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