I find it interesting that we deem this “Easter weekend.” In most Christian circles, the reflection of Good Friday is eclipsed by Resurrection Sunday and the 24 hours in between is just a morose blip on the radar.
As I grasp the joy of new life in Christ more and more each year, I’m also struck by the intricacies of this weekend that we often miss. Last year, my heart was struck by the abandonment suffered by our Savior as his best friends all fled in his most painful moments.
This year, as I think about Easter weekend, I’m been struck by what happened directly after Jesus’ friend abandoned him and then watched in horror as their friend was crucified.
While Scripture pretty much skips from death to resurrection, there’s an important gap between those events. There’s a bridge that connects the agony of Good Friday to the joy Resurrection Sunday. That bridge is Saturday.
Just imagine what went through the minds of Jesus’ friends. Their astonishment at His resurrection tells us that they surely had doubts when they saw His body sealed inside that tomb. It was over. Hope was dead. And from Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday, Jesus’ friends lived in that place of lonely doubt and despair.
Are you familiar with that place?
Maybe your “Saturday” is the gap between one job and the next, or the heartbreak of grief after the loss of a loved one. Maybe you’re in the between singleness and marriage, or you’re waiting for a child. We all experience gaps during this life. And they aren’t easy.
There’s a distinct fog during these Saturday-seasons of life. And since we can’t see forward, it’s all too easy to look back. “Why did you let that happen, God?” or “was I wrong to think you led me here?“
I love the three Mary’s did in their season of doubt. With nowhere else to go, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Salome returned to the tomb (Mark 16:1). They didn’t understand all that had happened, but they loved Jesus and wanted to be with Him. So they brought spices to embalm His body.
Don’t you see? They didn’t run away from the pain or the uncertainty. They entered into the doubt by doing what they knew best: Going to Jesus. Their actions echoed the words of Peter proclaimed prior to the crucifixion, in John 6:68. The disciples are faced with doubts of their own as they see many followers turn away from Jesus. When Jesus asks Peter if he too will leave, Peter responds: “Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.”
Maybe life doesn’t make sense right now. Your heart is weary, your loneliness is heavy. You feel stuck. The beauty of the resurrection is that it not only promises hope for eternity, but also for wherever you find yourself right now. The God who rose from the dead is still writing your story.
The foggy fear of Saturday will, in turn, give way to the sunshine of Sunday. And you too, like Jesus’ friends, will drop to your knees in wonder. You’ll run as fast as you can to tell everyone you know that your God is good, that He is alive, and that He is worthy to be praised in every season.
And if we know that to be true, let’s start proclaiming it now. Let’s shout it on the painful days of death, on the hard days of doubt, and on the jubilant days of victory. There is hope, and His name is Jesus.
One thought on “What’s Your Saturday?”
Well, I believe the disciples and some of Jesus’ other followers holed up out of sight. I believe they celebrated the Shabat from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday as they’d done all their Jewish lives, but with a more somber attitude than usually would have accompanied the Shabat following the two Passover days because they probably were observing the custom of mourning, but quietly so as not to bring attention to them. I’m sure they had fitful sleep if they had any at all! I tend to get impatient during the “Saturday” waiting time, but the Lord is working on me about that! I’m learning to trust and rely on hope, which does not disappoint, learning to “actively” wait, trusting He who promised is faithful.