Today must have been the worst day in all the world.
It must have been agony living through those hours. Imagine:
They woke as they always did and rubbed the sleep from their eyes, perhaps glad that it was the Sabbath at last. And then remembrance washed over them with the watery light of dawn, so much dimmer than it used to be.
Or maybe they woke not with a cry but a whimper, as one waking from a bad dream to find himself in a nightmare.
With the remembrance comes the question: what now?
Well, it’s the Sabbath and it’s Passover. They should go to the synagogue. But should they? The crowds will be there, the crowds whose baying for blood just hours before still rang in their ears.
If those who once welcomed him with palm branches and song could so quickly turn on him with murder in their hearts, what chance did such a small band of followers stand?
Would the crowds recognise them as his followers? Would they go after them too? Such fear, bound tightly in confusion and tied up with grief would cause the hours to stretch out like the miles they’d once walked together.
Montages of memories would momentarily cripple. Sorrow bled into the silence. Running his words back in their minds again and again, trying to grasp something, anything, that could give them hope. They had been so very sure that he was the One who had been promised, that he would save them all, that he was sent of God himself.
But then, they had also thought Judas to be one of them.
The whole world and their whole hope had been shattered from beneath them and now they were in terrifying free fall.
It was the Sabbath but their hearts could find no rest. Perhaps they felt that God had not passed over them but turned his face away altogether.
And the Pharisees? How glad they must have been. Not only had God delivered Israel from the Egyptians all those years ago, he had saved the people from the trouble-making prophet from Nazareth in their own day.
x x x
A borrowed tomb lay sealed and guarded that day. It was the Sabbath, the day on which God rested, and inside rested the Son of God.