What do you think it was like the day after the crucifixion of Christ? Did Pilot wake up with a guilty conscience and wonder if he had done the right thing? Did the guards, who had mocked Jesus and then seen Him on the cross, wonder if an innocent man had died? Did the crowds, who had called for His life, keep an embarrassed silence in a quiet Jerusalem? Someone was nervous, for they asked the Roman garrison to post guards at His tomb. On the day after, Jesus' friends mourned, the Romans were nervous, and some who had watched the execution were sure He was the Son of God.
It had to be a day like no other in Jerusalem. It had to be a day of quiet and consideration. It had to be a day of sober doubt after a day of impetuous action. I'll bet there were many disturbed consciences that day. The day between death and resurrection. A day of uncertainty and guilt. A day of hopelessness and sadness. But it was done and there was no undoing the events of the night before.
We have days like that! I have experienced whole periods of life that hang between hope and despair. Uncertainty reigns. Sadness is prevalent, maybe dominant. It is the time in between life as it was and life as it will be - but not yet knowing what will be. It is the dark night of the soul with all the questions, uncertainties, and unknowns. It is those times of personal chaos when we have no idea and little hope that life will become whole again. It is the loss of hope most of all.
It is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is real and it hurts and all of us experience it just as the disciples did, only in different ways. But there is another day coming...we know and we look forward to that day of hope. Always remember in the day of despair that morning comes, and it comes with hope and resurrection power and salvation. In the in-between times, we need the words of Habakkuk, "Be still and know that I am God." Easter comes and so does Hope.
There is a whole book in the Old Testament devoted to those in between times. It is the book of Lamentations. To lament is to mourn and to be in sorrow. Jeremiah is literally walking through the burnt out ruins of Jerusalem after the Babylonians had destroyed the city. The city is largely deserted, the temple in ruins, most of the population had been taken into exile into Babylon. Think of the pictures you have seen recently of the cities destroyed in Ukraine and you get the picture. People living in the middle of rubble, hope gone, lives destroyed, bank accounts empty.
Jeremiah is deeply distressed as he wanders through the ruins and then these amazing words. “Because of the Lords’ great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”
In the time of pain and hopelessness Jeremiah says, “your mercies are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Great is your faithfulness.
Jeremiah was living in that “in-between time” as we also experience. Where life hangs between Hope and Despair. It is the dark night of the soul with all the questions, uncertainties and unknowns. It is those times of personal chaos when we have no idea and little hope that life will become whole again. But we know from Easter that there is another day coming. Jeremiah knew that there was another day coming because he knew the character of God, who is always faithful. His mercies are new every morning. Tomorrow, as we celebrate Easter, we are reminded once again of His faithfulness and mercies toward us.
Always remember in the day of despair that morning comes, and it comes with hope and resurrection power and salvation. In the in-between times, we need to remember. Easter comes and so does hope.
On Easter morning:
The evil one was defeated once and for all
Our sins were paid for on the cross
Jesus rose victorious from the grave
We received hope of our own future resurrection
Death was defeated
Hope was restored
The world was forever changed
The Holy Spirit came
No matter what you are going through today, remember, Easter comes and so does hope. With God it is always so. The in-between times are not the final word. Easter and Jesus and the resurrection are the final word.
Father, thank you for the hope you give us daily in spite of our circumstances. Hope that is grounded in Easter when you rose victorious and our sins were paid for once and for all. Great is your faithfulness. Amen.
The word for today: Hope. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.