Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:38–42 NLT)
The day after Jesus’s death and before his resurrection was certainly among the darkest in the lives of the disciples. They spent years following this teacher they loved, trusted, and believed in. They gave up their lives to follow Jesus across Israel as he proclaimed the Gospel through preaching, sharing meals with sinners, healing the sick, and raising the dead. They probably expected some sort of revolution that would result in Israel’s freedom from Roman rule, but those dreams died with Jesus. Even if they expected the Messiah to bring a different sort of freedom, there was little to no chance they would have anticipated his death and resurrection being part of the plan. It must have seemed to them that hope itself died on the cross.
Without the light of the resurrection, the disciples were almost certainly in a deep well of darkness, but that doesn’t mean those of us who know the end of the story don’t also experience darkness in our own lives. The major difference is we know that resurrection is coming. The morning light will break, and we will find the tomb empty. Hope is still alive, because Christ overcomes.
Even more, Ephesians 2:6 tells us God raised us from the dead along with Christ. His triumph is ours also. The darkness of death no longer wields power over those of us marked by the Son of God.
It’s not just that resurrection is coming. Resurrection is here.