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Between Good Friday and Easter – Again

April 4, 2015

I posted this last year and, looking at it, I find I still feel the same way.

Well, today is the day we remember the silent Saturday that comes between the crucifixion and the resurrection.  There is no record in Scripture as to what happened on that day, none whatsoever.  It had to have been a day of desolation for the disciples though.  Everything they had dreamed about and hoped for seemed to be shattered.  Jesus, the one they were sure was the Messiah, the one they had given their lives to follow, was dead.  Now what?

Several people, among them C.S. Lewis, have written about the importance of this day.  Lewis said, correctly I think, that the day was needed to contemplate the magnitude of what had happened at the cross; was needed to allow them  – and us – to see the crucifixion and resurrection each in their own light as well as together.

The day of desolation was needed, they contend.  Had Jesus come out of the tomb five minutes after burial or even after one night, the resurrection would not have been seen as profound as it really was.  I suspect they are right.  It probably did give them a day to absorb the devastating death of Jesus; it probably did make the resurrection all that more amazing one day later.  The living Son of God became real only after they accepted the death of Jesus.  It would do us good to put ourselves in their shoes and contemplate the day as well.

But I think silent Saturday serves another purpose.  In a very real way, we live there.  Our lives are filled with periods of dashed hope.  A death occurs, a marriage breaks up, a debilitating illness strikes or a dozen other things can come and we are devastated.  Day by day our lives resemble that Saturday more than the triumph of Easter Sunday.

Sometimes our silent Saturdays; our periods of desolation, go on for weeks, months or even years.  We live, as they did on that Saturday, with no explanation or understanding of why.  On that day they learned the hard part of a lesson that became clear to them only later; they learned to live in hope.

I’ve always been puzzled by Christians who make themselves believe that our faith makes us immune to bad things happening.  Silent Saturday assures us that this is not true.  But it also assures us that one day; perhaps long in the future, perhaps not until Jesus returns, that God will not silent.

If I could go back in time and speak to the disciples on that day I’d want to tell them not to be afraid; not to give up hope; that a new day would bring hope beyond your wildest dream.  But when I think about it I need to tell myself that because sooner or later my silent Saturday will come.

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