By Kevin Howell
In Christian tradition, we don’t talk much about the Saturday of Easter weekend. Sandwiched between two of the most sacred and significant days in history, there’s little fanfare or recognition of it. We attend Good Friday church services and the all-popular Easter Sunday worship service (and the dinner afterward). But Saturday? Well, we go about our business.
It’s understandable because the Bible is silent about that Saturday, at least in the Gospel accounts. Saturday is a silent day.
But one can imagine what went on in Jerusalem that Saturday after Jesus was crucified. There was talk about whether the execution was justified, questions about that earthquake that followed his death and the curtain of the temple being completely ripped apart.
But for Jesus’ followers, it was pure hell. It’s easy for us to look forward with anticipation to Easter Sunday when we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. But the disciples didn’t have the book. They had nothing to look forward to, just unbearable grief, sorrow and questions. Despite Jesus teaching that He would resurrect, that didn’t cross their minds. Not after seeing how brutally he was beaten and how he gasped for air on that cross. Like any of us who have experienced the death of a loved one, a relationship breakup, or any major loss or disappointment, only time heals the pain. But those first days, weeks, even months, are painful. So that Saturday was painful for the Lord’s followers. And all they could look forward to was more grief; more questions.
Yet, the irony is that Saturday was anything but silent. While things on earth were confusing and somewhat chaotic, something extremely magnificent and vital was going on in the unseen world.
The Bible mentions that Jesus descended into the depths of the earth, freeing the captives (1 Peter 3:18-20; Eph. 4:8-10). Though there are various interpretations to the meaning of that scripture and whether it should be taken literally, we can conclude the process of the resurrection was taking place. And death was about to be defeated. On Good Friday, Jesus took away the penalty for our sins ... forever. On Saturday, He took away the sting of death, rendering it powerless over his people.
Silent Saturday reminds me of Moses in the book of Exodus when he was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments — directly from God. He was gone like 40 days or something and the Israelites were trippin. They thought their leader was dead. No one had heard from him. They felt hopeless and confused. Yet, when it seemed like nothing was happening, and all was lost, probably the greatest divine, earthly encounter was taking place. Moses was talking to God, and literally saw Him. A man looked at God and lived to tell about it. That’s crazy.
In our silent times, when it seems like God is absent, when we are confused and we aren’t hearing anything from Him, just look back on history and realize that when it’s quiet down here, He’s up to something major up there.
What things are you waiting for? What are the unresolved areas in your life? While there is victory to come, our suffering in the now means something. Meditate on that this Silent Saturday.