By Scotty Smith
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
Dear Lord Jesus, as “Good Friday” gave way to silent Saturday, the range of emotions following your crucifixion was as broad as the Grand Canyon. I can only imagine the degree shock and the depth of sadness which filled the hearts of your disciples, your family and friends. And yet, there were also those who were filled with glee and relief, that you, “the deceiver,” could no longer threaten their existence.
As the sun rose on Saturday, no one could have possibly understood that the most undeserved death imaginable would yield the greatest return calculable. As you were nailed to the cross, the written code—God’s law, with all its regulations and requirements, was taken away from us… losing all condemning power over us. As you drew your last breath, you were actually disarming the powers of darkness and triumphing over all authorities marshaled against the reign of God ().
No one yet grasped that your mortal punishment would bring our eternal peace… your fatal wounding would secure our everlasting healing… your being crushed would lead to our being cherished by the thrice holy God (). Though they had the Scriptures, they had no clue.
And yet, the chief priests and the Pharisees did remember your promise of resurrection. They weren’t sad about your death, they were mad with fear about the possibility of your life. Having already plotted to put to death a resurrected Lazarus, they weren’t about to indulge a resurrected rabbi.
Oh foolish, silly, sinful men… they had sooner secure the non-rising of the sun than the non-rising of the Son of Man… the Son of God… God the Son! Resurrection Sunday was coming and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it. The silence of Saturday would soon be shattered with the shouts of Sunday, “The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!”
Jesus, continue to astonish and nourish our hearts… my heart… with the whole Easter story, and the full glory of who you are and everything you have done. So very Amen, I pray in your peerless name.
– Heavenward by Scotty Smith
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.