I clearly remember the day. We drove down the street in our mini van on the way home from school. I looked out the window as we turned right onto main street. As we drove, I heard sirens, a lot of sirens. The number of sirens I heard caught my attention, something serious must have happened. I moved through the evening forgetting about the sirens. I went to softball practice and when I arrived home, my dad told me the reason for the sirens. The police cars and ambulances we heard were on the way to my best friend’s house. Few people knew, but domestic violence ruled over her home. The situation escalated and ended as tragically as it could. My friend’s father showed up at her house with a gun, shot, and murdered his wife. The grave won on that day.
We learned more details as the days went by. My friend’s mom attempted to get out of her abusive relationship for good by filing for divorce. When her husband learned about the divorce he went over to the home they had shared and shot his wife. His younger than five year old son was in the house as his mom’s life was taken. Unexpected tragedy like this did not typically happen in our town, everyone was shook.
Much like the people in my home town felt after during this tragedy, the disciples likely felt devastated after Jesus’ murder. Though Jesus told them of his murder beforehand, they did not understand. Maybe it felt confusing to them. Shock, grief, fear and sadness likely ruled over their hearts. Jesus promised on the third day after his death he would come back to life, but for the time being Jesus was not there. Because he had died, they were left alone.
Before Day Three
Many times we feel stuck between the grave and day three. The darkness of the world overcomes us. Just like the disciples before Jesus rose from the grave, we feel left alone. In a sense, we exist between the grave and day three. Jesus did rise again and overcome death, but he has not yet made everything fully alive. Until his return to earth again we wait for death to be completely undone. We wait for day three.
When Jesus died he left the disciples alone. Since the time of his death however, Jesus has given his presence to us through the Holy Spirit. Though the disciples waited alone without Jesus, we wait for his return with his presence. Because of Jesus’ enduring love, we are not left alone.
Death Enduring Love
In the book of John, the night of Jesus’ death begins in chapter 13. Verse one reads, “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave the world and go the the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” Jesus loved his own until the end. Jesus’ love endured all the way to the cross; Jesus’ love for us endured death.
There is nothing that God’s love cannot endure. Jesus’ love endured through death, now we know it will never leave us. No matter what happens between the grave and day three, God’s love is always there. His love remains constant. No matter what you go through it will not leave you. When tragedy strikes his love is there, when you are weary his love is there. Even when you’ve made innumerable mistakes, and you can’t believe he would still call you his own, his love is there. Because of Jesus’ enduring love, we are not left alone.
His Constant Presence
In John chapter 15 some of the words Jesus spoke to his disciples before his death are recorded. In John 15:26-27 Jesus says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Since the time of this promise, the Holy Spirit has come to us and remains with us to this day. Something that is important that we often miss is that the Spirit came in Jesus’ name. Why is this significant? When Jesus lived on earth he revealed that he and the Father were the same. Through his works during his time on earth, he proved his divinity. Jesus is God. Because Jesus is God, his name represents God’s power to overcome the grave. Through Jesus’ Spirit, we have access to God’s power.
Jesus says the Spirit is an advocate who will teach us, tell us truth, and bring us peace. The Spirit is always with us. In our days after the grave, before day three, he is there. His Spirit sustains us. The Holy Spirit is always with us and fights for us. Through Jesus’ name, we have power. Live in his peace, do not be troubled. The Spirit of God sustains you as you wait for day three. Because of Jesus’ enduring love, we are not left alone.
As We Wait
Jesus says, in this world there will be troubles but take heart, he has overcome the world. I encourage you all to take heart. Our God promises that he is always with us. God keeps his promises. God does what he says he will do. If you feel like you are living in the days between the grave and day three, remember that Jesus’ love for us endured death. Hold onto hope because the Father and Son are present with us through the Spirit. Because of Jesus’ enduring love, we are not left alone.