home > Pastor’s Desk > 2024 > 30th March > THE NOTHING OF EASTER SATURDAY

‘Nothing’ is often something. How many times has God been accused of “doing nothing”? Even Christ’s disciples seemed to accuse Jesus of this when He was asleep in the boat in the midst of ferocious storm. But what appears to us to be ‘nothing’ may actually be the very thing that needs to be happening. The late Eugene Peterson tells in his book, The Contemplative Pastor, when he was invited to a basketball game to watch the Chicago Bulls  – in particular, to watch Michael Jordan. Pastor Peterson’s host had been raving about Jordan and how he could do what no other player had thought possible. But when they went to the game the pastor saw Michael just standing there doing nothing. What’s the big deal? he thought. “I could do that – and I don’t even play basketball!” Then suddenly the ball came down the end of the court where Jordan was and in a flash MJ sprung into action with a slam dunk. Peterson later reflected, I want to do nothing just like Michael Jordan does nothing! 

I think we live in a world were “busy” is a badge of honour. “Been busy?” “Yeah, flat-out!” we reply. I suspect that we think far too little about nothing. (Try answering that same question with, “No, I’ve been doing nothing lately” and notice the puzzled look that comes over the questioner.) Time was when nothing to do was the seed-bed for children’s imaginative play-time. Time was when there’s nothing I can do about it now opened up a world of creative innovation. Time was when several hundred stranded Allied soldiers on the beaches of Dunkirk faced the prospect that there was nothing the British government could do to rescue them from certain annihilation but King George VI persuaded the reluctant Prime Minister Winston Churchill to call the entire nation to a day of prayer because nothing was impossible for God.

Gardeners are busy in spring. Flowers bloom. Trees bud. Vegetables grow. But winter is a different story for gardeners. It’s as if nothing happens in a garden during winter. If you ever should try to tell an experienced gardener that, they will think you’re joking. They know that while it appears that nothing is happening in their gardens in winter, beneath the surface of the soil there is a hive of activity taking place. All of this ‘invisible’ activity is the very thing needed for the spring harvests and flower shows! Many of life’s most precious moments are also invisible which gives the impression to some that nothing is happening. Some of these precious moments are when a childless couple who have longed for a baby and must endure a season of nothingness. Even the initial stages of their long-awaited eventual pregnancy can go unnoticed – as if nothing was happening. But there was a day when it seemed to everybody that nothing had happened. But everybody was wrong.

On the first Good Friday, in the wee hours of the morning, Christ was tried, condemned, crucified, executed, and buried in a hewn tomb. Despite the next day – now known as Easter Saturday – the first “Easter Saturday” originally seemed to all to be a day of dashed hopes, gutted dreams, and terrifying consequences. It was a day when it appeared that nothing happened. Yet, while Christ’s body lay shrouded in that garden tomb, Christ was travelling through two other dimensions: hades and heaven. In Hades the Apostle Peter tells us that the Lord Jesus preached to those traitorous, fallen, former-heavenly superbeings (1Cor. 3:9). Then, in heaven, Christ entered into the real Holy of Holies and presented His blood to the Father as the redemption payment for our sins (Heb. 9:24). After this ‘nothing’ Saturday, the Holy Spirit brought the soul of Christ back into His battered and crucified body – now riddled with rigor mortis. The Holy Spirit then re-filled Christ and began the task of restoring, repairing, and re-energising Christ – and then refilling His cardiovascular system with fresh blood. His heart began to pump this new blood. His parasympathetic nervous system drew the oxygen of this blood and began to fill His previously pierced lungs with air. Bio-electricity began to re-ignite the neurological system in His cranial lobes allowing His brain to engage His hearing, His eyesight, His olfactory system, and His nervous system. As this was happening angels came to roll the two-tonne rock away from the entrance of the hewn tomb and delivered fresh clothes for their Lord and Captain. In the early hours of the first Easter Sunday morning these angels stood to attention beside the quickening body of Christ as He eventually lifted His arms and removed His face cloth. As Christ sat up on His stone bed and folded His face cloth and grave clothes.

And the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.
John 20:7

I hope you can now see why the First Easter Saturday was not a nothing day! I hope you also might come to see that in those moments when it seems that God is doing nothing in response to your prayers, there is a very good chance that you are wrong. And when you come to realise this, I hope it causes you to realise that the way you take your seat now in “heavenly places” is by praying with confidence for Christ to be glorified in our community through everyone coming to repentance and surrendering love for Christ as their Saviour.

Happy Easter.  

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 22

The Bible is an amazing book. As we look through the book of Psalms we can so unbelievably clearly see God at work. And also most poignantly, this Psalm – Psalm 22 – prophetically points to, and closely mirrors Jesus and the events of the cross mentioned in the New Testament. This Psalm is well over 1000 years prior to Jesus.There are some well known passages of Scripture that stand out as being prophetic promises of the Messiah. These prophetic words show us that God is Omniscient; He knows everything. The first Messianic prophecy shows that the seed of the woman would eventually defeat the devil.

THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARS

home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > April 12th > THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARSThe distance between the spiritual dimension and our earthly-material dimension is a lot thinner than most people realise! This means that there is a direct...

KNOWING GOD THROUGH THE PSALMS

So many thriller movies are just funny. Of course they are not meant to be and many people would find them more like nightmare material. The producers would be horrified to see me giggling at some of their ‘scary’ bits, but it’s just the way I’m wired. I see more of the special effects than the story line and I see the absurdity of the scenes that lack the necessary rules of consistency instead of the fear factor they hope. I once watched a movie where the victim lay dead bleeding from the mouth but the make-up blood had not dripped to the ground with gravity, but rather, accidentally dripped up. The whole movie just became hilarious from that point on.

HE WAS A KIND AND CHARITABLE MAN

home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > March 22ndr > He was a kind and charitable man.WHO WAS KENNETH TYNAN? You’ve probably never heard of Kenneth Tynan. I hadn’t. I was introduced to him while conducting some research for my current PhD program on C.S. Lewis. In...

FROM LITTLE THINGS

The first time I heard the song “From Little Things, Big Things Grow” was in early 2008. I was trying to get my head around superannuation funds. I never knew of its writers – Paul Kelly and Carmody. Neither did I know it was originally a protest song. In my opinion, the original lyrics and melody bears no semblance to what we may consider protest today. Many will agree with me that it is now synonymous with Industry Super Funds. But its principles remain true in nearly every aspect of life.

ADVICE WORTH MORE THAN GOLD OR A MOUNTAIN OF CASH ABOUT HOW TO USE REJECTION TO BECOME AN EVEN BETTER, WISER, STRONGER YOU!

For several reasons I am qualified to help people deal with acute and chronic pain. Some acute and chronic pain can be resolved medically. Some pains can go a long way to being resolved with the help of a psychologist. Some pains can be resolved with a hug from mum. But there is a pain that a doctor cannot cure, a psychologist cannot counsel, a mother’s hug cannot alleviate. It is a pain that goes deep – beyond the defences of our integumentary system, our neurological system (including our para-sympathetic nervous system), our muscular system, our skeletal system, our lymphatic system, our renal system, gastro-intestinal system, our respiratory system, our cardio-vascular system, our hormonal system, and our half-share of a reproductive system. It is a pain that wounds: our memory, our sense of self, our estimation of our worth, our confidence, and our ability to connect meaningfully with others (our ability to love and be loved). It is the pain of rejection. It not only effects who we are (our identity) but it also leaches symptomatically into each of these ten-and-a-half biological systems which every human being possesses. I am going to offer all those who have experienced the pain of rejection how they can be healed from its wound, and actually become stronger, wiser, more confident, as a result.

THE MYTHICAL PATHWAY TO HAPPINESS

I’ve accidentally found myself enrolled in a Ph.D. program. I kind of blame Associate Professor Stuart Piggin for this. A few years ago I was having some serious discussions with him about doing a Ph.D. in Historical Theology at Macquarie University focusing on the contribution of Dr. F.W. Boreham. But I found myself unable at that time to proceed. In my discussions with him about my health prognosis and what I wanted to be able to do in the remaining time that I have left, he suggested focusing instead on Philosophical-Theology and enquiring with Monash University. I took his sage advice and did as he said. This week, I formally commenced with Monash as a part-time extension (distance) student. The result is that after my first zoom meeting with my supervisor I am now having to delve into an arena that requires me to be able to convince a critical secular audience that my proposal about the Bible’s truth claims are reasonable. Oddly, in order to do this, I have to explain in some depth what C.S. Lewis meant by the word, myth. And to do this I have to draw even deeper on the writings of a now dead French philosopher who is regarded as the greatest exponent of what a myth is! Therefore, I am going to tell you something quite shocking. It might be advisable for you to go and get a strong cup of tea, then return to this screen, and read on while sipping your tea, to absorb some of what I am going to tell you. 

Follow Me AS I FOLLOW JESUS

We all walk a path in life that is set before us. We start with very little experience and knowledge about the purpose of our life and the world beyond us. All of humanity experiences joy, wisdom, strength, weakness, suffering and hardship, especially those who are “contending for the faith”. Knowing Jesus is a very special part of this life journey.

A CERTAIN GOD

We can be reasonably certain about many things. In fact, without this certainty about life, none of us could function. We can be certain that tonight the sun will ‘set’. Tomorrow the sun will ‘rise’. After the February 28th it will be February 29th. This year there will be international unrest and much political instability in many parts of the world. In the coming months global warming will be identified by politicians as the source of floods and wildfires. Several high profile international celebrities will die this year. Archaeologists will make a discovery that will require some aspects of history to be rewritten. And you will certainly have one of the most memorable moments in your life in the coming days. You see, there are clearly some things we can be quite certain about. However, there are some aspects about our future that we cannot be certain about, yet in those moments we can be certain about what we should do.

LOW COST LIVING

Turn on any TV or radio news lately and there’s bound to be a story about the current “cost of living crisis”. We all feel it. Initially most people accepted the widespread price-rises were caused by 2020-21 pandemic lockdowns. But whatever the reasons for the rapid price hikes over the past two years, every time we go to the supermarket we feel it again. While governments are striving to curb the impact of this cost of living crisis, there remains a way to enjoy low cost living. The key to this is recognising that the most valuable things in life are literally priceless. The path to enjoying low-cost living is to be found in Christ, and what He taught — and it begins with treasure.