Holy Saturday

tombstone

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It’s that day in between. It’s that strange space where grief is understood and acknowledged but the “what’s next” hangs in the air waiting for resolution.

If I put myself in the place of the disciples, it makes sense that fear reigns. Even prior to His death, they were part of His arrest. They watched the soldiers crumble as Jesus stated His name I AM. But as He submitted to being bound and led away, these men, who had walked and talked with Him for three years, scattered to the winds.

They have watched as the One they loved was crucified. Strange thoughts must have filled their minds. They must have wondered if their association with Him would not lead to their own demise. Would they be recognized? Would their accent give them away? Who would be the next rat in the group? Could any of them be trusted? Was a cross their next destination?

They weren’t there when He was buried. They left that observance to a group of faithful women who had followed Him from Galilee. To show up at His burial would have been to put yourself back in the crosshairs of those who wanted Him dead and gone.

Fear won. Darkness was all around.

I am often too quick to judge the disciples for their fear. If I look at my life, much of it has been ruled by fear. Fear of sticking out. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of stepping into the unknown. Fear of being identified with certain preferences. Fear of staying in the same place. Fear even just for fear’s sake. So if my life is so often determined by fear, why do I criticize the men who walked with Jesus and had fears all of their own?

I look at the life of Christ and I have often wanted to shake the disciples for all of the hints Jesus gave about His death and resurrection. He told them what would happen over and over again. They missed it every time. Even as they lived the middle of it, they missed it. But I am just the same too. Christ whispers all sorts of blessings to me and I ignore them often. He gives me glimpses of Himself, and I am quick to brush it aside. He speaks to me and I am quick to discount His voice. I am equally as oblivious as the men who walked with Him.

It’s Holy Saturday – the day of waiting. I know the end of the story. The disciples lived in dread and fear. I often join them in dread and fear because darkness is sometimes prevalent. I don’t like living there. But a lot of life happens in places of hurt and pain. A lot of life happens in places of sorrow and loss. A lot of life happens in uncertainty.

But I have a God who goes before me. His hands always long to hold mine. His heartbeat is full of reassurance of His presence. His voice calls in the middle of the storms of my experiences. This is the God who understands each moment of my day. This is the God who spent Holy Saturday in the tomb. He understands the dark better than I ever can.

It’s Holy Saturday – the day of waiting. Sunday is just around the corner.

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