Living through to Sunday

It’s Saturday. Christ is in the tomb. We need to talk about what we’re going to do.

th-4This last Easter weekend, the significance of Saturday hit me harder than ever before. Think about it. We have Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but Saturday has no name. It’s just this big black hole. Maybe we should call it Black Saturday.

On a typical Easter weekend, we normally don’t celebrate anything on Saturday. There are Good Friday services, and, of course, Easter Sunday celebrations, but what about Saturday? Saturday is a very significant day. You have to go through it to get to Easter Sunday, and though it seems like just a day to pass through for us, imagine what it must have been like for those who were following Christ — who had placed their hope in Him for a new order — and especially for the twelve who had forsaken everything to follow Jesus.

For them, it wasn’t just a day to pass through to get to Easter Sunday; it was the end — the bitter end of everything. For them, there was no Easter Sunday, and there certainly wasn’t anything good about Friday.

From what we know in the gospel accounts, there wasn’t anyone of Christ’s followers saying, “Hey, wait a minute you guys. Didn’t He say something about rising again on the third day? Remember He said, ‘Destroy the temple and in three days I will build it back up’? What if He was talking about Himself there? Don’t you think we should just wait and see what happens tomorrow?”

We might be able to imagine someone saying that, but in the record, no one did, so for all we know, that was that. Saturday was just another day like all those other days before Jesus showed up. Back to life the way it was. Back to no more miracles. Back to where we were, only now we’ve just lost three years. They were good years, and we learned a lot, but they are gone now.

I think we need to spend some time reflecting on Saturday. Maybe we should even have Black Saturday services. If anything, we need to identify with those who have no hope in life. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).

We need to see the dark side of this so we can better appreciate the brightness of what we have. We have a most incredible hope.

The reality of the resurrection came upon His followers gradually. Even those who saw the stone rolled away were not fully convinced right away. And what about Mary, who actually talked with Jesus briefly, thinking He was the gardener, until He spoke her name. Was she just imagining things?

We need to reflect on that black Saturday. Are we living as if Jesus were still in the tomb? Where is our hope? Are we counting only on ourselves and our tangible, human resources? If we’re not counting on the risen Christ, we haven’t even made it through the weekend.

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8 Responses to Living through to Sunday

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    This is soooo very true, i do think/believe: “If we’re not counting on the risen Christ, we haven’t even made it through the weekend.” 🙂

  2. Terry Preston says:

    John, I agree, and we actually attended the Holy Vigil at a local Episcopal church on Saturday at 7:51 p.m. (subset in Raleigh, NC ). Our Presbyterian church is considering adding this service and we were scouting. This was a service celebrating Jesus’ journey from death to life. It was very meaningful, and caused me to reflect on what actually happened for the first time in my life. We celebrated communion and renewed our baptism vows also. Because it was the “official” ending to Lent, that church celebrated with sparkling wine and chocolate in the fellowship hall at the conclusion. Happy Easter to you and yours.

  3. Linda from Texas says:

    “Are we living as if Jesus were still in the tomb? Where is our hope? Are we counting only on ourselves and our tangible, human resources?” Oh, I think you’ve hit something here, John. I know I struggle all the time and fail all the time depending on Linda because it seems natural to figure things out myself. And having little regard for myself sometimes even after all these years it’s hard to believe I’m worth what He did. Guess this is Satan’s bit of fun with me. My hope is in the truth of God’s Word. I love the story of the thief on the cross. He was a thief headed for hell one minute and promised a home in paradise the next – maybe the first to believe in the resurrection.

  4. Cliff says:

    I actually shared the view point of the disciple John on Easter morning as being one without hope. It was a first person message reviewing what happened over the last week. Then his overhearing Mary say the tomb was empty brought him into a foot race with Peter. His having no hope was important part of the message for this Easter for me to share with the congregation. I left them seeing John standing inside the empty tomb believing.

  5. Nancy L Bainbridge says:

    I find it very interesting that this is the focus for your post today. This is exactly what I was thinking of all day Saturday, about the fact that there is nothing written in the gospels about what happened on Saturday, and how the disciples must have felt. It was something that I have thought about before, but for some reason really hit me this past Saturday. I am thankful that they lived through that dark day to the realization of the resurrection. Can you imagine the impact on life today this would have had if any or all of them had decided that life was no longer worth living once Jesus was in the tomb, and acted on that thought?

  6. bobbobs60 says:

    Well, call me a heretic but I’m one of those who dispute the Churches traditional teaching that claims Jesus was crucified on (Good) Friday. I subscribe to (what seems to me) the more plausible idea that He was sacrificed either on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest …
    Matthew 12:40: “… for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,”;
    and John 19:31: “a very special Sabbath at that, for it was [also] the Passover” .
    So, if I’m correct, that makes the “Black Sabbath” (John’s Black Saturday), even longer for those distressed souls…

  7. Saturday does have a name, it’s called Holy Saturday and millions of Catholics go to church and celebrate the Easter Vigil on Saturday night.

    • Pat says:

      Scott, as do many Lutherans. We start out with a bonfire, (Jesus Christ is the Light of the World) and individual lit candles to process into a dark sanctuary (like walking into a cave), and slowly as the vigil evolves, with singing and scripture, the lights come up. We celebrate the resurrection with Holy Communion, and baptisms. This service is very attuned to the solemnity and joyousness of that special day.

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