"Limbo" is a term that carries the general idea of "an intermediate state of waiting." One might think of it as a suspended period of dissonance waiting for resolution. No doubt most of us are feeling that over the last several days and weeks, our lives have been thrown into some form of "limbo." Our normal lives and routines have been suspended, and we find ourselves waiting for some kind of resolution. What adds to the unsettled nature of it all is that we really don't know what the resolution is going to look like. And unfortunately, some may question that there will ever really be any resolution.
We might fall into the notion that such a season of dissonance, waiting for resolve, is unique with our current experience, but as we flip through the pages of Scripture, we discover numerous such experiences. Imagine what Noah must have felt locked up on a boat for about a year. Clearly, the life he and his family once knew was gone. There is no indication that he had any idea what awaited him in the future. How about the 40 years the Israelites spent in the wilderness waiting for God to bring them into a new land. David spent many years in "limbo," having been anointed to be king, yet running from the threat of the current king Saul who wanted to kill him. Later, after becoming king, David spent an unsettled season fleeing from the treachery of his own son, Absalom (out of that experience, Psalm 3 was written).
Numerous other seasons of dissonance could be recounted, but there is one that stands out more than any other. Consider the limbo Jesus' disciples found themselves in after they watched their Messiah be crucified on Friday. A few days before, they were riding a wave of excitement and joy as Jesus triumphantly entered the city. Now, their leader was dead! And with Him, their dreams and aspirations. To be sure, Jesus had warned them ahead of time, but none of His words found a receptive landing in their minds. All they could feel in the midst of their current situation was the confusion of dissonance. It made no sense. Jesus spoke of a new kingdom -- of freedom and hope. Now, He was dead!
In the latter part of Psalm 30:5, David writes, "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." The events of crucifixion Friday were as dark as the blackest night, but there was something that the disciples could not see: Sunday was on the way! God had a plan. His plan was a plan of victory, but the goal could not be achieved without the dissonance that preceded it.
"this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it." (Act 2:23-24)
"thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Co 15:57)
This week, as we remember the sacrificial death and celebrate the victorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us also remember and celebrate God's sovereign plan unfolding in and around us. Victorious resolution often comes after a season of unsettling dissonance. Though Friday may appear dark and confusing, we must not forget that Sunday is on the way. God is in control!