Easter Saturday 3.3.21

Easter Saturday 3rd April

Pray – As you settle yourself, take time to think over the events of yesterday…..

Almighty God, pour out your blessings on your people. We have remembered the dying of your Son, the pain, suffering, humiliation he experienced, and now we look forward towards his resurrection from the dead. Give us peace we pray, strengthen our faith and be our eternal salvation. We pray through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Bible Reading – John 19:25-42

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to her, ‘Woman,[a] here is your son,’ 27 and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken,’37 and, as another scripture says, ‘They will look on the one they have pierced.’

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about thirty-five kilograms. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

New International Version - UK (NIVUK) Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Reflection

He’s gone. My precious son, he’s gone.

What happened to all that God promised? All those amazing things the angel told me when he announced God’s plan to me? What happened to that dream?

You know, at the end, he thought only of me. He made sure I wouldn’t be left sonless, even though he felt abandoned by the Father. Oh! Hearing his cry of despair! I never imagined I’d such words coming from his lips. Seeing the child I once carried in my womb, who I fed and nurtured until he was ready to go his own way, seeing him hanging on that awful cross, covered in blood, his body so broken! It feels like a sword has pierced my very soul! … I remember…… someone once said that to me, a long time ago………

It’s as God said it would be. I understand that now. It’s like he said – it’s finished.

When they took him down from the cross, I almost felt relieved; at least his suffering had ended. There wasn’t time to mourn or prepare him properly; we only just got to the borrowed tomb in time, the sun was setting. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, I watched as long as I could as the grave clothes were wrapped around him and the stone was rolled over the entrance. His eyes were closed. Eyes that once looked with such love, such grace, compassion, wisdom and humour. Eyes that seemed to look into people’s hearts, closed now. Finally, he looks peaceful.

It’s the Sabbath today, I just feel empty inside, like I’m in a dream and I’m going to wake up and it’ll all be alright. We’re all in the upper room, everyone going through their own heart wrenching sorrow. They don’t know what to say to me…. What can they say? Words won’t bring him back.

Don’t try to speak. Just let me be. Let me be alone with my grief.

Read ­the Bible passage again, put yourself in Mary’s shoes, ask the Holy Spirit to touch your heart………….

Pray

Our Loving Heavenly Father as we get a glimpse of what it must have been like for those who loved Jesus to see him beaten, bruised, bloodied and then killed on a cross, we pray for all those who are mourning the loss of a loved one today, may they know your comfort and peace. We pray too for those who are poorly and close to death and those who travel this difficult road with them. May we have the confidence to share the good news of Jesus, whose death has made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins, and opened the way to eternity with you.

Lord we have all lost so much over this past year – confidence, health, friendships, jobs, and we pray for your comfort. Restore us Lord as we trust in you for the future.

 

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage.

We are not people who protect our own safety:

we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.

We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity.

We are your people God, giving and loving,

wherever we are, whatever it costs.

For as long as it takes wherever you call us. Amen.