Tag Archives: Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday Meditation 2016


Darkness

Reading: Luke 23:50-56

There was a man named Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea. He was a good and honourable man, who was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Although he was a member of the Council, he had not agreed with their decision and action.  (52) He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  (53) Then he took the body down, wrapped it in a linen sheet, and placed it in a tomb which had been dug out of solid rock and which had never been used.  (54) It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin. (55) The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee went with Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was placed in it.  (56) Then they went back home and prepared the spices and perfumes for the body. On the Sabbath they rested, as the Law commanded. (Good News Bible)

Meditation

Jesus is dead.

Joseph declared himself and took charge.
The women watched and prepared.
All of creation held its breath.

And Jesus waited.

We usually think we are the ones waiting: waiting in uncertainty; waiting for the resurrection; waiting for God to act. But Jesus waits too.

He waits for you and for me.
He waits for us to declare ourselves.
He waits for us to prepare ourselves.
He waits for our worship, our actions, our preparation.
He waits for our love.

He waits because tomorrow’s resurrection is not planned for a hidden tomb in a faraway garden in a foreign land. It is planned for you and for me and for our community.

Jesus waited for the Sabbath to pass – because worship would never be the same again.

He waits for us.

Are you ready to celebrate his life? Are you ready to give him room in your heart? Are you ready for your worship, your life and your community to be transformed?

It doesn’t matter how dark the tomb of your life might be, his light will shine, his love will conquer. All you need to say is, ‘Yes.’

Prayer:
Yes, Jesus. Come into our lives, our families and our communities. Transform our worship. Bring us to life; bring our community to life; bring our world to life today. Amen

This meditation was written for the Prestbury Methodist Church Lenten Diary. A collaborative project with various members of the church writing meditations for each day of Lent around a given theme. I Seem to end up with the Easter weekend. Perhaps it’s because my mother runs the project?? See HERE for Easter Sunday and past years’ contributions. 

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A meditation for Easter Saturday


Each year about 40 members of Prestbury Methodist Church each write a meditation or two for our Lenten Diary on a given theme. This year, each day focused a single word. This was my contribution for Easter Saturday. The word was ‘Tomb’. My Easter Sunday contribution will be published tomorrow.

Reading: John 19:38-42
After this, Joseph, who was from the town of Arimathea, asked Pilate if he could take Jesus’ body. (Joseph was a follower of Jesus, but in secret, because he was afraid of the Jewish authorities.) Pilate told him he could have the body, so Joseph went and took it away.  (39)  Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went with Joseph, taking with him about one hundred pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes.  (40)  The two men took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial.  (41)  There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been put to death, and in it there was a new tomb where no one had ever been buried.  (42)  Since it was the day before the Sabbath and because the tomb was close by, they placed Jesus’ body there.

Meditation
We have reached the end of our journey and here we are, outside a tomb. Is this where it ends? We place your body in a tomb? We keep you in a place where we can access you when we need to, leave you when we want to, think about you when it’s convenient and ignore you when it suits us?

Lord we confess that, as we do with the legacy of other great leaders, we have taken your legacy, kept the bits we like and left the rest in the tomb. We have not allowed you to change us, challenge us or lead us to new places.

Tomorrow we will celebrate your release from the tomb, your resurrection. What then? We will have no control over you. You will be in charge. When you tell us to love our neighbour, we won’t be able to um and ah. We won’t be able to play around with the words ‘love’ and ‘neighbour’ to weasel out of the plain meaning: love your neighbour. You will be there to point the way. Your words will not mean what we want them to mean, but what you mean. Am I ready for tomorrow? Am I ready for the sunrise of a new day and a new relationship with you?

Prayer
Lord Jesus, please help us use this day to prepare our hearts for tomorrow. Prepare us for your sunrise call to new beginnings. Make us ready to follow, not your legacy, but you as you are, as you continually reveal yourself to be, new every morning. Amen.

___________________________________________

See also:

Easter Saturday: Joseph, the secret follower — Lenten Diary 2013
Lent Diary 2012: Easter Saturday and Handel’s Messiah — Lenten Diary 2012

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Easter Saturday: Joseph, the secret follower


Reading. Luke 23:50–54
50-51 There was a man named Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea. He was a good and honourable man, who was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Although he was a member of the Council, he had not agreed with their decision and action. 52 He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took the body down, wrapped it in a linen sheet, and placed it in a tomb which had been dug out of solid rock and which had never been used. 54 It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

Meditation
There are many legends about Joseph of Arimathea, but far more important is what the Bible wants us to know. Whatever he may have done later in life, all four Gospels tell us how Joseph buried Jesus in his own tomb; and he is one of very few people whom all four mention by name—a suitable honour.

John tells us that Nicodemus helped Joseph with the body of Jesus. Both were secret followers of Jesus. Perhaps in their fear they encouraged each other in their faith.

But the hour that changed everything for Joseph was when Jesus was put to death. Perhaps the cock crowed for Joseph as well as for Peter that night, but at the most dangerous moment, he declared himself. Joseph had been afraid; now he knew that the Way of Jesus was not a private, secret thing. Jesus demonstrated God’s love in his life and in his death; it was time for Joseph to do the same. He left his Sanhedrin colleagues to do their worst, and declared his love for Jesus. The secret follower moved into the spotlight in the most public act of support for Jesus of that entire weekend.

Our Easter journey is nearly at an end. What needs to change in your life and in your relationships? How can you express God’s love in your relationship with Jesus, with your family, with your work, with the creation?

Prayer
Lord, thank you for the faithfulness of Joseph of Arimathea. You helped him overcome his fear and stand tall and strong. Though I may feel small and weak and vulnerable, give me boldness to demonstrate your love in all my relationships today.

It was my privilege this year to write the Easter Saturday and Sunday contributions to the Lenten Prayer Diary our church produces each year. It is an amazing collaborative effort with more than 40 members of our congregation contributing around a given theme. This year the theme was John van der Laar’s book, The hour that changes everything.

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Lent Diary 2012: Easter Saturday and Handel’s Messiah


“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.” (Based on Revelation 5: 12-13)

If you could take one human-made thing to heaven, what would it be? But what if, in all of heaven, there was to be only one thing that had been made on earth.  How do we choose something precious and meaningful for everyone: for kings and rulers; for sporting legends and movie stars; for shopaholics and the poorest of the poor; for empire builders and environmentalists?

Someone has suggested that there is one set of human-made items in heaven.  They are objects of intense worship. They bring the wearer power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and blessing.  None of us would have chosen to bring them to heaven; none of us is proud to find them there. But it wasn’t our choice; it was God’s.  The only human-made things in heaven are the wounds of the nails in the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

It is significant that the glory of the Christ is not in his majestic position or his power, but in his wounds.  He may well be the Lion of Judah but in heaven he is glorified as the Lamb of God, who was slain.

Here on earth, this Easter Saturday, as we ponder the events of Good Friday, we can only kneel in shame and recognition that our sins (yours and mine) caused those wounds.  But it was no accident.  “The Lamb was slain from the creation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)  Our sin and the only solution were known to God from the beginning; his love made it inevitable. His wounds are not marks of shame but evidence of God’s extravagant love.  That is why, in heaven, they are worshiped, and why, even on Easter Saturday, we can join in the heavenly chorus, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!”

Prayer
Lamb of God, our sin led you to the cross, but your cross frees us from our sin.  Thank you for taking on our shame so that we can share in your glory.

This was my contribution for Easter Saturday to “The Lent Diary”, a devotional project of Prestbury Methodist Church to which some 40 different people contribute each year.  This year the meditations were based on the readings used in Handel’s Messiah

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Lent Diary: Easter Saturday 2011


Luke 23:49-56

When John the Baptist was in prison dark doubts began to plague his mind.  Is Jesus the one?  He doesn’t seem to be taking charge and making things happen.  What if he’s not the one?  What if I have not prepared the way as I should have done?  What if I’ve prepared the wrong road for the wrong person? 

On that first Easter Saturday the disciples must have felt the same.  What went wrong?  Was this whole thing a failure?  Did we follow the wrong person?  What now?  Is love not the way after all? Does love have no chance in this world?  What do we do with all his teaching, with his new way of relating to God, with his “Blessed are the poor in spirit”?  He taught us to call God ‘Father’; what do we call him now?

Familiar?  Dark moments in our lives give rise to these questions.  But we are not alone.  Sometimes God seems far away and out of touch, even to the saints among us.  The Psalmist cried out: “LORD God, my saviour…hear my prayer; listen to my cry for help!  So many troubles have fallen on me that I am close to death….  You have thrown me into the depths of the tomb, into the darkest and deepest pit….  Why do you reject me, LORD?  Why do you turn away from me?”  (Psalm 88 GNB)

Tell God today about your darkest thoughts, your deepest pain, your most anxious questions.  You may find no answers for now, but take heart.  The Psalmist discovered that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

There is a morning that is coming that is the most glorious, the most wonderful, the most life-changing morning of all.  It’s not here yet.  But know, in the midst of your questions and doubts and tragedies, it is coming.

Prayer
Lord, sustain us and those we love, in the dark night of fear and loneliness and defeat. Give us hope for the morning that is to come.

(The Lent Diary is a devotional project of Prestbury Methodist Church started by my mother, Norma Webster, 21 years ago and still edited by her.   This year 40 different people contributed devotions for the 40 days of lent and the seven days of Holy Week.  This was my contribution for Easter Saturday 2011, what I have always thought of as the darkest day of the Christian year.)

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Easter Saturday


Isaiah 40:28-31

Easter Saturday seems to last forever.  We’ve had the hot cross buns of Good Friday and tomorrow there’ll be Easter eggs!  But today we have to wait, and wait, and wait…..  Will Easter never come?

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