These are unusual and difficult days in our world. I want to encourage you in the truth. In response to quite a few subscribers asking if I might consider writing more than just Lent or Advent devotionals, after some prayer, I decided to continue writing daily devotionals through Pentecost, which occurs fifty days after Easter and will take us this year to May 31st. So you can expect to continue to receive daily devotionals through the end of May. They will continue to appear in your emails each morning after Easter. You need do nothing. The Lord is sovereign.
Had you or I been one of the believers in Jesus, this day would have been the worst of our lives. We had seen what Jesus had done with our own eyes. We followed him everywhere. We’d seen him raise Lazarus, heal blind people instantly, walk on water and so much more. We heard him say first hand that he was the Son of God. He actually forgave our sin, something only God can do. He said the kingdom of heaven was among us. He rode into Jerusalem as king! Then everything went south and he was killed. I guess we were wrong about him. Talk about being depressed!
But think about it. What were his last words? He said, “It is finished.” What was finished was the work he came to do. If I recall, there was another time when, after the sixth day of the week, God the Father had finished his work of creation and rested on the seventh day, the Sabbath and called it holy. But unlike the other six days of creation, God did not say “it was evening and it was morning” in regard to this seventh day. Why omit those words? Likewise, the Son of God finished his work on the sixth day of the week and rested in the tomb on the holy Sabbath. But Jesus rose on the eighth day ushering in a new era as he paved the way for resurrection for all believers. God did not say “it was evening and it was morning” in regards to his Sabbath rest, because we have yet to enter our final rest. We are still in the sabbath rest awaiting our Eighth Day and future resurrection when Jesus returns to lead all people either to eternal life or to judgment (2 Cor. 5:1-10). As Paul writes in First Corinthians, “Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.” We are currently in that Sabbath, awaiting his return. Then the Sabbath will have an “evening and morning” as we enter eternal life where there is no evening and morning, but one glorious day.
For the early church, this was a solemn day. Then at midnight, they gathered and held an Easter Vigil. There were four parts to this unique service: 1) a Service of Light in which Jesus was celebrated as the Light of the world overcoming darkness; 2) a Service of the Word in which the following passages were read outlining the entire biblical story from Genesis to the resurrection ; 3) a Service of the Water in which new converts were baptized; and 4) a Service of the Bread and Cup in which the Lord’s Supper was celebrated. Read some passages from each of the nine sections. This is a good day for quiet reflection thinking of the Savior’s love for you as you read and for listening to some of the musical suggestions. Make this day a different kind of Saturday in preparation for tomorrow.
Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26
Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13
Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18
Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6
Psalms 42 and 43
Music: “Requiem” John Rutter
“Requiem” W.A. Mozart fantastic performance Arsys Bourgogne
“Messiah” Part II Rivertree Singers & Friends Choral Festival