“By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” (Genesis 2:2)
“When He received the drink, Jesus said, ‘IT IS FINISHED!’ With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)
“Then He took it down [the body of Jesus] wrapped it in a linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock…and the Sabbath was about to begin.” (Luke 23:53,54)
“Then Moses and the priests…said to all Israel, ‘Be silent, O Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 27:9)
“Then they [the women] went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” (Luke 23:56)
“For you know that it was not with perishable things that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18,19)
Today marks the last day of our Lenten journey. For 40 days and 6 Sabbaths we have been contemplating the work of God on the cross of Christ. Today marks a “quiet” day in the passion story. The work began this past Sunday with the triumphal entry and the cleansing of the Temple and finished (according to the cry of Jesus) 6 days later on Friday afternoon. So, why this day? Why the time in the tomb?
Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised. God’s greatest work to this point was the creation of the world. He worked for six days and then rested on the seventh. Nothing happened on that first Sabbath. The Scriptures tell us that God never changes. He is always the same. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the greatest work of God since creation would follow the same pattern. The restoration of creation to it’s original purpose and potential took six days and then…a Sabbath rest. A quiet pause before the unveiling of the greatest story ever told…God has defeated death and we have been set free!
I love the words of Moses to the people of Israel as they stood at the edge of the promised land. They had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and now they were just on the other side of the Jordan. His words to them can be words for us on this day that marks Jesus’ time in the tomb.
Shhhh…“Be silent, O Israel, and listen!” You have now been redeemed by the “precious blood” of Christ. You can once again become the people of God. Take a moment today and let that sink in. Maybe that is one of the purposes of this quiet Saturday before Easter. A day to humble ourselves before our Creator and worship. A day to give thanks to our loving Shepherd for His provision for our salvation. A day to present ourselves to the LORD as His children by the work of Jesus on the cross.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)