Read Luke 23: 50-56
The day of Preparation was the day before the Sabbath. Jesus had just been crucified and had died the night before. Pilate had granted Joseph of Arimathea permission to take Jesus’ body, and Joseph had wrapped Jesus in linen and laid Him in a tomb. The desolation of Jesus’ friends and followers was complete. But the love and loyalty of the women in verse 55 is obvious.
They went to the tomb and the scripture says they “observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.”
On this Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, we think of the women and what they were doing the day after Jesus died. It had to have been the darkest of days, yet they went to the tomb and decided to do what they could. They were going to prepare spices and oils to properly anoint Jesus’ body. One commentary I read stated that Jesus had had a hasty anointing and burial, so the women wanted to properly anoint their beloved Savior.
I like it that they didn’t let the little problem of a huge stone in the way of the tomb stop them. They went forward with their plans, and they spent that sad day lovingly preparing the spices and oils for what they thought was their last act of service for Jesus.
Oh, but it was just the beginning.
Isn’t it amazing that God had these women preparing the spices and ointments to anoint Jesus for burial while God was preparing the biggest celebration of life ever? If only we could see the juxtaposition of the behind-the-scenes-action of heaven and of earth at the same time!
You see, these women, and the world, were in waiting. They just didn’t realize what they were waiting for. The women were waiting to anoint a dead loved one, but God was waiting to invite them to a party.
It’s not quite time for the celebration yet, though. We need to sit with these women in their darkness for a bit. We have much to learn from them.
In their darkest time, they did what they could and they waited. They made a plan to go to the tomb, and they trusted that God would provide a way for them to anoint Jesus.
When we are in our darkest moments—when someone is sick, when we are going through a divorce, when a loved one has died, we need to do what God gives us to do and then we need to trust and wait. Sometimes all we can do is pray. But, because of the cross, there is hope in our tragedy. Though we may be suffering, God promises to use all things for our good–happy things sad things, devastating things like divorce, sickness and death. Like the women at the tomb, One day we will hear Him say, “Why are you weeping?” He shall wipe away every tear from your eyes and there shall be no more death, no more sorrow, no more pain for the former things have passed away. It is finished. (Revelation 21:4) Hold on dear one…Sunday is coming!
“Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the lamb.”