“Take a guard,” Pilate answered, “Go make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.Matt 27:65-66 (NIV)
This is the day after the death. Jesus has been placed in the tomb, and Pilate and the Pharisees were afraid that there would be a deception carried out by Jesus’ disciples. So they made sure that the tomb was as secure as possible. There is a stone, and a seal, and a guard. Pilate ensured that this tomb was not penetrable.
Maybe you have experienced a death. It may have been a physical death, or it may have been death of a dream, or a hope, or a desire.
Often we are the ones who act like Pilate and we secure the tomb around ourselves. In the midst of despair and dismay, in the midst of sorrow and hurt, we withdraw. We shut down. We place a stone of pain, a seal of distrust and a guard of anger around our hurt.
This is the hibernation period of grief, pain or sorrow. The time when you bunker down and bring the stone across the front of the tomb. The time when you place a fierce guard there, to scare away anyone or anything that might be tempted to draw you out of your misery.
It is Easter Saturday, this is the day of the not yet. This is the day of waiting. The sacrifice has happened, but the redemption has not yet arrived. This is when it seems there is not much to do but wait.
And yet we have the privilege of knowing that Sunday it coming. We may seem to be in a secure, guarded tomb. But even that wasn’t sufficient then and it isn’t sufficient now.
It is okay to be in the tomb, to be bunkered down in your hurt and your pain. But it is only for a moment. It is only for Saturday. The healing awaits, and this too shall pass.
I’ve been in hibernation
but the weather is warming
and the light is beginning
and it is no longer
and I have to wake up
and face life
This devotional series was originally sent to newsletter subscribers in Easter of 2018. I pray it gives you grace for your journey. If you would like to get my monthly newsletter please sign up here