This blog was written by Kasey Clark. Kasey is a pastoral intern at New Circle Church.
On this Saturday, you are meant to embrace the suspense. What I mean by that is you are supposed to feel the tension of the death of Jesus, not knowing for sure that He would rise again. I see too often on social media "It's Friday, but Sunday is Coming!" Did the disciples know for sure that Jesus would rise again? Do you think they knew for sure? Do you even think it was a thought in their mind? Do you think Luke knew before his epic battle with Darth Vader that he was indeed fighting his father? Do you think Rocky beforehand knew that Apollo was going to be killed by the Russian, Ivan Drago? And did Rocky know whether he was going to be able to break the incredible strength of Drago or not? Do you think Dom Cobb knew before he began the inception process whether he would be able to escape limbo? In a good mystery novel, do you read the final chapter before reading the rest of the book? No. You allow the drama of the story to percolate your experience within the book.
All too often we ruin the joy of unraveling an unexpected plot twist.
Don't allow your knowledge of the final chapter to cloud the in between. Don't limit this to Jesus' resurrection story, though. Let this be how you read the drama of Scripture.
Read the death of Abel, the son of Eve who made pleasing sacrifices to God, and feel the suspense that he will not be replaced. Read the devastating effects of sin to humanity and feel the suspense that God will destroy the entire race of humanity, saving none, before God looked on Noah with favor. Read and feel the despair that Abraham must have felt as he raised his knife, ready to plunge it into his son. He did not know that a ram would soon be the substitute, so put yourself in his shoes and don't know the end result either. Embrace the suspense.
Read the story of Israel in slavery to Egypt, not knowing if the Pharaoh would ever let them go. I know you know the end of the story, but while reading it, forget the end and embrace the frustration of the Israelites against Moses. Embrace the unsurety of Moses, approaching the Red Sea and not knowing how you are going to pass by it. Read the story of Israel taking over the land of Canaan as though there will be failure against the strength of the inhabitants of the land. Read the story of Israel fighting the Philistines, as though this giant called Goliath would have the last laugh over the people of God. Read and put yourself in the place of Jonah who might have been thinking, "Ok, I was just swallowed by a huge fish. The only way I'm getting out of here is by excretion." Revel in the uncertain.
When coming to the story of the death of Jesus, you were meant to embrace the suspense. This story isn't much different from any of the aforementioned stories. Read, consider, or experience this holiday season with the same suspense of the disciples. Don't ruin the joyous result of finding out the unexpected plot twist. Experience this Saturday with the same suspense that the disciples did. Be in the upper room with the disciples, and feel what they felt: "Did our Messiah really just die?" "I can't believe he died that way." "I can't believe he's gone." "What are we going to do now that he's dead?" "Mary and Martha, will you take care of his body in the morning?"
Embrace the suspense. You were meant to.