PODCAST #26: The Fourth Watch of the Night
The Morning of the Resurrection, 1886. Sir Edward Burne Jones. Tate Gallery
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers on Matt 14:25
(25) In the fourth watch of the night.—The Jews, since their conquest by Pompeius, had adopted the Roman division of the night into four watches, and this was accordingly between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M., in the dimness of the early dawn. St. John adds, as from a personal reminiscence, and as guarding against explanations that would minimise the miracle (such as that our Lord was seen on the shore, or was swimming to the boat), that they were about twenty-five or thirty furlongs from the point from which they had started—i.e., as the lake was five miles wide, nearly three-fourths of the way across.
“Waiting is our destiny. As creatures who cannot by themselves bring about what they hope for, we wait in darkness for a flame we cannot light. We wait in fear for a happy ending we cannot write. We wait for a ‘not yet’ that feels like a ‘not ever’.”
"I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.
On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.
Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.
On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.
Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.
On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.
On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.
It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.
I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.
But the doom of that day did not endure.
The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.
Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come."
Joseph Wirthlin, Oct 2006 Sunday Will Come
anastasis: a standing up, i.e. a resurrection, a raising up, rising
Original Word: ἀνάστασις, εως, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (an-as'-tas-is)
Definition: a standing up, a resurrection, a raising up, rising
Usage: a rising again, resurrection.
ἀνάστασις, ἀναστάσεως, ἡ (ἀνίστημι) (from Aeschylus down);
1. a raising up, rising (e. g. from a seat): Luke 2:34 (opposed to πτῶσις; the meaning is 'It lies (or 'is set' A. V.) like a stone, which some will lay hold of in order to climb; but others will strike against it and fall').
2. a rising from the dead (ecclesiastical Latinresurrectio) (Aeschylus Eum. 648);
a. that of Christ: Acts 1:22; Acts 2:31; Acts 4:33; Romans 6:5; Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 3:21; with the addition of νεκρῶν, Romans 1:4 (a generic phrase: the resurrection-of-the-dead, although it has come to pass as yet only in the case of Christ alone; cf. Acts 17:32; Winer's Grammar, § 30, 2 a. at the end); ἐκ νεκρῶν, 1 Peter 1:3.
"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak... We are far too easily pleased." C. S. Lewis (2009). “Weight of Glory”, p.26, Harper Collins
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” ~ Rocky Balboa
“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.” ~ Rocky Balboa