I get chills every time I think about the day after Jesus was crucified and buried. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be a disciple or Mary who woke up Saturday morning and ran to the tomb and found it still closed, to face the horrific fact that Jesus was still dead. The Hope of the Earth, the one they had given up everything to follow, was dead. And they didn’t know when He would rise again.
Now, I must give credit to All Sons and Daughters for this perspective. I had never thought about Saturday until I had heard the story behind their song Buried in the Grave two years ago (check out the video here). We always talk about Friday when Jesus died and Sunday when He rose, but we rarely talk about Saturday when faith was tested and hope was seemingly shattered.
Did they think He had given up? That His word wasn’t true? That love and grace had been overcome by death? They had a promise. Jesus told them that three days later He will rise again (Mark 10:34) but when Jesus told His disciples this on the way to Jerusalem, they didn’t grasp the significance of His words. What an important detail to miss! They believed and hoped that the Son of Man was going to rise up from the dead just as He had promised but they didn’t know when, they didn’t remember His words in the midst of sorrow and defeat. It actually wasn’t really until they saw the cloth wrappings laying in the empty tomb that they believed. Before that, they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead (John 20:8), they finally remembered Jesus telling them that He would rise again.
God has called us to wait. More than that, He has called us to faithfully wait. Just as His disciples were called to wait for Him to rise all throughout Saturday, we are called to wait. We are to be faithful and hopeful and stand on His promises. There will be seasons where we have followed His plans, where we put all of our hope and trust in Him, but we still can’t see Him working. And these are the times that we must hold fast to the the fact that He is working in our waiting, that there is a Sunday coming. On Saturday, He was working in their waiting. He was crafting the perfect picture. The most amazing story was building to a beautiful, victorious ending: The Savior of the World was going to rise again. He has defeated the grave. Sin has lost its power, love is the victor.
We must have faith even when we go through times like Saturday.