Examine Our Faith
When the internet at home is down for an extended time, my children will complain, “We’re bored, there is nothing to do!” Of course, there are things to do, but those are things that they don’t want to do, like doing chores, reading a book, or playing outside. When I hear this declaration as an adult, I am secretly envious because I wish I had nothing to do! In a culture that is always on the go, I crave for moments when nothing is happening, when the noise of messaging-apps-notifications and breaking-news-alerts is silent.
People have often asked me, “What happened to Jesus and His disciples on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?” My reply is “nothing.” The Bible is generally silent on what happened between Jesus’ death on Friday and His resurrection on Sunday morning. I have often wondered why nothing of significance was recorded for Saturday by the four gospel writers. Perhaps, it is a reminder from the Lord for us to do two things.
TO PAUSE AND REFLECT
On Thursday evening, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and gave His final instructions at the Upper Room and then He prayed with them at the Garden of Gethsemane where He was arrested. Then Jesus had to endure six trials (three religious, three civil) as His disciples followed from a far distance—even lurking in the high priest’s courtyard, and then followed and watched Jesus get crucified at Calvary where He proclaimed, “It is Finished!” declaring that the work of Salvation has been completed. It was nonstop action over a twenty-four-hour period.
There would be a lot to process and think about and a quiet Saturday afforded the followers of Jesus an opportunity to do so before the great events of Resurrection morning on Sunday. In a world that is always on the go, what a great reminder that we all need to take time to pause and reflect about what Jesus did on the cross and how it affects each of our lives. Have you accepted His free gift of salvation and placed your trust in Him? Have you committed to living out Christ-like lives as His follower as a testimony to the world? How does having eternal life transform the way you live? Spend some time thinking about these questions today.
TO EXAMINE OUR FAITH
Jesus had explicitly told His disciples again and again that He would have to die, but that He would conquer death and rise again. Saturday was the day when their faith and trust in Jesus and His words would be made evident as Resurrection Sunday had yet to take place. Did they genuinely believe that Jesus could and would resurrect? They all had to examine their faith and what it was rooted in. Saturday was a day where faith was either solidified or shaken.
Our faith in the Lord is often shaken when that faith is “results-based,” where we only believe when we experience an outcome that favors us. But we have forgotten that our Christian faith is “Person-based.” Our faith must be rooted in the character and person of God, who is sovereign and all-powerful. Our faith is in a Mighty God who does the impossible. Is your faith results-based or Person-based? What is the basis of your faith? Spend some time examining your faith today.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV)
On this day when “nothing” happened, do something. Pause and reflect on what Jesus means to you and examine your faith-walk with the Lord.
Devotional for Holy Week
Written by: Dr. Stephen G. Tan
Grace Christian Church of the Philippines