April 19—Isaiah 57:19—Bob Keefer
“Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them.”
Tomorrow is Easter; today is Holy Saturday. Holy Saturday is a special day of rest, for it is the day that Jesus rested in the tomb from all his burdens. For the disciples who lived through that first weekend of the Crucifixion, this was a day of grief and fear: grief for the death of their Teacher, fear of the authorities who had put him to death.
Ever since that first year, though, Holy Saturday has been a day of hope. Good Friday represents the real griefs, agonies, and losses that are displayed on the Cross of Jesus. You know those experiences; you can make your own list of griefs, agonies, and losses. Today we rest in the hope of Resurrection, the hope that grief can be turned to gain; that agony can lead to assurance; and that loss will become life.
In the middle of reminding the people of all they had suffered - which many said they had brought on themselves, but that’s beside the point - the Prophet strung this gem: “Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them.” The Prophet gave them hope for peace, because the Lord would heal them and not leave them in their grief, agony, and loss.