“So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” (John 19:42, ESV)
Surely, were it not for what immediately follows, these would be the saddest words in the Scriptures. Jesus’ followers believed in him. They believed that he was the Son of God; they believed that he came to save Israel; they believed that he would free them from the tyranny of the Romans; they did not believe that he was going to come and do all that he had done and make all the promises that he had made, only to die on them.
I wonder what was going through the mind of the 11 (now) disciples, of Mary Magdalene, of Jesus’ mother, of Joseph and Nicodemus as they contemplated the reality of Jesus’ death. Surely this was the end of things. He had encapsulated all of their hopes and dreams and now he was gone, nothing but a memory. They will honor his memory, but any hope that he would bring freedom and change their lives must have died with him.
Not one of them expected that by Sunday morning, they would have hope again. For now, as the sun set on the terrible events of that day, Jesus’ followers must have been the saddest, most dejected and grieving band of followers that ever graced the earth.
Everything. Was. Lost.
But Sunday was coming…