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.
Luke 23:55-56 ESV
This was a time of suffering for Jesus followers, and it was also a time of defeat. They thought they had failed. Women who had followed Jesus were ready to tend to his body. They prepared the spices but didn’t have time to get them to the tomb that Friday, so they rested. Jesus’ body was beginning to deteriorate in the tomb, but they still waited. This particular Sabbath day, God had a particular message to his people. That though it looked like his plan had failed, he provided a time immediately following where his people could rest in the mourning and apparent defeat. As their emotions began to rise into action, God had already set a command into motion that called them all to spend a day out of striving, and in restful communion.
God doesn’t need me or anyone else to vindicate him to the world. He doesn’t need me to make him smell nice when he starts to become a stench to some. God vindicated his own Son when he raised him from the dead, and he will vindicate him again. At times I may be called to rest in defeat but soon I will rest in victory.
Jesus, at times I will deal with those who believe you’re a joke. They will malign you to my face and yours, and have no shadow of doubt in their mind they are in the right for it. I will desperately want to fight back with vengeful intent or diminish certain things about your nature to try an make you smell better to them. Help me rest in those times knowing the promise that though I may rest in momentary defeat, you’re preparing for us an everlasting rest in victory, and you’ll be seen in your true glory before every eye. Give me strength by your Spirit to trust you to make everything right in your perfect timing when I’m ridiculed for your sake.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.