Waiting in Sorrow

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."
(Psalm 34:18)

"Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb" by Audrey Anastasi

"Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb" by Audrey Anastasi

What must it have felt like to be a follower of Jesus on Saturday night? As Christians who now know the whole story, we take the inevitability of the resurrection for granted and gloss over the questions, heartache, and anger Jesus’ friends must have felt in the day in between his crucifixion and his resurrection. No one likes to sit in grief. No one likes to be alone with silence. But alone they were, and silence from God was their only companion on that dark Saturday night. 

What did the last three years even mean? Wasn’t Jesus supposed to usher in a completely new kingdom? How can that happen now if his cold, lifeless body is now sitting in the grave? All of their hopes and dreams were surely called into question.

Have you ever felt this way? I know that I have. 

Why would a good God abandon me and leave me to despair? Death and loss and grief can feel like our constant companions.

I have been to too many funerals. 

There have been funerals for my dear friends I served with who never came home or have been so scarred by war that they couldn’t cope any longer. A funeral where a tiny white coffin sat before me as I questioned the goodness of God in this circumstance of my classmate’s baby suddenly dying in the night. My father’s own funeral. On and on it goes. Glimpses of that dark Saturday night.

We are quick to comfort, quick to say, "It’ll be okay…they are in a better place." or "God has a purpose for this season in your life." Platitudes we use to quiet our discomfort with grief. I don’t know the reasons why God doesn’t choose to wipe away all of our tears now. Why he doesn’t just act to save innocent life or spare our loved ones. But I do know this:

He knows what it is to experience loss. God knows grief. And God knows us.

In our brokenness, our anger, our questioning, God promises to be near to us. And he promises to save us. With the darkness of Saturday comes the bright light of Easter. For the disciples it took only a day…for us, it may be much longer. Hopefully not too long.

(Written by Jim Pulizzi)