Today, in 33 A.D. would have been a dreadfully dark day. Surely the death of their King, Teacher, and Friend left the disciples devoid of hope. Scripture is plainly silent on the actions of Jesus’ friends, except for the women. Let’s take a look at what they did today:
“Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” (Luke 23:56)
Some 2000 years later, we know that when the women go to anoint Jesus’ body, they find an empty tomb and a risen Christ. And this is cause to celebrate and sing. We often start Holy Week off with shouts of “Hosanna!” and wrap it up to the rise and fall of “Hallelujah” (think Handel’s “Messiah”).
As we prepare our hearts to worship our risen Lord, let’s take a look at what we’re really singing …. and why.
Hallelujah is a Hebrew word that combines ‘hallel‘ and ‘Yah‘.
Hallel is an exuberant, joyous expression of praise.
Yah is from the word YHWH, which is Yahweh or Jehovah.
Put together, Hallelujah means to exude praise to God. (It’s Greek counterpart is ‘Alleluia.’)
So, on this day before Easter when the world is dark and dim, we look to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our hearts are full of praise. Because He is a victor, not a victim, eternal life with God is our hope. And we’ll one day get to sing ‘Hallelujah’ face-to-face with our reigning King as His Bride. Look at John’s vision of heaven in Revelation 19 (emphasis added) for a beautiful example:
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they cried out,
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
For additional reading, check out Where Did Jesus Go on Saturday? on the Resurgence website.
Tomorrow is THE greatest, most powerful day in all of history! I hope you’re as excited and in awe of His Majesty as I am. See you back here tomorrow friends.