They ceased their work on the Sabbath so they could rest as the Hebrew Scriptures required. - Luke 23:56
This line of Scripture always gets me. Picture the scene, Jesus tortured and dead, all those with Him had either denied Him or run away, and the women so precious to Him were preparing the herbs and spices for a proper burial. I wonder sometimes the thought process they all went through. If I had been alive when Jesus was around, if I was one of His disciples and friends then, and I had just seen Him be killed so brutally, I'm not sure I would have believed it yet. I think I would be in a state of shock, awe, disbelief and intense grief. So I think what amazes me about this is 3 things.
1. They rested. They just stopped, took a break from their work, and took a day to just be. Maybe we'd all be a lot healthier if we did the same. If when facing the storms of life, we took a few minutes to rest, to process what is happening. God can do a lot in just a few minutes of rest, He can change a mindset, He can heal a heart, He can renew and refresh, He can change a life...
2. God's Timing is perfect. Jesus died on Friday, and Saturday was the Sabbath. If Jesus had died any earlier, maybe they would have buried Him before the Saturday, and therefore totally missed seeing the stone rolled away. Because the law required they rest on Saturday, all they had was Friday night, when Joseph laid the body to rest, and then, though these women were preparing burial spices and longed to look after Jesus' body, they had to stop. They could not keep working without breaking the law. So thank God for His perfect Timing. He is never late and never early. He always works things out exactly where they need to be.
3. Though there is nothing in Scripture to support this, therefore making it just my opinion, I wonder sometimes if some of Jesus' followers knew, or at least suspected He was going to rise again. Maybe they didn't consider the resurrection, but maybe they knew something was up. Maybe they wondered if He was about to do something crazy. One part of me thinks, no way, they'd just seen Him absolutely brutally murdered, and after seeing that, how could anyone think He'd be raised to life again. BUT, these were the people who had seen Jesus raise someone from the dead. They'd seen Him walk on water, calm a raging storm, heal a leper, forgive a woman condemned to death, turn water to wine and on and on and on. He had done so many miracles, and many of His words before and during His death spoke of Hope and Life, and something about to happen. I think if I was them, during that rest day I might have started to wonder... but then again, who knows...? The point of this thought is this: When it all seems dead, when life is broken and bones are dry and dreams look hopeless, don't give up. Remember the miracles He has done in your life. Remember the Cross. Remember the Resurrection. Remember that nothing is impossible for Him. Know that His Timing is perfect. Rest in His Grace, in His Peace, in His Presence.
Have a restful day friends!