Yesterday they crucified him. Then before sundown put him in a tomb that a compassionate soul had provide for him. The cold tomb was sealed by a large stone and guards were set around it to prevent “false claims” being made. The disciples, discouraged and at a loss about what had just happened went into hiding, fearing for their own lives. If the crowd could turn on Jesus so quickly and the Jewish leaders could succeed in having him crucified, what chance did they have? They had heard earlier that Judas had despaired and hung himself.
On the surface everything is a mess for those who loved Jesus and time of celebration for those who wanted him out of the way. The conversation in the homes and gatherings of those who had opposed him probably centered around self-congratulatory proclamations. The trouble maker was disposed of and the Romans did it for them. Their hands were relatively clean.
Tomorrow they could look forward to a new day. They would not have to deal with this malcontent any longer. His followers, if they still existed, would be no trouble now that he was out of the way. The odd storm yesterday afternoon had washed away the blood and anything pointing back to the troublesome events. The only reminder that anything out of the ordinary had happened was the tear in the Temple Veil. That would take some time to repair and no one could explain how it happened.
But, behind the stone and in the uncounted moments in places where the passage of time is inconsequential, momentous events were occurring. Souls held captive since the days of Adam were being released, forming a great parade out of the depths.
In front of the tomb, however, it was quiet, boring even. The soldiers felt this wasted duty. Who would want to steal a body, especially one that had been scoured and crucified? Out came the dice and they began gambling to pass the time.
Yet, while outside these moments passed without any disturbance, in the depths of eternity a great tide was growing, the redeemed were on the march toward the gates of heaven. What a sight that must have been, yet in the here and now, there were soldiers gambling out of boredom in the afternoon heat and they missed it all.
We miss much of what God is doing. A few, a selected few might see an outline of his plan and the actions he uses to bring it to pass. But most of it goes on unnoticed. Rarely do God’s actions literally break into our normal view.
This Saturday in Palestine was no different, clueless men and God working.
I pray that from time to time God will gives us the grace to see what he is doing, in our lives, as well as others.