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  • Rev. David Lyddon


John 19v38-42

The day after Good Friday is often a quiet thoughtful day for the Christian believer. In the Bible, there a number of occasions when God seems to be absent – Moses seeing God only through the clouds, Job wondering where God is when it hurts in life, and the disciples rowing across the lake and wondering why Jesus had left them to perish in the big waves.

The portion of scripture for today informs us of two of Jesus’ disciples dealing with the death of the one they followed – both of them, interestingly, were secret followers of Jesus rather than one of his closer friends. Nicodemus and Joseph come as evening starts, to carry out an act of love by dealing with Jesus’ body. Being a Friday night, they had to act quickly as the next day was the sabbath and so they wrapped the body with linen and spices as was the Jewish custom. It was then carried to a nearby tomb as there was no time to go further away. Once this was done, there was silence – partly because it was the start of the sabbath but also because of what had happened on that eventful day.

For some Holy Saturday is purely a day of anticipation of the joy of the next day – Easter Sunday. However, for many faithful followers of Jesus, this quiet day is one of reflection and sorrow. Not only have we been reminded of the awful, shocking death of Jesus but like his disciples, it takes time to think through the implications of his sacrificial death.

For the disciples and followers of Jesus, their hopes have been shattered, for they had dreamed of a better future without the Roman occupation, when the poor, sick and marginalised would be looked after and the land would ring out with the praises of God. Not only had the disciples lost their friend and leader but also their dreams as well. The disciples must have feared for their lives as well as wondering where was God in all the terrible events of Good Friday.

Our faith as followers of Jesus is easily knocked by the circumstances we experience but, in realising that we know how the weekend finished by the resurrection of Jesus, we are comforted in our experiences of life. We can all go through times when God feels absent or far away and go through times like the disciples did, a time of darkness. In their grief, the disciples felt God had deserted them and no doubt wondered - what next? The pain of uncertainty and emptiness we experience in life, is a quiet reminder that God is with us in our ups and downs of life.

Easter faith which we treasure, is born out of the darkness of Good Friday and, like the disciples, we sometimes have to wait for the light of God’s love to break through in the morning.

***ANNOUNCEMENT! We are delighted to be able to reopen St Paul's church for in person services - in time for Easter! For details of our events and services during Holy Week, check out our Services at St Paul's and Church At Home Pages.****

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