Wednesday, November 21, 2007

what about saturday?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction....
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)

We are in the last moments of autumn, winter will soon set in, and after a wait, then spring will arrive. One of my favorite North Country sights during spring is to watch the cattle, especially the calves, head out to the fields after a long stay indoors. This is the same picture the Lord uses in Malachi 4:2b (“You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”) to express our joy on the Day of the Lord, when we shall be part of the Resurrection of those in the Book of Life. All our enemies, especially death and the grave, are to be so completely destroyed, “… that it will leave them neither root nor branch (v 1).”

The Lord showed me Malachi 4 late the night before the Black Hawk crash. The next day, Thursday the 8th, was one of those Fridays when we need to remember that Sunday, the Resurrection, is coming. It helped to remember, but whenever I said to myself, “It’s Friday but Sunday’s coming,” I still felt the weight on my chest, the lump in my throat, my eyes welling up. Yeah, Sunday’s coming but we have to wait. We still have to mourn.

We have a God who knows our sorrows. We have a God who watched his own son die a horrible death. We have a God that knew that Sunday was coming.

What about Saturday? What did God do on Saturday? It was the Sabbath, a day of rest. There was nothing for God to do but mourn and grieve at the loss of his son. God had to wait for Sunday too. God knew Sunday was coming but he still had to get through Saturday.

“Well,” you might say,”God only had to wait one day.” Yes, but to God one day is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8). Stay with me here. I want to get a bit radical: I want to take Scripture literally. I don’t think it means that one of our days seemed in a psychological sense like a thousand years to God. I think one of our days literally was a thousand years to God. (It’s an Einstein, relativity, light, quantum physics, and all that sort of thing.)

Think about it. What if God had to wait? What if he had to be without his only son for a thousand years? God was, and is, one with his son, but not on that awful Saturday. That Saturday Jesus was in the tomb, totally forsaken by the Father. The Father had to live with that. He had to live with that for a thousand years.

Who comforted God while he mourned, while he grieved? He created us to have relationship with him but who comforted God? Those that followed Jesus didn’t know what was what, let alone that Sunday was coming. They never comforted the Father. Everyone else either was celebrating the death of his only son or was oblivious to it.

No one comforted the Father.

No one ever mourned or grieved for a thousand years. No one ever lived for a thousand years. Adam lost a son but he had to wait only about 800 years (Genesis 4:25; 5:4). Adam also had a wife and later other sons and daughters to comfort him.

We have a God who can comfort us. No one ever mourned as deeply or as long as God mourned for his son. He is able to comfort us because he understands the excruciating pain that accompanies the mourning and the grief better than anyone. He knows the pain better than any of us since he suffered it more intensely and without any comfort from others. He has been there and doesn’t want us to have to suffer without his comfort.

Now some will be able to use God’s comfort to comfort others some day. This is good since, unfortunately, there will be future Fridays. Yes, Sunday will be coming. However, we’ll still need help to get through those awful Saturdays.

Be blessed.

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