Selah (Hebrew: סֶלָה, also transliterated as selāh)… a word used frequently in the Hebrew Bible, often in the Psalms… is a difficult concept to translate. (It should not be confused with the Hebrew word sela‘ (Hebrew: סֶלַע) which means "rock.") Probably used in instructional music or reading a text, as something like "stop and listen". The Amplified Bible states Selah as "pause, and think of that".
Selah, [celah], is from the Hebrew root word [calah] meaning 'to hang,' and by implication to measure (weigh). In Biblical history, money, food and other valuables were 'weighed' by hanging on a type of balance (equivalent of our measuring scale) to determine value." A possible meaning is an instruction to measure... carefully and reflect upon the preceding statements.
We all have heard that the Good News of the Easter Week is Easter Sunday and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, we must weigh that against Good Friday, because without the Crucifixion, there would not be an Easter Sunday. And Friday is Good News…it IS Good Friday.
This year in our church, we are doing a ceremony which was suggested by one of the Worship Team Members. We were each handed out a red slip of paper on Sunday. We have been instructed to write down areas/sins that we continue to struggle with. A Member is building a literal cross. After we each have a “selah” moment, we will approach the Cross, one by one ,nail our private concern it to the cross. For me, having an exercise like this, holds deep meaning.
When I was young, we celebrated the Holy Week. Looking back, the day that had the biggest impact on me was Holy Saturday. The starkness of the day and the silence in the air cause me to contemplate certain things. I can still picture the life sized statue of Jesus, lying in the tomb, in church on Saturday. I didn’t honor the statue (as some might think I did) rather for me, it was a visual reminder. It helped me to “take in” what and who it represented.
Jesus died and all of heaven seemed silenced.
Imagine for a minute, being part of Jesus’ inner crowd. What were they thinking? They most likely hiding, not just as a group, but hiding what was in each of their hearts. Some probably talked a lot; as they tried to process what had happened to their leader…others may have found a corner to feel the fear and confusion. Did they think they were next?
Where would Saturday have found you?
Don’t we have Saturday experiences all throughout our walk with the Lord? We follow our Lord and try to absorb all that He is pouring into our lives. We may try not to but don't we envision how things will unfold. We may have a hope…a picture, as to how it is all going to “come down”
Then, we are left with a deafening silence. Nothing makes sense. We are fear filled. We want to run. We may regret our allegiance to the Lord. Yet, we agree with the Apostle Peter when we say…” Lord, where else would we go?”
Our Easter Week consists of a chance to reflect
...on a Friday that we know is truly GOOD.
…on a Sunday that holds the ultimate hope and victory.
…as well as a Saturday, where we must pause and reflect.We must stop and think and believe that the One we have been following does not lie. We may be left with an uncertainty of what just happened. Like the disciples, we are not privy to the glory that lies just ahead.
No matter what…an essential aspect of our belief, is not only receiving the message of the Cross… which is the plumb line of our belief as Christians… to knowing what the disciples did not know, that the Cross was not the end of the story.
So too with us…a Friday may have happened…a Saturday is where we find ourselves, yet knowing by faith…a Sunday, with life and light… resurrection and victory WILL come!
A side note…It has given me such a thrill to hear my three year old grandson singing his heart out this past week…” Is Jesus dead…NO WAY!!!...He’s alive…He’s alive!!!...Is Jesus dead? NO WAY!!!”…He’s alive!!! He’s alive!!!” Yes Jonah…He IS alive!