The Timeliness of the Tomb
In about a month we will once again celebrate Easter. This is a time of remembrance and sorrow followed by immense rejoicing. I have always loved this time, even before I really grasped the true meaning of it. The spring weather, the family gatherings, and the love felt all around. Mixed in is the miracle of it all. Lately I have found our faith is often cultivated in the waiting.
Jesus was crucified for my sins and yours, buried, and three days later rose again. We rightfully put extreme focus on His death and resurrection but what about what happened in between? What was going on in that three-day waiting period? The answer in short is nothing and everything.
For three long days, the guiltless Christ rested in a grave. He lay there still and blameless, wrongfully accused, yet without regret. Can you imagine the breath-holding agony this put His disciples, followers, and family through? The Savior of the world—the One whom they had waited on and followed—was dead. How could this be? I can only imagine the conversations that followed crucifixion day. This was Jesus inside that guarded tomb, and yet He had left them with unanswered questions and disbelief.
Three days. Waiting.
I am sure that felt like an eternity. Three days of suspense. I can get weary on occasion when God doesn’t answer my prayer immediately. But those times teach us more than we realize. The pause, the uncertainty, the deep wonder and those unanswered questions often build our faith higher than the mountains we face. When your courage and all your strength is shut tight behind a stone they say cannot be moved, wait on the Lord; resurrection day is coming.
I work at a school and have to be there earlier than anyone should have to wake up. I get some time to read and pray in the mornings before the children start to arrive. One particular morning I was slightly frustrated at the Lord and His lack of responding the way I thought He should. As I continued my complaints, I felt in my spirit a tiny whisper break the quietness:
“Hear in the silence, I AM still God.”
Not exactly the answer I was looking for but what a depth it took me to.
In some ways we have become quite the impatient society. We want things faster that Amazon Prime delivers. We desire to see results faster than the gym gives and grades faster than the teacher can check our work. Microwave meals and Instant Pots come close to our demands, but in general, people are just buying the newest shoes to try and outrun the Joneses.
How quickly we forget that there is beauty in the slow down, answers in the silence, and even when it seems like the answers are buried deep, they are really just a stone roll away. Like the old song says, “He may not come when you want Him, but He’ll be there right on time….” He was on time then and He will always be.
Can you relate to that day He appeared to His disciples? Confused looks, questions, and excitement had to be felt all around. Everyone except for Thomas welcomed the risen Christ with open arms.
“The other disciples therefore said unto him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said unto them, ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace be unto you.’ Then saith he to Thomas, ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said unto him, ‘My Lord and my God.’ Jesus saith unto him, ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed’” (John 20:26-29).
You might feel like you have been praying without answers and screaming at the wall, and that is okay, but you are by no means alone. The men and women who watched Jesus die even felt these doubts, questions, and distresses. These are natural feelings but I beg to question what would happen if we didn’t rely so much on what we feel or don’t feel but rather trust the Savior, even when it doesn’t make sense.
As I consider this transitional point of the Easter story, I cannot help but want to shout those classroom words that momentarily rolled back the stone in my heart. Even in your impending and daunting stillness, Hear Him. He is still God. He is God in the good times and the bad. He is God in the questions and the answers; the silence and the songs; in the resting and the resurrection.
Times of change, growth, and waiting can be painful but indescribably beautiful if you trust the resurrected King to refine and mold you. Step by step, answers will come. Let the timeliness of the tomb—though it required a holding period—teach us what wonders come in the in-betweens.
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She just recently married her best friend and together they are serving at the Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.