At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Have you ever been in a period of waiting and wondering what would happen next? Everything seems to be confused, the world moves in slow motion and you know your world will never be the same. I have.
April 15, 1973 was the day my Rachel was born. She was my first, my little girl.
June 3, 2003 was the day my Rachel died. By then she was a mother herself with two small children, Ben 5, Molly 2. My world was forever changed.
I remember not being able to function. The tears seemed to be with me all the time. My heart was totally broken for my grandchildren who kept asking where their mama was and they wanted her. I have never felt so helpless in all my life, as I could not give them their heart’s desire.
Just seven months later, my son-in-law chose to move to a different state, 800 miles away, and he took his children with him. They had been living less than a mile from us. I knew then my world had become meaningless.
I often think of that time, a lonely but still changing time. I could only look at the past and wish for what I had wanted for the future. My husband and I were so broken.
I also think that the disciples and those who followed Jesus must have felt much the same way. Their Jesus, Teacher, Messiah had just died on the cross. He was gone.
All they could think of was the past, the amazing times they had spent with Him. All the joy they had known. The teachings He had so generously shared. Now He was gone, buried in the tomb.
What if He had lived? They might have had the kingdom they had always dreamed of. The Romans would have been out of their lives forever there would be peace for Israel.
But He hadn’t lived and now all those dreams were ashes.
While they were grieving for their Master, they couldn’t see past the moment.
Remember, the disciples and followers didn’t fully understand that Jesus was only going to be in the tomb the 3 days, just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish. They didn’t know what was going to happen in the next few days. Jesus did.
Just as He knows what is going to happen in our lives. After my Rachel died and her children were removed from my immediate life, I couldn’t have had the slightest idea of what He had in store for me. If I had known, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.
Through the blessing of my younger daughter, Darcy, her husband and two more grandchildren, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, Jesus has given me back my purpose in life. Just as He did for the disciples and followers when He left the empty tomb, just as He will for you. My purpose is to know and share His love.
They didn’t know what was going to happening in the morning.
I didn’t know what was going to happen to my future.
He knows what the answer is for all our futures: Him.
Today we wait and think on what Jesus has done for us, His sacrifice, love, teachings and all that He gives us. It will help us through the hardships that will always be with us. He doesn’t want us to forget the past but He also doesn’t want us to dwell on it.
Tomorrow we will wonder at the glory of our future, our future in Christ.
After Rachel’s death, Jesus reminded me, if I kept looking at the past, I would miss the blessings of the future. You know what? He was so right!
My Jesus, I depend on You for my everyday moments. Your blessings are so amazing. Your love so faithful.
As I think on Your death today, help me to completely realize what You have done for me. The battle You fought, the victory You claimed, the sacrifice You gave for me. I am so unworthy of Your presence yet I will take joy knowing I never have to be alone in this life. You are my King and I will proclaim Your love with my life.