Posted by: pmarkrobb | March 26, 2016

suitable silence

All of creation had suffered a great loss.  As dawn broke on Saturday, the Creator of the universe in flesh and bone, the close friend of the disciples, the God-man who healed with just the sound of His voice, lay breathless in a tomb.  I have no way of knowing what was true of the created world on that sacred Sabbath.  No words are spoken of this day in the Bible.  No mention of what those who followed Jesus were feeling or doing.  I wonder if the birds sang in greeting the sun, as they would on any other day.  I wonder if the sunrise was a shadow of its typically stunning self.  I wonder if grief completely consumed hope in the hearts and minds of those who loved Jesus.

It would make “sense” that the birds were silent.  I can conjure the scene of a sunrise obscured by grey clouds or fog.  My mind and its eye can see disciples and followers overcome by sadness.  But I still wonder.

What drives that wonder is the irrefutable truth that creation had not lost its Creator.  God was still on His throne.  The tomb was sealed, and I believe that Jesus’ human form lay breathless, but what was going on behind that seal?  There is solemnity in silence, but it is not only so.

I believe there were men and women grieving … but were they all?  Birds who were silent makes sense … but were they all?  To truly know Jesus is to know He is God.  To know He is God is to know He is not constrained by this death that only came as a result of sin.  He bore our sins, but there was no sin in Him.  I believe it is equally (and maybe more) true that this day was silent in an entirely different way than we might expect.  Can your mind and its eye see a created world that is struggling to contain its expectancy for resurrection day?  Can you see, in their silence, a true follower who is fanning a flickering flame of hope?  What did the silence really “sound” like?

It seems quite suitable for there to be silence on this day.  The pause of quiet, between the gravity of suffering and separation on Friday and the brilliant burst of joy and redemption on Resurrection Day, serves us well in properly absorbing and processing all Christ did for us.  And maybe we can use the legitimate questions about this day’s silence to speak into our own experiences with grief and loss.  It is critically important to see the truth of the Resurrection having the final word in those experiences, and allow it to motivate us to go to whatever lengths necessary to ensure that those we lose in this life will be with Jesus and us in the next.   Suitable silence, indeed.  There is much to absorb, but also much to come!

7_saturday_suitable silence


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