Have you ever wondered what that Sabbath was like? The Sabbath right after the crucifixion. How confused, sad, worn, and turmoiled the disciples must have been. Perhaps their church services were canceled that weekend. Perhaps they went through the motions, trying to be comforted by each other’s presence.
Luke simply says, “And they returned, … and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment,” Luke 23:56.
“That was a never-to-be-forgotten Sabbath to the sorrowing disciples, and also to the priests, rulers, scribes, and people,” Desire of Ages¸ p. 774.
It is said that a “sense of strangeness pervaded everything” (Ibid.). Christ’s death caused a lasting impression on the hearts of many. They sought to know more about Him, and others who did not know about His death sought to take their sick family members to Him. But He was no longer to be found among them. What a strange Sabbath day.
The mourning disciples had buried their Savior but had had no time to anoint His body before the Sabbath. So, early on Sunday morning, after waiting for the Sabbath hours to pass, they took the spices to the tomb where they had laid Jesus' body.
Mary Magdalene, the first to reach the tomb was also the first to see it was empty. Brokenhearted, she ran to tell the disciples. Meanwhile, other women arrived and received the good news that Christ was resurrected. As they left to spread the good news, Mary, now with Peter and John with her, arrived at the empty tomb. The disciples left, but Mary stayed behind in sorrow and tears.
“As she stood weeping, she heard a voice which asked: “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” Her eyes were so blinded by tears that she did not notice who it was that spoke to her. She thought it might be the gardener and said to him pleadingly: “Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.” She thought that if this rich man's tomb was considered too honorable a place for her Lord, she herself would provide a place for Him. But now the voice of Christ Himself fell upon her ears. He said: “Mary.” Her tears were quickly brushed away, and she beheld the Saviour,” (Story of Jesus, p. 160).
Have you ever been so blinded by tears that you did not recognize the voice of Jesus? Have you ever experienced sorrow so deep that you could not feel Him near you?
“Why weepest thou?” His question echoes to us today. Your Savior, who died upon the cross for you, cares about your sorrows. Take them to Him and share what burdens are in your life.
“Mourn not as those who are hopeless and helpless. Jesus lives, and because He lives, we shall live also. From grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, Christ is risen! He lives to make intercession for us. Grasp this hope, and it will hold the soul like a sure, tried anchor. Believe, and thou shalt see the glory of God,” (Desire of Ages, p. 794).
Pray for the strength to not allow the temporary darkness of this world to come between you and Christ. Our greatest fears, trials, and sadness—even death—can not keep us from Him (Romans 8:35-39).
He is with us! He is with you. Brush away your tears. Believe. And you shall see.