Friend of Sinners and Sufferers

Devotional by Lauren Lee

Read Matthew 27:62-66

Matthew 27:62-66

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


What’s interesting about this passage is that the Pharisees were so eager to get rid of Jesus, yet they remembered exactly what he said. In fact, they remembered the words of Jesus better than his own disciples. While Peter and John and all the disciples fled, the Pharisees—the very ones who mocked Jesus and contended for his death—remembered that Jesus said he would rise again. And what was their response after remembering these words? They made sure the tomb was guarded. Why? Because they remembered what Jesus said, and maybe—just maybe—a little part of them thought it might be true. They feared the power of God that could raise Jesus from the dead. So they responded.

Now, what about the disciples? The ones whom Jesus called friends and who walked the closest with him. Did they remember? It’s possible that they did, but that they lost faith. Or, it’s possible that they were so hurt, so grief-stricken, in such agonizing pain, in such fear for their own lives, so hopeless, that they forgot. They forgot that God is good on his promises and that he has always been faithful, and he always will be faithful. They forgot that Jesus is their friend. They forgot that even in their suffering, he is there. If only they remembered!

Our response to times of darkness reveals what we remember about the words of God and what we believe about his nature. The disciples responded in fear. And we can’t blame them, right? We know what it’s like to live in times of darkness. We know what it’s like to feel hopeless, like things are never going to get better. And maybe we even know what it’s like to feel God’s silence. If you do, I promise you’re not alone.

Job felt God’s silence in the midst of his immense suffering.

The Israelites sat in silence as they waited in the Babylonian Exile for 70 years.

God was silent for 400 years before an angel appeared to Mary and told her the King was coming.

Even Jesus experienced the silence of the Father right before his death.

On this heavy Saturday 2,000 years ago, the disciples sat in dark silence.

So, I don’t know how long God has been silent in your situation. I don’t know how long you’ve lifted up countless prayers, begging God for an answer. I don’t know how long you’ve suffered, but I do know that you’re not alone. I do know that Jesus is right there with you. I do know that he is a friend in your time of need. You’re not alone because Jesus is a friend of sufferers, He knows what it’s like to suffer. Though He may be silent right now, though darkness seems to have won, though it seems like things are never going to get better, remember who he is. His promise is secure, and you have a friend in Jesus. So, take heart because one thing is certain: Sunday is coming.

What do you need to intentionally remember about who Jesus is? How can this comfort you in times of suffering?

14 thoughts on “Day Seven | Holy Week 2024

  1. Yes, there are many examples of God’s silence throughout history as seen in scripture; and we certainly see it on our own lives (everyone is in this boat). Thanks, Lauren, for this reminder—that we are not alone!
    I am thankful that even in silence, God is AT WORK—in us and everywhere, accomplishing His sovereign will.
    Like God told Job, He doesn’t have to explain Himself all the time. But Jesus reminds us in the parable of the Wicked Judge, that amidst our prayers and seeking, God answers QUICKLY. (Luke 18:8)— God is at work all the time!
    This devotional is an excellent reminder, and it bolsters my faith! “Sunday is coming!”


    We live in the PROMISES of ETERNAL LIFE because of what we CELEBRATE Tomorrow!

    Jesus DEFEATED death, CONQUERED the grave and WALKED out of the tomb!!
    ————————-HE LIVES———————-🙏🏾

  3. What I need to hold on to tightly is that because of. Christ, my future is secure and settled. He’s the author and finisher – what He starts, He always completes! I can also rest in knowing that seasons come to an end and the Lord gives us what we need to walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death. With Christ, we always come out on the other side. Praise God!

    Also, powerful words, Lauren! 🙏🏽

  4. Cindy and I attended the Good Friday services last night as we remembered the day Death had a brief “victory”. It was brief because God was still at work as Jesus lay lifeless in the tomb while announcing to the souls in Hell that they were no longer captives of the grave! Then Sunday came and Jesus was raised to life by the Father just as He promised! Yes, Jesus was alive and walking free from the grave clothes that once had bound him. Mary Magdalene encountered the risen Christ after He spoke her name! The disciples saw Him twice in the upper room! The two on the road to Emmaus had their eyes open over a meal. The disciples saw Him on the seashore cooking breakfast after a long night of fishing! Peter saw his betrayal vanish three times as Jesus appointed him to carry on the work of the gospel. Oh yes, Jesus is alive and He’s coming back some day for all who believe! Hallelujah what a Savior!

  5. In his reply, Brent mentioned Job. Remember what God said to Satan. “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Job 1: 8. Although Job couldn’t understand why God would allow Job’s life to become shattered and broken, Job never lost his faith and trust in God. As a result of Job’s faithfulness, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” Job 42: 12.
    God has given us His gift of grace. All we have to do to be saved is to have faith. If we believe and trust in Jesus in the good times as well as the bad, we will inherit eternal life. As Pastor Jarrett advised us last night, we should ask Jesus to help us to keep near the cross.

  6. Forgive me Father for forgetting that you are with me. Today I am remember that Jesus came to suffer in my place. Thank you Holy Spirit for enabling my faith to live today, in suffering and celebration, with the hope that I am not alone and that you are with me always and forever.

  7. I would appreciate it if everyone would lift Lois up in prayer as she is in the hospital and will be there through Easter having chemo treatments. I don’t want her to feel that the Lord is silent during this time but is actively involved in every detail of her life. Lois is a member of CFBC.

    1. Will be praying for Lois and her family, let her know that she’s not alone. May the Lord give her comfort, peace and joy.

  8. Jesus conquered Hell and Hades and gave us victory. Hallelujah to the Lamb of God, who took away our sorrows and shames. Victory! Victory!! Victory!!!

  9. Let our hearts be in tune with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in good and bad times. He is always worthy to be praised. My prayer for us this Holy Saturday ❤️🙏🏾

  10. HE chose the nails so I may choose HIM. Forever & always grateful. May I never forget HIS love that can not be measured. It was at the Cross where I was born again. I thank GOD for the gift of faith.
    Happy Resurrection Day!!!

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