Have you ever been lost? It is actually quite hard to do these days, what with GPS so readily available on our phones and in our cars.
If you have ever been lost then you know that it can be a very difficult and unsettling thing. In light of all that we are facing in these present days, it may feel like we are lost. Maybe a better way to say it is that it feels like the road has disappeared from before us. If we know anything to be true today, it is that “we certainly aren’t in Kansas anymore,” to quote a great movie line. Life definitely looks and feels much different now. It seems so much more fragile and tender.
Of course, life has always been a blessed yet fragile thing. But in light of COVID-19 it does feel even more tenuous, with so much sickness, anxiety and the fear of the unknown swirling around every corner. These are hard days. I imagine it must have felt like that to those first disciples of Jesus, especially on Holy Saturday.
On the day after his death on the cross, and before his resurrection, his disciples must have been aware of the fragility of life. With Jesus buried in a tomb, the disciples must have felt like they had lost their way. It would seem we share this in common with them. Yet what we know to be true is that our lives are not outside of God’s great care for us, or his plans for our well being. So let us focus on this Holy Saturday, not on this earthy life, fraught as it is with pitfalls, roadblocks and the wrecks of time. Instead, let’s focus on something positive, like God’s care for his children and the eternal life that Jesus Christ came to provide for us.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus defines eternal life as this: “that they know God the Father, and that they know Jesus the Son.” To those who know and believe in the Father and Son, the gift of eternal life is promised. Jesus says this is so. He goes a step further to assure us that it cannot be lost; that it can’t be taken away from us. He tells us that “all whom the father has given the son, the son will not lose.” What a great truth for us to hold onto this Saturday, tucked as it is between the cross and the resurrection; between death and new life. No matter what is lost in this human life, even if our earthly lives are lost, Jesus never loses us. And nothing can steal us away, not even a pandemic. Instead, all who have believed in him are given the great assurance of life; the life eternal.
So we are not lost on this Holy Saturday, but we are also not home yet either. Until we are, let us pray and live as a people who are grateful for the gift of a risen savior, for he is the very essence of God’s incredible love for us.