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Holy Saturday - Rest

By Charlie Osewalt | 26 March 2016

Stained glass - Jesus taken down from the cross

"Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow." Luke 22: 39-40

The disciples are suffering from a deep grief. The Greek word ’lupe’ means 'grief, sorrow, pain of mind or spirit, affliction.' They cannot pray, think or wait. They sleep but do not rest.

But the women with Jesus rested.

Luke 23: 50-56 describes Jesus’ entombment:

"Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment."

They saw His beaten, torn and battered body and went home to prepare anointment for their teacher, their Master. Everything in me would have pulled me back to that tomb. Everything. I would have wanted to soften the hurt flesh of Jesus. But their sorrow does not overcome them.

“But they rested…”

He is there no matter what might be exhausting us.

As we anticipate Easter and the celebration of His rising, rest.

He is our peace, our rest.

Ask Him into your sorrows and hurts; He will come.

Posted by Charlie Osewalt

Charles Osewalt is a husband, father of four children and former elder at Redeemer Church NYC. He has worked in schools for the last twenty years as principal in the Morrisanna section of the Bronx. He formerly worked as a content and curriculum specialist for Stewardship. He tweets at @charlesosewalt

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