Mark 16:1 “When the Sabbath was over … ”

Observation: The sentence goes on to say that very early the morning after Sabbath’s end, three women who loved Jesus set out for His tomb to anoint His body. Christ had been crucified the day before Sabbath, His body quickly rushed from Cross to tomb so as to not violate the Sabbath. Now, Sabbath was over.

Application: It is not hard to imagine what Sabbath had been like for these women and for Christ’s disciples. This routine day of rest must have held unending rivers of tears and sorrow over the loss of a dear friend whom they knew to be so much more. How many times would their minds have replayed the scourging, the mockings, and the nailing of sinless hands and feet? Surely the day’s brutality haunted hearts now bereft of all comfort.

But imagine the very different Sabbath being celebrated in the Temple. The chief priests presided over ceremonies that made a mockery of the Law now dead on a cross. They had prevailed over God, their enemy. As they continued through the familiar service they stuck to liturgy and form now become an abomination to God. Never deviating from the printed bulletin—“Turn in your hymnals to page 364,” they might have intoned, “and let us sing of the coming Messiah.”

Would the blood of Christ now on their hands have stained the scroll as fingers followed ancient text? How did they explain the torn curtain at their backs, now revealing to all the emptiness of the holy of holies? “Poor workmanship,” they might have announced; “We’ll hire a team of seamstresses to repair it as soon as Sabbath ends.”

Two groups. I am called to choose moment by moment to affiliate with one or the other. Shall I be counted among those whose tenderized hearts left them in abject grief? Or would I best fit with the elites making excuses, ignoring the obvious poverty of their lives?

To my shame I must confess I have apparently not made a once-and-for-all choice. Christ has drawn me to increasing intimacy with Him; I have known His sheltering wings, His mercy. His loving gaze has left me utterly undone as we have spent time savoring one another’s whispered affirmations. Yet the elite still have power to tempt. I am not yet immune to the world’s tugs toward emptiness. It seems I can still find a vacant mask to don when my heart wanders.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is in those seasons of rushing that I seem most prone to hire seamstresses to hide my phoniness. Things become too important; projects too pressing. Thank You, Lord, for Your gentle drawing back into the company of those who delight to wait on You, to value the eternal over the temporal. Your manifest presence is more desirable to me than gold.


Popular Posts

  • Nose Rings

    Genesis 44:1 “Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: ‘Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack. Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver…

  • Vessels of Hope

    Genesis 42:9 “Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them.” Observation:  Famine had spread throughout Canaan, so Jacob sent his ten oldest sons to Egypt to purchase grain. The brothers’ quest brought them before Egypt’s governor, whom they failed to recognize as their supposedly dead brother, Joseph. Bowing low in humility, they sought his…

  • Timing Is the Hard Part

    Genesis 30:2 “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” (NIV).     Observation: Jacob had set off on the task of siring twelve sons, each of whom would become head of one of the tribes of Israel. Although Rachel was the favored wife, it was through her sister, Leah, that…




There’s no content to show here yet.