Saturday, 30 March 2013
Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. Luke 23:56
The women who traveled with Jesus, who loved Him, and who believed in Him and His ministry must have been crushed at the things which transpired. A few short days earlier, He was led into Jerusalem and hailed as a the King of Israel, but the favor of the people turned and now He was dead.
But His death wasn’t just from an angry person throwing a stone and by chance hitting His head. It was a trial, a scourging, and a crucifixion – a rejection by the very people who called Him King. It was the cruelest way to die and it was a public shame. It’s hard to even imagine what their thoughts were like. Bewilderment mixed with horror and sadness. But they followed His torn body to the tomb, noted where it was, and returned to their home to prepare spices and fragrant oils.
And being obedient Jews, they rested on the Sabbath, from sundown to sundown. They were never under the misguided notion that they were above the law or separated from it. Nor did they lose their faith in God at this time and simply walk away from Him. Rather, the record states that they remained observant to the law despite what occurred. Jesus wasn’t an usurper of the law, nor did He instruct them to be so.
The lesson from these women is one for each of us as we face our own trials, loss, and heartache. Will we curse God because of the death of a child? Will we blame God for our financial loss? Do we find fault in God because there is pain, suffering, and evil which fill the world? Or do we, despite our situation, remain faithful and obedient to the calling to which we have been called?
These women who faced the most catastrophic moment in their lives, and in a way which would crush the most hardened soldier, stood firm in their convictions, faithful to their faith, and held on to the hope which God offered to them through His word and His selection of them as His people, Israel.
Their hearts were shattered, their thoughts were clouded with grief, and their sleep surely fled them as they mourned the loss of their Lord. The future which lay ahead for them was certain to be lives filled with grief and painful memories of the beauty of a moment in time which had slipped away into the cruel past… but they remained faithful to God and to His word.
Life application: God is the Creator and we are His creatures. Naked we came from the womb and naked we shall return there. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away – Blessed be the name of the Lord, from everlasting to everlasting.
Lord, if all else is taken from me – if I lose my family, my possessions, and my health; if nothing remains of me but a broken soul, just one thing I would ask of You. Grant me, O God, the ability to praise You. Let no sickness take this from my body, let no sadness take this from my mind, let nothing restrain me from the ability to just praise You. With this, I will find the satisfaction of my soul. Amen.