It's Easter and I am surrounded by family. The cottage doors flung wide open and laughter, food and memories seep into the wood of the walls for safe keeping. The fireplace is crackling. The sun is shining, its light bending around the naked trees. And yet, my heart feels heavy.This waiting. It is madness.
Mary mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene knew of this waiting.By the time Jesus had died and Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus had retrieved His limp and lifeless body, it was too late. Too late to visit the tomb. Too late to prepare His body for burial.
Passover had begun and all that the women could manage was a quick shopping trip through the markets to buy the necessary spices and oils. The task of preparing their Saviour would have to wait until morning.Sundown to sundown - they waited.
I imagine this Passover, this particular one, must have been frenetic. There is nothing that get's a crowd moving mob-like than death by crucifixion. The air must have been rife with cold and caustic comments. And after His body was removed from the ugly of the cross, the throng of people moving toward burning home-fires would have been massive.
"We have just killed a man . We just watched him breathe his last - but we best make it home before sundown, because heaven forbid we break God's laws."Sundown to sundown.
The irony of this does not escape me. Passover. This is not any Sabbath. This is a celebration. A remembrance. Israel's sons spared the kiss of death, as the Egyptians watched their first born die. No, the irony does not escape me. Thanks returned to God for sparing their sons and saving a nation from the clutches of Pharaoh, when hours earlier they watched His Son die a heinous death.A son's life spared for a Son's sacrifice.
There would have been a few. Just a few who would head home, hearts too numb and death too cold. Would they even bother to light a lamp, a fire - how would they ever find warmth again? Denial and shock would begin it's reign and the keening sound of mourning would be muffled in tunics and robes.Would any of them remember the promise? Would any of them remember that He promised the torn veil and His reign in just three short days? Or would they feel death fall on them with the weight of a sackcloth.
And the women who desperately wanted to honour their Lord? A mother, who should not know the pain of burying a child and a woman free from demons who, until Jesus, would not have known salvation`s kiss. They were waiting, their grief settling deep. Pinned to the walls of custom, the commandments immovable while their hearts beat sadness and their tears dripped memory. They waited.The waiting. It's madness
But...It's always darkest before the dawn...