When we think about Easter, we often think about what happened on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If you think about the disciples of Jesus who lived through those days, maybe you can imagine the mixed emotions that they felt.
On Friday, Jesus was taken by the guards. Then He was tortured, crucified, and then He died.
The One they were following for a while now, the One they believed was the promised Messiah, was now dead. They were hopeless, desperate, afraid. They probably lost their faith.
At this point, we usually fast forward to Sunday, when Jesus resurrected and many of His disciples saw Him. In a matter of seconds, they went from feeling total hopelessness to extreme joy.
Jesus was alive! If they ever had any doubts, now they were all gone.
But we often don’t mention Saturday. When we talk about Easter, we usually skip from Jesus’ death to His resurrection. But unfortunately to the disciples, they weren’t able to fast forward through that Saturday.
The events on Friday crushed their hopes. They were afraid, desperate, hopeless. That’s what that Saturday was all about.
Those were probably the longest hours of their lives. Those were certainly the toughest hours of their lives.
I believe that was the hardest day of their lives, for one simple reason: they thought that Jesus wasn’t there for them.
It was a day when nothing happened. That’s even worse than Friday. When Jesus was facing his accusers, maybe they thought He would be freed by Pilate. When Jesus was dying, maybe they hoped for angels to come and rescue Him. When He died, maybe they hoped that He wasn’t really dead. As the events played out, I think they still hoped that something would happen in Jesus’ favor.
But during that long Saturday, Jesus was buried. And nothing happened. There was no hope anymore.
During that whole day they thought that their Savior was dead. They knew they couldn’t do it on their own. So who could save them now?
The day was long, hard, painful and hope seemed so out of reach. But that terrible day ended. Sunday came, and it brought with it a whole new life. Sunday brought hope back, it brought faith back, it brought their Savior back. And they were back for good.
Sometimes in our lives, we have to face days like that. A Friday, when it seems that our hope died. A Saturday, when it seems that Jesus is out of our reach, it feels like we’re alone.
But no matter how terrible Saturday seems, just remember that Sunday will come. Keep in mind that no matter how hard a day, a week, a year seems, it will end.
That Saturday ended, and no matter how awful it was, no one even remembers it anymore. The joy of seeing Jesus alive erased all the pain from that Saturday.
Jesus brought the hardest day to an end for His disciples. And He can do that for you too. Don’t ever forget that!
Weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)