April 16,2022

In today’s 5-minute study we consider how resting can help strengthen us after loss
Key Verse:
It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. (Matthew 23:54-56, ESV)

The Power of Observation:
Don’t jump ahead to what you know today about Jesus’ resurrection and presenting himself to others, but for a time stay in the moment with Jesus’ disciples, friends, family who only knew what they had seen and learned: Jesus was dead, he had been crucified and his body had been removed from the cross and lay in a tomb awaiting a proper dressing and burial. Afterward, consider what they must have been experiencing in their heart, mind, and emotions.

It might have been tempting to become busy in their sorrow instead what do you observe the women doing?

The Power of Self-Awareness
If you have experienced the death of a loved one or close friend what emotions and thoughts did you have following?
Did you have a difficult time “resting”, did you run from rest and find ways to stay busy or were you at peace to quiet yourself in the Lord?

The Power of Seeing God at Work in the Passage:
If you’ve experienced the death of a loved one or a close friend then you know some of the most difficult aspects connected with death. Sometimes in the most immediate and depending on how the death occurred there is a lot to process, a lot to take in, a lot to accept and get used to and sometimes a lot to do. Sometimes our mind’s can be going a thousand miles a minute and rest is not easy.
Today is sometimes called Holy Saturday because it is the day following Christ’s crucifixion and the final day of his death. For the early Christians it was a day of deep mourning, emotional pain, feelings of confusion, aloneness, and sorrow. Their feelings were not unlike our own when our loved ones die. Because the emotions of grief are so intense we cannot endure it on our own, like the early believers we need a comforting, understanding support system, we need God’s help to make it through and we may not realize it at the time, but we also to need to rest as much as possible. Rest helps us quiet ourselves, positions us to hear the Lord’s voice, experience his strength to endure. The women in Jesus day might have rested because it was the law of the Sabbath, but we can rest during times of loss knowing it is the place and way we will experience God’s comfort and peace.

The Power of Prayer Following the Death of Those We Love and Care About
Christ we all react differently to loss. Some of us feel a need to stay busy because staying busy helps distract us, gives us something to do when we don’t know what to do. May we accept your command to rest as a sign of your care and knowing what is best for us even when we don’t know. Amen

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