Death and a Dark Saturday

Think about Saturday, the day after the crucifixion. This day was different. The trial, the crowds, the drama of Christ upon the cross was past. It was a dark Saturday.

The disciples were overwhelmed. Judas was gone. The eleven and those close to them had spent three years with the most powerful person in all of human history. Try as they might they could not anticipate his next move or deed. Now, his calming presence was gone. It appeared their hopes and dreams had vanished before their eyes.

The Roman leaders were relieved that this whole mess was behind them. But there was at least one Centurion who knew that a great wrong had been done. And, then there was Pilate, still washing his hands, still haunted by his face-to-face encounter with the Lord of the universe.

Next were the Jewish leaders. All of their planning and treachery brought them success. Jesus was finally dead. But an uneasy dread ruled their hearts. They urged Pilate to seal the tomb and place a guard to thwart any attempt to steal the body away. They had what they wanted but they knew something was not right.

Sleep did not come to many that Saturday night. The unspoken question hung heavily in the air. What would Sunday bring?

You and I know about dark Saturdays. Those days of anti-climax after upheaval and dramatic circumstances. What will come next? God and his promises seem distant and unreachable. You know the sting of death. Satan has taken his best shot. In death he struck at our Savior’s heel. In death he strikes at your heart.

On dark Saturdays you and I reap the consequences of our first parents’ plunge into darkness. As much as I want to lash out in anger at Adam, I know if I had been there in the garden, I too, would have bought into the lie and believed the serpent. The guilt of the scourge of death also falls on my sinful heart. I want to distance myself from the being part of this business of death, but I cannot. In grief I fail to realize that I am part of the answer to the awful question. Why?

My hope, like yours, lies in the faithfulness of God on this darkest of all Saturdays. Even in those dark hours God’s faithfulness was never in doubt. Jesus had crushed death. Yes, you have been stung. But you will know resolution. Your Savior’s death routed Satan, sin, and death. In this truth I cling in joy to my God. Hope remains. The great Rider will yet mount his horse. He will complete his Father’s call. He will rise.

Because of Christ’s obedience life makes sense after all. By his stripes you are healed.

Sunday is coming!

Shepherd Press