During this Easter weekend of 2020, we are experiencing this time in history like never before. For the first time in my sixty years, I will not be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, within a church building. I began reflecting on the time between the cross and the resurrection with a renewed interest.
We focus a lot on the Passion Week, the crucifixion and of course, His glorious absence from the grave. What I have never truly thought about, were the approximately 40 hours from the cross to His rising. In my quest to research this, like many other topics in the Bible, there are no definitive answers.
Jesus turns to one of the criminals who hung next to Him responding with, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43. Because the man said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Even as Jesus hung on the cross bearing excruciating pain, He responded with a promise to the man.
Here in this verse, Jesus very clearly tells the man he would that very day, he would be with Jesus in paradise. Paradise in this context, can only refer to heaven. From this verse, we know Jesus was in heaven. Regardless of other commentaries regarding this time, we do know Jesus spent some if not all of the approximate forty hours in heaven.
What then, can we learn from this period of forty hours of silence. I believe, there are several great lessons for us as believers:
- Just because we can’t see the big picture, does not mean God is not in control. Much like today with this Coronavirus, we know God can see the bigger picture. He knows the outcome and He is in control!
- Times of silence can be productive! This time of quarantine does not mean we are helpless and fruitless. This time of removal from the ‘normalcy’ in life can be a time of growth and renewal. Use your time of silence to seek God in a way you may never have before.
- The best is yet to come! Just as the tomb was not able to contain Jesus, His absence was the most magnificent news for mankind! I believe too, as we emerge from this time of quarantine, we as a nation will experience that the best is yet to come! We will come out of this stronger and ready to tackle anything life throws at us!
Why not use this time of silence from your formerly busy life to lean into God, His Word, prayer, and reflection? I cannot think of a better way to suit up and be ready to be disciples for the Kingdom! All believers will need to be ready for the coming harvest.
40 hours of silence changed the world! Your time of silence can change the lives of those you touch with the resurrection message. Who will you seek out who needs to hear about Jesus?