Day Seven – Holy Saturday
Text: (Matthew 27:62–66)
The Saturday of Easter weekend is a “forgotten day.” It is often overlooked compared to the rest of what is a very eventful week. Saturday is a day we don’t talk about much. It’s the day in between the darkest day in history, and the happiest day in history. It’s a day of confusion and silence. It’s a day of nothingness. I think a lot of us can relate to Saturday. Saturday’s theme is about “waiting.” Ever been kept in waiting? Waiting for the job opportunity to call back? Waiting for the doctor to give the diagnosis? Waiting for your loved one to get better? Waiting on the promises of God? What do you do while you are kept in this waiting room? Today can be a difficult day. It is the only day in history where the body of Jesus laid buried in a tomb.
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Matt 27:62-66, NIV)
I often wonder what this day was like for the disciples. Yesterday, he died. Tomorrow, he rises. But what about today? Saturday can be a day when we feel “forgotten.” As such, Saturday can feel despairing. Saturday is a day of grief. It’s the “dark night of the soul.” (as St. John of the Cross would say). Saturday is part of the human experience in the already / not yet kingdom of God. What will you do on Saturday? Here are your options:
- Option 1: Resign. Give up. Decide it will always be like this. “Some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor 15:12) This is the option of bitter resentment. It’s the path of cynicism. Do not take this path. If you’re already on it. Turn around.
- Option 2: Over-spiritualize it. Pretend like everything is OK and Saturday is not a problem. “It’s not so bad.” “Some have wandered away … they teach that the resurrection has already taken place and destroy the faith of some.” (2 Tim 2:18) This is the path of unbelief. Do not take this path either. There’s nothing at the end of it.
- Option 3: Face reality but without losing hope. Lament. Read the psalms. Press into the darkness and press into God’s presence. Though it’s difficult, you can be with God on “Saturday” in a way that you cannot be with God on every other day because on Saturday it’s very clear that He is your only hope and source of strength. On Saturday we grieve. But we do not grieve like those with no hope. (1 Thess 4:13) We wait for the Lord like the psalmist who said:
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
(Ps 27:13-14, ESV)
If your life feels like “Saturday” right now, I am so so sorry. But can I encourage you to choose option 3? Faithful believers through the ages have gone before you. It is a well-worn path. The key to getting through Saturday is knowing you are not alone. God is always here and God is at work even if you do not see Him, He sees you.
Sunday is coming.
Prayer: Lord, to whom else can I turn? You are my soul’s desire. I choose to wait upon you. With patience I long for your promises to come true in my life. I look to you as my only hope. I will wait patiently until you come through for me. I am watching and ready. I need you today. I need you to breathe life into my dead situation. Only you can do this. I choose to wait for Sunday. Come, quickly Lord. Saturday is hard. Help me to sense your presence here with me while I wait.
Holy Week Devotionals: