Between Cross and Resurrection
The women saw how His body was laid; and they prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
~ Luke 23:55,56
By the time most of us cross over into middle age, we have likely had one (or more) experiences of being in a place between “what was” and “what is to be”. It may be the experience felt in the days preceding a wedding or awaiting the birth of a child or in the days following the death of a loved one.
How profound this experience must have been for the women who lived through the horror of that first Good Friday. They had seen the brutality and violence of Jesus’ death because they had stayed with him until the end. They had been there when his body was taken down from the cross and they had gone to the tomb to see where his body was laid. They had also taken care to prepare the spices and ointments needed for his burial before the sabbath began.
Like most of us who find ourselves in that place between “what was” and “what is to be”, they must have been filled with all kinds of strong emotions. Heartbroken with grief, they may have also feared for their own lives as well. Perhaps they felt outrage and anger, wondering, “How could this have happened to our beloved Jesus? What is going to happen to us now”?
We know from scripture that they “rested the sabbath day according to the commandment” (Luke 23: 56). In short, they stayed the course and followed the faith that had brought them through to this point. They clung to each other. They clung to the hope they had in Jesus.
This is a valuable lesson for us to remember when we are faced with our own times of transitions, whether they be traumatic ones, joyous ones, or the routine ones that come with living. Like the women in St. Luke’s Gospel, we can make the choice to do what needs to be done and to stay true to what we believe, trusting that God is in control of all things and that a way forward will be shown to us. We pray for all those who are in that tender place between “what was” and “what is to be”, and we ask God to keep them safe. Like the women who were the first to witness the empty tomb and among the very first to see the risen Lord, may we walk in faith through the dark times of our lives, secure in the knowledge that God is, indeed, working to make all things new again.