After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. ~ John 19:38-42
It’s hard for us to understand the devastation that the disciples must have felt after Jesus was buried. They had been so sure that He was the Messiah, the Christ. They expected Him to conquer their enemies and raise up His Kingdom. Instead, He had died the tortuous death of the worst of criminals, humiliated before people who mocked Him. Their dreams had died—but so had their dear Friend whom they loved. They were doubly in grief and felt all was lost. Let us put ourselves in their places on this Holy Saturday. Let us experience the depth of their pain today so we can experience the depth of their joy tomorrow.
Heavenly Father, I know the end of the story, but let me feel the grief that the disciples felt on Saturday so I can experience the joy they experienced on Sunday. Make me deeply aware that all Jesus went through—His arrest, torture, death on the cross, time in Hell while He was buried—was for me. Let me feel the pain today to make the joy tomorrow even greater. In His name. Amen.
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