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Saturday of Holy Week – My Faith Still Holds

Saturday – does your faith still hold?

The scriptures are largely silent about events on Saturday. It was the regular Sabbath and all activity was at a standstill. Except that the Chief Priests demanded that Pilate post an armed guard at the grave so that the disciples could not steal the body and claim that he was alive. Matthew 27:62-66 tells this part of the story:

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

 

The chief priest said, “We remember what he said”. The chief priests were thinking of deception and how to protect themselves from any backlash. They wanted the official Roman guard posted. It was an authorized government sanctioned action of eye witnesses to guarantee there was no false tales circulated. If anyone claimed Jesus had risen from the dead – they could produce the body. However, Matthew 28:4,10-15 recalls it was the Chief Priests who fabricated a cover up – they did not like the truth and in doing so proved what Jesus had said, If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. (Luke 16:31).

Do we remember what Jesus said when what we see with our eyes does not make sense? Does our faith hold during the dark hours of grief, pain and loss – when God is silent and he does not seem to answer our prayers? Does our faith hold on to what Jesus said and act with the joy of anticipation?

True believers believe even when the present situation seems all dark. When there is no job and no money and no solution in sight. Real faith is the rock that holds a person steady looking unto Jesus and what he declared. Even though all of our physical senses say otherwise – will we persist in hanging on to the words of Jesus?

The disciples, it they had remembered and believed, could have spent the Saturday full of anticipation and excitement. Rather than in hiding in fear and nursing their shattered dreams – they could have been sitting on the edge of their seats; He said, “after 3 days … one more day to go … let’s begin the countdown”. But instead they held on to what they had thought was “supposed” to have happened. The reality did not turn out the way they had envisioned and sooooo they were caught in the perfect storm of doubt and lost faith.

True believers remember the words of Jesus and cling to his promise.

Bill Gather wrote the song, My Faith Still Holds, that speaks of a faith that is not based on what we see and feel in order to believe.

 

I thought I had to see and feel
To prove that what I loved was really real
A passion turned to ashes things I held to dust
I found reality in simple trust

My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary
Oh blessed Rock of Ages cleft for me
I gladly place my trust in things I can not see
My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary

I tried to find life’s mysteries
Just by the reason of my mind to see
But void remain between me and where I longed to be
Till childlike faith there built a bridge for me

Dear friend – may your faith hold to the Christ who on Calvary believed and said, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit”. Jesus trusted in the words of his father. We can do so as well.

Blessings on this Holy Sabbath, Pastor Dan

Douglas Leslie

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