Holy Saturday Reflection five (and final 1).
This reflection is longer, with two scripture readings.
Jonah 1 – two:10
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 ‘Go to the terrific city of Nineveh and preach against it, since its wickedness has come up just before me.’
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, exactly where he located a ship bound for that port. Following paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
4 Then the Lord sent a terrific wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors had been afraid and every single cried out to his personal god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone under deck, exactly where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and mentioned, ‘How can you sleep? Get up and get in touch with on your god! Possibly he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.’
7 Then the sailors mentioned to every single other, ‘Come, let us cast lots to obtain out who is accountable for this calamity.’ They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 So they asked him, ‘Tell us, who is accountable for producing all this difficulty for us? What type of function do you do? Exactly where do you come from? What is your nation? From what folks are you?’
9 He answered, ‘I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who produced the sea and the dry land.’
10 This terrified them and they asked, ‘What have you accomplished?’ (They knew he was operating away from the Lord, since he had currently told them so.)
11 The sea was finding rougher and rougher. So they asked him, ‘What should really we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?’
12 ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea,’ he replied, ‘and it will develop into calm. I know that it is my fault that this terrific storm has come upon you.’
13 Rather, the males did their very best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than just before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, ‘Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have accomplished as you pleased.’ 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the males considerably feared the Lord, and they supplied a sacrifice to the Lord and produced vows to him.
17 Now the Lord offered a massive fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights.
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law mentioned to him, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.’
39 He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be provided it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a massive fish, so the Son of Man will be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The males of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now anything higher than Jonah is right here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now anything higher than Solomon is right here.
Once again a sign is asked of Jesus (see prior reflection three). He refuses to give them a further sign apart from these he has currently provided they will only be provided the sign of Jonah.
When we study the story of Jonah, he is in the belly of the whale for 3 days since of his disobedience. He have an understanding of all God was asking of him and … he went the other way. But as we have reflected this week in the course of the church solutions we have attended or our personal private devotions, we have noticed the obedience of Jesus. He have an understanding of what God was asking of him. ”My Father, if it is not probable for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, might your will be accomplished.” (Matthew 26:42). Jesus has come into the heart of the earth, by means of his total obedience to the will of his heavenly Father.
As some of us will get Communion this evening or tomorrow on Easter Sunday. As we take the bread and wine, we keep in mind the obedience of Christ, and we can whisper ‘Thank you for getting obedient to the Father.’
The story of Jonah is probably also effectively identified to us. We have acted it out. It is normally in children’s bibles. We currently identified the punch line. Do not miss the theme that the Lord is entirely in manage of what is taking place. Jonah chooses to go in the opposite finish of the earth – to Spain! – he leaves the promised land. And however the storm is commanded by God, the fish is commanded by God, and later God will command the fish to vomit out Jonah onto the land. When we study and meditate on Holy Saturday, we can have an understanding of that the disciples did not assume God was in manage else how did Jesus develop into crucified. They had forgotten the words of Jesus. And the words of the Old Testament as Jesus reminded some on the Road to Emmaus ”Did not the Christ have to endure these points and then enter his glory? And starting with Moses and all the Prophets he explained to them…” (Luke 24:26-27). As we take bread and wine tonight or tomorrow, it is a reminder of God remaining in manage. As he had controlled the birth of his son – his parents reside in Nazareth and however he is born in Bethlehem, the Lord was functioning his salvation purposes out that his son was to be lifted up, so he may well draw all folks to himself.
As we take the bread and wine, we whisper: ‘Lord you had been generally in manage and have worked out your plans. Hallelujah!’
And when Jonah is sucked up in that belly of that terrific fish, we know he will come out. And however, we only want to watch any quantity of Hollywood motion pictures or Blue / Frozen Planet documentaries to know when a terrific fish gets you, you are not coming out! When death requires you – as Mary, Salome, Peter, John, Nicodemus, Joseph, all reflected on that day – you are not coming back. Yes, on the Day of the Lord, the dead would be raised, but no 1 is raised midway by means of to that time. In a culture exactly where death was frequent – by means of illness, accident, or violence – death did have the final say.
But. That was, the final day, when death had the final say for them.
24 hours later, their view of points had changed. They could say, as Paul would later create: ”Death has been swallowed up in victory. Exactly where O death is your victory. Exactly where o death is your sting?” But thanks be to God he offers us the victory by means of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we take the bread and wine, we whisper, ‘Death has lost its victory.’
And Jonah is vomited out. And so Jesus would be released from the heart of the earth.The release of Jonah, the release of Jesus. And, as Jesus goes onto say, Nineveh responded to the words of a renewed – but probably smelly – Jonah. Would folks respond to Jesus words? On Holy Saturday we can not consider the believed processes that had been going on in residences and in discussions. If all this had occurred, could something Jesus have mentioned and taught be accurate or relied upon? Was he deluded immediately after all?
And that we can relate to. The disasters – perhaps little to other individuals but massive to us – that might crash in, in spite of our very best efforts. The sins that are inflicted upon us, although we seek faithfully to comply with God. Does it get into our faith and erode it? Is this a day, an evening, to acknowledge when God does not look to act in a way we count on or want? Do we start to drop self-confidence in other elements of faith or other teachings? Is that the method? We have the occasion, and the time inbetween, and the point we come to new or deeper faith. As Pete Grieg – 1 of the founders of the 24-7 movement wrote on this Holy Saturday ”Welcome to Holy Saturday, the day most of us reside most of our lives – someplace among ‘Dear God’ and ‘Amen’”
As we method probably our initial Easter Communion, we notice the effect of the resurrection on these initial followers. As its truth settles inside the disciples, when the Sign of Jonah has been provided, their faith is strengthened, deepened and they know Jesus words to be accurate. They reside their lives for their lord, prepared to give it all, to go anyplace, and even to endure and be persecuted for the trigger of Christ.
We take the bread and wine, whispering, Lord your words are trustworthy and accurate and I will reside for you.
Pause to take into account
What will we be praying when we get bread and wine at our Easter Communion?
Pray – for oneself
Take some moments praying into the point above which has most which means on this day. Manage? Obedience? Death? Trust?
Witness – hunting outward
How can we be a sign that Jesus is accurate and worthy of following? What can we pray, speak out about, give, do, proclaim?
Prayer for the late evening
Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the planet:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we might triumph in the energy of his victory by means of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 1 God, now and for ever. Amen.
Holy Saturday, but the sunrise approaches…