Well, as Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, progresses we have come to Silent Saturday. I am not sure if that is the “official” name for this day, like the aforementioned two or Holy Thursday or Good Friday, but it is a good enough name for the day. We don’t see much of anything about this day in Scripture and seldom do we hear sermons on the day or remembrances of it. But I think Silent Saturday is significant.
Put yourself in the shoes of the followers of Jesus for a minute and imagine this day. However flawed their view was, they had been sure that Jesus was the Messiah. They had been prepared to follow him, even to the death, or so they thought. Then came the horror of the crucifixion and their own overwhelming fears, denial and abandonment. As Friday closes Jesus is in the grave and His followers in hiding. What must they have been thinking on Saturday?
It would have appeared that everything you hoped for and believed had been shattered. Was it any wonder that doubts, like Thomas, or failure, like Peter, was the result? I doubt any of us have ever suffered a time when all we believe has been so challenged as theirs was on Silent Saturday. So what did they do? Did they pray? Did they discuss what went wrong? Did they offer excuses and recriminations? We will never know. We can be pretty sure however that it was not a happy day. I doubt that any of them had begun to piece together what had really happened.
But then came Sunday morning. The women who went to anoint the body of Jesus are often hailed as courageous and faithful, and they probably were. But, in that culture, women were ignored. They had stood by the cross with no fear of arrest, they could probably come to the grave and attend to the body in the same way. The disciples however had no such confidence and were in hiding.
But the women found the body gone and heard that “He is risen” and the events that set our faith in motion had begun. Mary, the “apostle to the apostles” brought them news of the resurrection and the faith we have come to call Christianity was born.
But first there had been Silent Saturday. It was only when every false image of salvation was crushed that real salvation can come. In our lives we can face events and times that are our “Silent Saturdays.” While not as dramatic, we all face painful and terrifying times and we can all experience the sense that a silent God has turned His back on us. But He has not.
Silent Saturday tells us that God’s plans are still going on and He is in control. It also tells us that feeling as if He is in control is something that can elude us. If you are going through an extended Silent Saturday in your life, take heart and courage from this day to remember.