Photography by Matt Wyatt

Hope, now and forever

I’ve always thought the most interesting day of Holy Week is Saturday. Good Friday services remember the death of Jesus Christ and Sunday we celebrate the resurrection, but what about Saturday? I’ve always been curious how the disciples spent their Saturday. There really isn’t much Biblical narrative given to this in between time. The only thing we know for sure is that the chief priests went to Pilate asking for a guard to be posted so that nobody would steal the body of Jesus from His tomb (Matthew 27:62-67).

I can only imagine how the disciples must have felt. The person who they had devoted their lives to for the last couple of years was gone. It was a whirlwind twenty-four hours, from the Garden of Gethsemane to the suffering on the cross, to the sealed tomb. They experienced more traumatic events in that short period of time then most people experience in years. We are reminded how difficult it was to follow Jesus when we listen to His words, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

The disciples were no doubt exhausted but unable to sleep, hungry but not able to eat. They were anxious for an answer. Their thoughts ran wild. Shaken, and fearing for their lives is how they likely spent their Saturday.

In some way, we can all relate to that feeling. Maybe you haven’t feared for your life, but If you have ever been anxious for an answer to an important question or for God to intervene in your situation, you can understand how the disciples must have felt. In the grand scheme of things your concerns and my concerns aren’t quite at the same level as the disciples’ that day, but doesn’t it sometimes feel like it? Sometimes nothing seems more important than the answer your waiting for and nothing seems bigger than the problem you are facing.

It can be so easy to be consumed with negativity and doubt. Take it from me. I can be a pessimist at the drop of hat. For example, right now I have scratchy throat. I have no idea where it’s going, is it going to get better, is it going to be a rough middle of the week? Am I going to need antibiotics, or will it simply vanish in the morning. I could have anything from strep throat to a little irritation and I hate waiting for the answer. All this pessimism from just a little scratchy throat!

But the good news is, there is an answer we don’t have to wait for and that’s the answer to a very important question. The question is, “is there hope?” and the answer is unequivocally yes. The disciples had the same answer, they just weren’t always the best at seeing it, which is why the book of Matthew is filled with moments where the disciples just don’t get it. “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” (Matthew 17:7)

We know that because of Jesus’ resurrection we have eternal hope. Now, I’ve got to be honest, I am confident with my eternity. I know not everyone feels the same way, but I have no doubt in what we celebrate today. What I struggle with is the here and now. The Saturday before glory is revelead. The answers to my current doubts.

I’ve heard some teaching that encourages Christians to have an eternal focus, to always ask the question “will this matter eternally?” That’s an important question for many of the decisions we make. However, although this life is short, the problems in it can feel very real.

I’ve been learning lately that it’s so important for us to have people who can walk alongside of us and share our burdens. Why am I just learning this? Because my tendency is to shut others out when I am going through something. I’ve learned that I need to find ways to remind myself of who and what brings me hope before I go down a trail of despair.

I want to share a step I’ve taken to remind what brings me hope for the here and now, maybe it will help you too. I’ve created a folder on my phone full of pictures of people who I know without a doubt love me, through my best and worst times, verses that inspire me and messages friends have sent me that brighten my day. It’s the perfect resource for when I’m feeling down. Feelings are tricky and we need to be reminded of our hope, both hope now and our hope forever.


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