“He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.”
After his death, Jesus’ body was taken and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. The tomb was most likely a cave, carved out of a mountain with a large stone as the door. Jesus’ body was carefully laid in the tomb. Do you ever wonder what the disciples did that day? This was just one day after they saw their hope dashed and their joy stolen from them. Like the darkness of the tomb, the disciples probably felt they were in their own kind of tomb. They were alive, yet they felt so dead. All of their hopes for the world, for their faith, laid dead in a tomb, enclosed in darkness.
We are taught to be afraid of the dark. Bad things happen in the dark. Some even talk about sinfulness as being in darkness. However, something began in that dark tomb. Something mysterious that only God can explain. The darkness of the tomb birthed the light of resurrection. Darkness was the womb of life. That is not to say that God makes us go through difficult times to make us appreciate the good times. It is also not that God causes us to suffer in order to teach us anything so that God can show off God’s ability to make good things from bad things. What is clear about Holy Saturday, about darkness, is that it is in the dark that God is often working the hardest.
It is in the dark where life is birthed. Pastor Barbara Brown Taylor said it this way, “Whatever happened to Jesus between Saturday and Sunday, it happened in the dark, with the smell of damp stone and dug earth in the air. It happened where no one but him could talk about it later, and he did not talk about it—at least not so anyone could explain it to anyone else.” In the darkness is a waiting, a pregnant pause. But eventually the darkness ends and light is birthed. Consider this: where is there darkness in your life? How is God working in and through your darkness to birth something new?
God, when you created this world, you created both light and dark. You worked with darkness to bring forth light in the beginning. You have continued to work with darkness to bring forth light, both in our world and in our lives. Help us to anticipate your work that often happens in the dark. Amen.