On Good Friday Jesus was crucified and before nightfall was buried to avoid being left hanging on the Jewish Sabbath. At this point for the disciples, their entire world had caved in. Everything they were living for was buried behind a stone in a tomb in the hills of Jerusalem. Their hope had gone. They had been flowing this man who claimed to be the Messiah for several years, and now, just as it seemed He was about to come to worldly power, he was dead. They thought they would be the big guys once He overthrew the Romans. Now they are nobodies again. They would have had many, many questions. Why didn’t he resist? Why didn’t he defend himself? Where had it all gone wrong?
And in their darkest hour, when all their hope seems to be lost, everything is silent. There is no comforting message from God. The Bible makes no record of anything from that first Easter Saturday. And sometimes in life, that is how things are. God doesn’t give us all the answers straight away. Sometimes things don’t make sense to us. Sometimes we can’t see the good in what we are going through. The disciples had their own idea of the best way to do things, which didn’t involve Jesus dying, and now they have to deal with the fact that everything they had lived for, trusted in, hoped for was dead.
[NB Spoiler Alert – don’t read on if you don’t want the Passion of the Christ movie ending spoiled!] We have the advantage of having knowing what happens on Easter Sunday. The disciples didn’t. For them, when Jesus died they didn’t know that in just a few verses time He would rise again, triumphant over death. All they knew was that He was dead, and that in the midst of their grief and sorrow, God was silent.
Sometimes the only thing we can do is wait the silence out. It would not have been pleasant for the disciples; sitting in fear that no Jesus was dead the Jewish leaders would come after them too. It would have been hard for them, not knowing what comes next, not getting answers from God. But they waited it out. And God didn’t stay silent. It may be that you are going through a silent phase right now. And my encouragement for you today is that eventually, the silence ends. Some day it will all make sense. In the silence God has not abandoned you. He has not stopped caring for you. He still loves you. You just have to wait, like the disciples did that first Easter weekend.