I don’t want to pass right by Saturday.
If you’re stuck in Saturday, allow me to simply sit with you for a while?
Many of us have a hard time with Good Friday. How can the death of our Savior be good, we wonder? But it’s in His death that everything shifts. It’s the beginning of true life, not death!
On Sunday we celebrate His glorious resurrection, and we should! It all hinges on this day, this moment in history.
But what happened Saturday? What of the day in between? Because what we know now, they weren’t aware of.
We can breathe easy on Friday because we know Sunday is coming and all will be well.
But on that long-ago Saturday? When the world was dark and tears never stopped flowing, mixing with the blood poured? As they longed to go to the tomb but weren’t able, as they gathered together in upper rooms – confused and some doubting, full of pain and grief spilled over.
They didn’t realize. They didn’t remember the promise. They couldn’t see Sunday was coming.
To them, Sunday would be yet another day with a dead Savior – and what kind of Savior is that?
We live in Saturday so often, don’t we?
We live in this broken, painful, confusing world. Chaos is all around us and so many things can fall apart. Sickness, pain, broken hearts, death. All of it, Saturday.
We can’t see a Sunday down the road. There’s no hope amidst all our anger and hurt.
I imagine that when He breathed His last, Mary held her breath in anticipation. Surely it couldn’t be, she must have thought. And then I hear the wail. The soul-pinching, blood-curdling wail of a mother who watched her son die. She couldn’t even hold her dying son in her arms, she was left to watch like all the others. A helpless mother, watching her dying son, her dying King.
But surely she must have thought He would come through. Surely she must have thought He would perform a miracle.
But He didn’t. The earth shook and they took Him down. Did she run? I doubt it. I have to think she stayed to see what they did with Him. She was His mother, after all.
Even as they took Him down, don’t you think she must have expected Him to open His eyes and suddenly be alright?
But Saturday came and Jesus was still dead.
The hope was gone and the light must have left her eyes.
His disciples had been with Him night and day for years. They were best friends. They laughed together, sat around campfires and talked late into the night, they did life together.
He told them this was coming but they didn’t understand until it was too late – until He was already dead.
Can you feel the heaviness? The guilt? They had been told, but they forgot. Something so important, forgotten.
He asked them to stay up and pray that late hour in the garden. Their best friend had asked something so simple of them, but they fell asleep. I’m sure none of them purposfully defied Him and slept instead – but they were human.
But can you feel the shame that they couldn’t do this one last thing for Him? Oh how they must have screamed for a do-over. They must have weeped with fresh understanding at His words.
They didn’t know. They didn’t know He was coming, and they didn’t know their pain-filled day was simply a waiting room for His coming.
It seemed like they were stuck in pain and confusion, but really they were just waiting.
My favorite line about Easter is this:
And all of heaven just started counting…1…2…3…
In our waiting, the Plan continues. We don’t see the shift, we don’t realize how much is changing in the heavenlies. When time stood still and the Messiah breathed one last breath, the book didn’t end – a page simply turned.
For them, Good Friday was Bad Friday. Saturday was Bad Saturday. They woke up to Bad Sunday but then the glorious Savior King rose. He conquered the grave and defied death.
And they knew: their plan wasn’t actually The Plan. They couldn’t see from behind their tear-filled eyes. Their confused minds and grief-filled hearts couldn’t imagine waking up to a real, breathing, blood-pumping-in-His-veins Jesus.
But that didn’t change the fact that it was coming.
We live in Saturday and we can’t see Sunday coming, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s coming.
If you’re in a season of Saturday and the tears flood your pillow each night as you try to wrap your mind around the ‘whys,’ if everything feels numb and there isn’t anything left but silence, know that you’re simply waiting.
It isn’t over, heaven is just counting.