Saturday, April 23, 2011
~ "Sitting Shiva..."
And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. (John 19:38)
He was placed in a borrowed grave. He was wrapped in accordance with Jewish tradition. Their mourning had begun. I don't even want to think of what when through their minds. Their teacher had been crucified, were they next??? Would the Romans trump up some charges on them and condemn them as well??? They sat in fear and waited.
"Sitting Shiva" is generally a week long mourning period for the Jews. Most all regular activity is interrupted and the family "sits" and mourns. It is their custom. It generally takes place in the home of the family of the dead loved one. Jesus had no home. He had no material possessions other than the clothes on his back and the sandals on his feet (and "lots were cast" for them by the Roman soldiers).
I can picture Mary, holding on to the belief in what her Son taught. I can see her remembering the words of Simeon as he had told her when Jesus was circumcised that "a sword shall pierce your heart". I can see her remembering that day when she greeted Elisabeth and witnessing the hand of God in the child she was to deliver, who would "prepare the way" for her own child. How do you let that go?
Although Jesus had told them He would rise from the dead, they would not completely grasp the miracle until Sunday morning. Their time of waiting would be agonizing. Did they give up hope that He would accomplish what He had said???
We, all too often, expect that our prayers will be answered immediately (or within a hours, maybe a few days). So many events need to transpire in our own lives sometimes before our prayer can be realized. We may be ready to receive our blessings but we are told we must wait. God's timing is always perfect, just as it was in this situation. Having faith is sometimes very hard. We want so much to believe that God will answer us and deliver us. We can watch the towers come crashing to the ground around us and we see the hand of God so plainly that if we were to tell others they would either laugh at us or have us committed to an asylum somewhere.
Have the courage to have the faith God asks you to have. Have the faith that He will give you the courage that you need. In all things, remember that Jesus did rise and lives waiting for you to make a commitment to Him ~ do it today!!!