When the Sabbath Passes (John 19; Mark 16)

16 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.  Mark 16:1

Each time I read Mark 16:1 I pause and reflect on the phrase: “When the Sabbath was past…” Here are some headlines from the day after the Sabbath past: Jesus arose early on the first day of the week, 16:9. The discouraged women were forever changed. The disciples struggled to believe that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead.

These were just a few of the headlines when the Sabbath was past.

Now, for a few moments consider with me the hours leading up to when the Sabbath began. John 19 is my reference point for our consideration:

  • Jesus was beaten beyond recognition, 19:1-5.
  • Jesus became a rejected king, 19:6-16.
  • Jesus became our crucified Lord and Savior, 19:17-30.
  • Jesus died and was buried in the tomb of Joseph, 19:31-42.

As the Sabbath began when the sun went down on that good Friday, I cannot imagine the anguish the disciples and other followers were in. The Savior of the world had died. Even though Jesus had told them on three occasion’s that this would happen. They hoped the Sabbath would not come.

Brothers and sisters, in our lifetimes we will face many Sabbath’s events and experiences. The question is, do we believe Christ has the power to get us beyond our Sabbath experiences.

The disciples in disbelief wondered if Jesus could come-out of the grave. Had they forgotten the Son of the widow in Luke 7? Had they overlooked the daughter of the religious leader being raised from the dead in Luke 8? And how could they forget Lazarus raising from the dead in John 11?

Brothers and sisters, sometimes our Sabbath experiences can be so dark that we forget what we know to be true.

Take heart from Mark 16:

And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 

Because He lives you and I have living power to get beyond every Sabbath experience. Here is how John communicates this truth to us:

4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? I John 5:4-5

Here are three actions to take from what we have read today:

  1. Seek the Lord’s resurrection power in your Sabbath moment.
  2. Claim God’s victory over your life.
  3. Share with others what the Lord has done in your Sabbath moments.

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