April 19, 2014

Hope in the Garden

John 19:38-42

At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden…
—John 19:41


Today is sometimes called Dark Saturday. It’s the day Jesus’ body lay lifeless, breathless, in a dark garden tomb. Today is a strange in-between kind of day. Perhaps our hearts still mourn the stinging reality that Jesus’ death was about our sin and about our wandering away from a loving God.

But perhaps our hearts are also beginning to thrill at the hope of what tomorrow will bring. When you think about it, that’s where we live our lives. We live between what’s been already accomplished for us in Christ, and the hope of what is yet to come.

The truth is that while Jesus’ body lay in the grave, the world still turned, children played, families sat down to eat, and life, for many, went on as usual. The same is probably true for us, even as we take note of this day, this week, in the twenty-first century.

How will you live this day? Likely you will eat and laugh and perhaps enjoy some leisure time. Will you also spend some time in expectant hope? Consider that there, in a garden tomb, lay the hope of the entire world. Give thanks that the One who gave his life, out of love for us, has won the victory over death and hell. Let your heart anticipate tomorrow, a day of wonder. There’s resurrection hope in that garden!

God of wonder, our hearts both grieve and hope. Forgive our ways of wandering from you. Help us, with joy, to celebrate the resurrection hope that is ours through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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