“In the Black Hole”
Saturday is again the Jewish Sabbath. Very little happens above ground apart from the posting of a strong guard at the tomb.
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
But what of Jesus?
He has plunged into the Black Hole of death. A Black Hole is an impenetrable place, a huge emptiness which simply swallows everything: life, matter, sound and light, and from which nothing escapes. A Black Hole is the ultimate cosmic dungeon, and Jesus is falling deeper and deeper into one.
Above ground, the Saturday lasts for twenty-four hours just like any other day. Below ground however, Jesus has plunged into the eternal moment of constant death, where it is always “now,” where twenty-four hours can be longer then twenty-four years.
The haunting words spoken by Caiaphas at the beginning of the week return to haunt us: “It is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
This is a slow day. It gives us time to think and make changes. If he died to give us a second chance at living, then let us make this second chance really count.
Traditionally, services have been held on Easter Eve, the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday. These services don’t have the same focus as Good Friday. The emphasis is on waiting, which are often called Vigils. Some of us may have waited by the bedside of a sick family member, perhaps a child or parent. We’ve refused to go home, and we’ve ‘kept a vigil,’ which means both waiting and watching. We refuse to give up hope and we look for any sign that the person will get better.
The Easter Vigil is the same sort of thing. We enter into a spirit of waiting and watching, longing for the resurrection of Jesus.
How could you spend some time waiting? Some people enjoy staying up all night long, awaiting the dawn! Could you light a candle in the middle of the night and sit in silence?
You may want to join in with an online vigil? We are encouraging people to go to www.rumoursofhope.co.uk. You can find more details on our website. There will be short acts of worship scattered through the night, all through the night from 8pm until dawn.