Jesus is dead.
No, not really. But a little over 2000 years ago, that is what all of Jerusalem thought. That is what His enemies thought. That’s what His followers thought. No doubt, they were gripped with grief. The world for His followers came crashing down. Too distraught to stay, many headed home, all the while shaking their heads wondering what went wrong. Jesus is dead.
Two thousand years later, we know what happened. One day entombed; two days later, empty tomb.
Yet we do the same thing those early followers did.
When we don’t feel God’s presence in a real way, when we don’t get the goosebumps, when things aren’t going well, we echo Jesus’ words, “My God, why have you forsaken me?!?” When we pray and pray and pray, and yet see no breakthrough or no movement whatsoever, we think God is not there and lose hope so easily. We shake our head and wonder what went wrong.
There’s a friend of mine, who, when he came to know the Lord, used to pray for his wife to come to know Jesus, too. He attended the same Sunday school class as me, and for many years, attended the same Wednesday night Bible study. The entire class would pray for his wife. We did this for weeks. We did this for months. We did this for years. Literally.
His waking hours were consumed with praying for his wife. But nothing happened. In fact, in many ways, things got worse. Life got tougher. There was an illness. There was a lost job. There was the tragic loss of a daughter. Yet he remained faithful in prayer. And God was faithful, too.
Today, this man and wife attend church together. She is the one who brings him to church.
I praise God for his wooing grace. It’s the kind of grace that you don’t easily see. It’s the kind of grace that works behind the scenes.
I heard James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, once say, “Even when nothing’s happening, something’s happening.” You can count on it. God is always working.
Even behind a sealed tomb on a Saturday.