The soldiers, the men who had laughed at Him, mocked Him, spat on Him, beaten Him, what did they feel as they watched Him die? Was there something deep inside them that told them He was Who He said He was? Did they somehow hope that what He said was true, and that He would save Himself? When the sky blackened and the earth shook, did they finally believe in Him then? Were they disappointed when He breathed His last? If they had any stirring of belief in Him at all, did it die when He did? Did any of them think that maybe, just maybe, this Jesus really would rise again, like He said?
The disciples, His friends and followers, the men who had worked closely with Him, and who had left all to follow Him; was any hope left in their hearts? That time between Jesus' death and resurrection must certainly have been the darkest hours they had known. Fear, defeat, dashed hopes, shattered faith and mental anguish must have weighed heavily on them all.
And Mary.... He was her Son! How much she had already suffered for Him. Now her heart was crushed and, I believe, even her faith must have been tested.
The One in Whom they had trusted and the One for Whom they had left everything was now lying dead in a cold, dark tomb and they had no idea what their future held.
But He had promised that He would arise from the dead, and even though every law of science said it wasn't possible, even though it was absolutely impossible, He kept His promise. Just like He always does. Because nothing is impossible with Him.
Everything was changed in that moment. Hopelessness was changed to happiness, despair was overtaken with joy, and fear was lost in a boldness they had never sensed before. I would imagine that things changed for some of those soldiers, too. The Resurrection changed everything.
I think, maybe, that I can relate in a very small measure to the emotions that were felt before that first Easter morning, the feelings of hopelessness, betrayal, loss, and confusion. I've felt that way many times. I've questioned Him, doubted Him, and begged Him to tell me why. I've wondered where He was, and why He had left me. But over and over, morning has come, and I've seen once again that He never left me; that He kept His promises to me.
Are things dark for you right now? Can you sympathize with the disciples, with Mary, or even with the soldiers? Do you feel like you're somewhere between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday? He still keeps His promises! Your mourning can turn to joy! Your hope can be restored! You, too, can have your doubts erased! If you feel a stirring of faith inside, nurture it and let it grow! Believe in Him!
It may sound cliched, but it's true. Hold on! Don't lose hope! Your morning is coming! Have faith, even if it's only mustard-seed faith. (Matthew 17:20)
This Easter, remember what He suffered for you, remember what He promised, and remember how He has kept, and will always keep, His promises!
This song has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl and captures the feelings of that first Easter better than any I've ever heard. I hope it encourages you and inspires you to wait, in hope, for morning, whether it's the end of some dark night of suffering or that eternal morning for which we all wait!