(This post is an excerpt from my book, Uncommon Hope, previously published as "Between the Cross and Easter. Find the book here.)
If anyone ever felt ineligible for future greatness, it would have been the first disciples of Jesus.
Every one of them had abandoned Jesus on the night Judas betrayed Him. In His moment of need, they all ran. Some, like Peter, swore they didn’t even know Him; others hid in the shadows, but they all sinned.
I can only imagine the guilt and shame that consumed them.
The Saturday after the crucifixion was a horrible day for these troubled men. We see it as the period between the cross and Easter, but at the time, they didn’t see it that way or understand what we know in hindsight.
The Jewish Sabbath was typically a day of rest, but this Saturday was a time of gut-wrenching heartache. The disciples’ teacher, Rabbi, Lord, and closest friend lay dead in a stone tomb. Their dream of a Messiah-led rebirth of Israel was crushed. All hope of a Jewish revival was now completely shattered.
The disciples feared for their own lives as they cowered in an upper room somewhere in the city of Jerusalem. Overnight, they had become religious outcasts among the very people who once had sung the praises of Jesus and His motley crew.
These men and women who loved Jesus experienced a dreadfully dark and demoralizing day. In their minds, He was gone forever, and they were, in part, to blame.
On the Friday of Jesus’s crucifixion, they had run, they had denied, they had watched from a distance in horror, and they had wept in agony.
On Saturday, they lived in shock, dread, and dark corners of deafening silence.
Remember, they didn’t understand the promise of Easter or the hope of the resurrection.
Not on that day.
It was the second-worst day of their lives, and from their limited perspective, they would never have a good day again.
I wonder how many of you are in a similar place.
Something inside you has died. You’ve lost a dream, a relationship, a job or a friend, and you’re exhausted. In fact, you’re an emotional and physical wreck.
Numbness covers your heart, mind, and soul like a dense winter fog. You can’t even think about the future. The misery of yesterday and the emptiness of today have stolen from you any joy or hope for a better tomorrow.
Perhaps you often drift in your mind to some horrible past sin. Maybe you’re devoured by your failure and overwhelmed by your foolishness.
If that’s you, please listen to these words: God knows where you’ve been, where you are, and where He will take you. He understands the crushing anguish of sin that led Jesus to the cross for us, but He also knows (far better than you do) that Sunday is coming. And it will be a brand-new day.
The Friday of the crucifixion was devastating to the hope of Jesus’s followers.
Saturday was the second darkest day of the disciples’ lives as they grieved over both their loss and their failures.
But Sunday changed everything. Sunday was a day of uncommon and restored hope!
God knows your past, present, and future, but He sees a sunrise of hope on the horizon. Simply confess your sin and rest in His grace so you can live free and forgiven.
Let go of the things you can’t change about your past and trust God with your present and your future. Stop making excuses, walk-in forgiveness, and don’t let your regrets become a reason to opt-out of hope or live an epic life in Christ.
God is bigger than your past and greater than your sins.
And you can live with no excuses and no regrets when you realize that God never wastes anything or any life that is fully surrendered to Him.
So, hold on.
Don’t give up.
Sunday is just around the corner.
He was pierced because of our rebellions
and crushed because of our crimes.
He bore the punishment that made us whole;
by his wounds, we are healed.