Holy Saturday Easter Vigil, Walking in Hope

Scripture tells us that during the crucifixion darkness came over the land.

The sun had stopped shining.

The moment Jesus breathed his last breath the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

The earth shook and the rocks split.

 Ayear0819gcJesus taught His disciples, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise. But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.” Mark 9:31-32

Then it happened – their Lord was betrayed, tortured, killed!

Did they now understand Jesus’ teachings? Or did they begin to doubt and question? Shrouded by grief and despair, what do the disciples do now?

Shocked…..confused…..frightened…..hopeless…..helpless

Are you familiar with any of these emotions?

Can you imagine what the disciples experienced at Jesus’ death? They had submitted their lives to this man and watched with horror as he submitted to death.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, was it?

When Jesus said he was going away, surely he didn’t mean it would be like this. What happened?

 WAITING in ANGUISH AT THE STONE-SEALED TOMB

When have you experienced these emotions? When has your faith been shaken?

What unimaginable & unbearable situations have rocked your life?

  • Someone you love dies.
  • A car accident takes the life of a teenager.
  • Your spouse is unfaithful.
  • A young woman is raped and murdered.
  • A baby dies.
  • Your job is terminated.
  • A friend betrays you.
  • Destruction: Fire, Tornado, Earthquake, Flooding, Tsunamis, Hurricane
  • Addiction: Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, etc
  • Suicide
  • Divorce
  • An eviction or foreclosure letter arrives in the mail.
  • The diagnosis of life-changing illness such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Autism, Heart Disease, Disability, etc.

When have you walked in the valley of the shadow of death and longed for green pastures?Do you believe God knows your pain? Do you believe that Jesus understands your suffering?  How do you make it through the dark nights in your life? Where is your hope when all hope is gone? Do you believe God’s promise to be with you ALWAYS?

Do you believe your Savior will NEVER fail you? Even when it seems that all hope is gone?

HOLD ON…..There is HOPE!

Jesus is the Light of the World! Light overcomes the deepest darkness!  In Christ we have victory over death!

Spend some time praying about the doubts, despair, questions, tragedies, hardships, suffering you are facing in your life. Where do you place your hope and faith?

Spend a moment reflecting on the symbols of Christ’s crucifixion: the cross, crown of thorns, nails and hammer, the stone sealing the tomb.

Nothing was able to defeat Jesus! Not even death!

Thank God for the HOPE that is yours in Christ! Praise God for the hope and promise we have because our Savior lives!

Light a candle and watch how the light illuminates the room. As the light fills the room, so may our hope. Each moment carries us closer to the ultimate triumph of God. As the light grows, so will our joy.

REJOICE, knowing that you walk in hope!

OUR SAVIOR LIVES! CHRIST IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!

Kathy Schmucker, Spiritual Formation Director, Faith UMC

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About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
This entry was posted in Devotions, Holy Week, Spiritual Formation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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