What was Friday night like for the disciples? Was there silence? Silent tears, gentle sobbing, or wailing? Curses and angry outbursts directed at God or hell or other people? How did they respond to the premature punctuation on a life that was meant to change the world and restore the Kingdom to Israel?
Their Leader – their Teacher – their Hero and King – beaten unrecognizable and nailed to a crossbeam. Hanging lifeless, he looked more like a discarded animal carcass than the man He had been.
And how quickly it had all happened! Hardly had he been arrested before they were untangling metal nails from coarse wood and dead flesh, wrapping his blood-crusted corpse in a bundle of linen strips, his mother’s tears the only anointing they had for Him in the rush. Depositing Him in the cool darkness of a stranger’s burial cave, they were rushed away from their mourning by good Jews intent on keeping the Sabbath.
Did they even eat the passover meal together that night?
Did their bodies ache with the agony of their loss? Or were they dull to everything – so overcome by the trauma of the day that they sank speechless onto their mats as darkness fell. Did they curl into the fetal position, trying to cradle the emptiness where hope had once swelled?
As His followers grieved without hope, despair a more tangible reality than His promises made the evening before, where was Jesus? Triumphantly stripping death and hell of its power – revealing Himself to the powers of darkness and loosing dead captives from their grip? Was He directing a repentant thief into Paradise?