Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 April 2023 John 13:35.

John 13:35.By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.

And then we come to Saturday, our lazy, relaxing day. But today is Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday when our Lord and Saviour was crucified, so there’s a pall of sadness and silence hanging over the land after the tumultuous affairs of the previous day. The disciples are scattered and in hiding, having fled Jesus’ side, through fear of what might happen to them if caught by the authorities. The women less fearful than the men, have bought spices to go and anoint Jesus’ body on the next day, Sunday. 

No one knows what will happen next, but all are resting and respecting the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Meanwhile Jesus lies buried in a borrowed tomb. The authorities however are rejoicing as they believe they’ve rid themselves of the instigator once and for all. Yet there is an air of expectancy in a few hearts that can’t believe that the whole movement surrounding Jesus would simply disband and die because of His unforeseen and unexpected death. All though were waiting with bated breath to see what would happen after the Sabbath ended. 

That was then…in Jesus’ day, but now, in our time, we know and behave differently. For modern day Christians, Holy Saturday is a significant day in the Christian faith, commemorating the time when Jesus lay buried in the tomb. It is a day of mourning and reflection, as we contemplate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death and burial. It is a time for introspection and self-examination, as well as a time to remember the suffering of others. In some traditions, Holy Saturday is also associated with the descent of Jesus Christ into hell. 

And after sunset we have what we call the Easter Vigil, as we prepare for Jesus’ resurrection. Yes, along with the sadness on Jesus’ horrific demise, there is also a confident air of waiting for something good to happen… for the triumphant resurrection of Christ! It is also a time of hope, as Christians remember that death has been defeated and that new life is possible through faith in Jesus Christ. 

On His resurrection, Jesus fulfilled the promise of eternal life that He spoke to Martha, the sister of Lazarus before He raised him from the dead. ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet he shall live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?’ (John 11:25:-27) 

Now that’s a very good question, and one I believe that each of us should take a moment to seriously consider on this Holy Saturday, the day before we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. And hopefully, we will all come up with an answer like Martha’s. ‘She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:27) And if we made an answer that agreed with Martha’s, then let’s hope we’re not only paying lip service, like so many are doing, but are truly engaged in living for Christ, reading and meditating on His Word, then living a life that is in concert with it and pleasing to Him. 

Oh my people, in this overly talkative society of ours, words are cheap, but actions and true intentions are expensive and thus few and far between. And with the evil, the selfishness and ungodliness that currently permeates it, we believers in Christ need to be very strong and steadfast in living for Him. It’s imperative that we maintain His desires, for instance when He says: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith should it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden under foot of men. 

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp) and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand): and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:13-16) Right there we have two important duties my people; to be flavourful and bright as we go about our earthly life, and we need to do them diligently because we are the only replica or likeness to Christ that many people will ever see. 

And that’s not all that Jesus desires of us, my faithful brethren. Listen to this requirement, as He tells the disciples and all His followers down through the ages. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Yuh see that friends, one of the easiest ways to know Jesus’ disciples is if they have LOVE for each other. 

Unfortunately though, I don’t believe that attribute is as widespread in the church as it ought to be. In the first place, we have so many different denominations, cliques and groups, all pertaining to be disciples of Christ, but are constantly in disagreement and disunity with each other, and over many selfish and petty things too. Now, if Christ’s supposed people can’t agree, and we show each other so much resentment and disdain, how in heaven’s name do we expect the unbeliever to believe in Christ and want to become a member of His church? It just won’t happen. 

And that’s what’s killing a lot of our testimony and witness; people are seeing the many cracks and holes in our Christian façade and are turning away from Christ instead of coming to Him. So, on this Holy Saturday, as we contemplate Christ’s death and resurrection, let’s also consider seriously mending the fences in His church nuh, because we’ll always be less than we ought to, until we do so. It should be our Easter promise to work on having a more unified body, one that the heathen can look at and truly see the salt, light and LOVE of Christ in it, and desire to become a part of it. Then, and only then, will we be fulfilling our Christian duties! Much LOVE!

…Christ walked His talk when He died for us…we ought to do the same…by sincerely living for Him…

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