Silence

IMG_1509And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Matthew 27:59-60

Holy Saturday, the day after we remember the crucifixion of Jesus the church remains silent. There is no business to conduct. There is no proclamation other than “Jesus died.” Silence is perhaps the only way we can respond to such news. What is there to say? The one whom all of our hope was placed is himself placed in a tomb. Sealed with a great stone, Jesus’ tomb causes us to wonder if our fate too is sealed.

The Good Friday worship concludes without benediction; there are no “Good words” for us to offer. It is sin that brought Jesus to earth, sin that led him to the cross and sin that put him to death. Not his sin, but the sin and disobedience of humanity are what killed Jesus, our sin. There are no good words for us to say; we ourselves had a hand in all of this. So once again we are silenced by our shortcoming and must allow God the final word. Only God can speak for a fallen humanity that brought his Son to trial, convicted him and put him to death. In judgment, God’s final word is all that remains, and God’s final word is “life.”

Today, the church should remain silent. In silent reflection upon what Christ endured for our sake, the people of God ought to keep prayerful vigil. Festivities and celebrations can wait one more day. Today is the day for prayer, for just as we have had a hand in the death of Christ; God will hear the prayers of his people. By his hand, Christ is raised.

Almighty and eternal God, in the silence of our hearts we seek your forgiveness and mercy. Grant us the joy of your saving help, rescue us from our sin and restore us through the power of your grace through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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