain, God their Father was working His plan of greatest love.
This space in between is a hard place to be. After you get the call, the notice, the diagnosis - but before you see the restoration, the provision, the healing. After your plans fail, your dreams shatter, your world unexpectedly changes - but before you see signs of new life or the dawn of a new day. This is when our souls desperately need to know who Jesus is - that the One who conquered our sin and the grave is also the one who came to be God with us, Emmanuel.
With us in the waters and in the fire. With us when we can't see Him, and it looks like hope has died. With us in the silence and in the storm. With us in those spaces "in between".
What He set in motion in a stable on a cold winter night, He completed on a Sunday morning in spring when He walked out of the tomb. He brought redemption. He brought the promise that one day, He will wipe away every tear from every eye. He brought the guarantee that nothing in all creation - no "trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword" has the power to ever "separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35, 39)
And that hope brings light to the darkest of our spaces in between.
No matter how long they may last, those dark Saturdays are never the end of the story. Resurrection is coming.
And for however long they last, He is FOREVER Emmanuel, God with us.
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