On the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, one is prompted to wonder what the disciples were thinking. They passed the time in hiding, talking and wondering what they would do next, no doubt. I wonder, did they ask where on earth was God? They had just celebrated the Passover, the feast remembering God’s delivering them from Egypt and looking forward to the Messiah who would deliver them once more. I wonder, did they think about the covenant name of God? Did they call to mind the writings from the books of the law, such as these two passages from Exodus (quoting from Everett Fox’s Genesis and Exodus: A New English Rendition wth Commentary & Notes):

Exodus 3:13-17

Moshe said to God:
Here, I will come to the Children of Israel
and I will say to them:
The God of your fathers has sent me to you,
and they will say to me: What is his name?—
What shall I say to them?

God said to Moshe:
EHYEH ASHER EHYEH / I will be-there howsoever I will be-there.
And he said:
Thus shall you say to the Children of Israel:
EHYEH / I-WILL-BE-THERE sends me to you.
And God said further to Moshe:
Thus shall you say to the Children of Israel:
the God of your fathers,
the God of Avraham, the God of Yitzhak, and the God of Yaakov,
sends me to you.
That is my name for the ages,
that is my title (from) generation to generation.
gather the elders of Israel
and say to them:
YHWH, the God of your fathers, has been seen by me,
the God of Avraham, of Yitzhak, and of Yaakov,
I have taken account, yes, account of you and of what is being done to you in Egypt,
and I have declared:
I will bring you up from the affliction of Egypt,
to the land of the Canaanite and of hte Hittite,
of the Amorite and of the Yevusite,
to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Exodus 6:2-8

God spoke to Moshe,
he said to him:
I am YHWH.
I was seen by Avraham, by Yitzhak, and by Yaakov as God Shaddai,
but (by) my name YHWH I was not known to them.
I also established my covenant with them,
to give them the land of Canaan,
the land of their sojournings, where they had sojourned.
And I have also heard the moaning of the Children of Israel,
whom Egypt is holding-in-servitude,
and I have called-to-mind my covenant.
say to the Children of Israel:
I am YHWH;
I will bring you out
from beneath the burdens of Egypt,
I will rescue you
from servitude to them,
I will redeem you
with an outstretched arm, with great (acts of) judgement;
I will take you
for me as a people,
and I will be for you
as a God;
and you shall know
that I am YHWH your God,
who brings you out
from beneath the burdens of Egypt.
I will bring you
into the land (over) which I lifted my hand (in an oath) to give to Avraham, to Yitzhak, and to Yaakov.
I will give it to you as a posession.

Did they think about God’s covenant name and remember Jesus saying

I AM the bread of life
I AM the light of the world
I AM the good shepherd
I AM the resurrection and the life
I AM the way, and the truth, and the life

and finally in the Garden of Gethsemane when they arrested him, simply, “I AM”?

Did they think about Jesus saying from the cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It was near the end, just before he died. If God was not there for Jesus, how could they know he would be there for them?

EHYEH ASHER EHYEH / I will be-there howsoever I will be-there…

Could they still believe it? It must have been a dark time indeed, perhaps wondering if they could believe anything again. As one of them put it, “we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” The hope must certainly have dwindled. “I-will-be-there?” Not so sure.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!