April 23, Holy Saturday
April 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.
-Hebrews 11.39, 40-
Now the author of Hebrews finally gets to the point that he’s been leading up to all along: the story of Israel’s great acts of faith, their successes and sufferings, all that they hoped and lived for – the story is not complete without us.
The author has hinted at this fact throughout the passage by highlighting the future expectations of the patriarchs and alluding to the original audience’s current situation. However, he explicitly makes his point here. The complete fulfillment of God’s promises – the redemption and healing of creation – has not taken place yet. All the people mentioned earlier in the passage anticipated this, and lived in accordance with that expectation.
Now, we are part of their story, and they are part of ours. We, as followers of Christ and agents of redemption in the present, continue the story that they begun as we also live in faith with the expectation that God will complete the story. We understand that this may not happen in our lifetimes, but we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before; we live lives that enable those who come after us to stand on our shoulders.
This is a powerful testimony to God’s nature. God has chosen to use us, his people, to help in the fulfillment of his promise. We, God’s redeemed creation, are being used by him to redeem the rest of the world. We are a part of his plan, of his promises.
Today is Holy Saturday, the day when Christ lay in the tomb before his resurrection on Easter. As we wait for the celebration of Easter, we may engage a special time of reflection upon Christ’s suffering and coming resurrection. How were we present at the cross and his crucifixion? How are we awaiting his resurrection?
As we journey through Lent together, may we rest in anticipation of resurrection.
“Dear Lord, thank you for your Son and his sacrifice. As I wait in anticipation of his resurrection, I ask that you will help me understand what it means to be part of your plans for redemption. Show me the things in my life that are not of you; please cleanse me of them. Amen.”