Yesterday, we celebrated Good Friday – the Day Jesus, Lord of all the heavens and the earth, was brutally crucified and died for our sins. Each of the four Gospels gives and account of this. And we know that tomorrow we will celebrate the Resurrection – the central fact of the Christian faith. But what about today?
Today is called Holy Saturday. It commemorates the day that Jesus was in the tomb between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The events (on earth) of today are recorded only in one place in the Bible, Matthew 27:62-66:
62 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.
That Holy Saturday was a day of darkness – darkness in the hearts of Jesus enemies, who tried to no avail to thwart God’s plans, and darkness for Jesus’ followers, who did not yet understand His words and believed that their Master was gone forever, that all had been in vain.
I am reminded of Chapter 15 in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. It’s titled “Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time.” ***Spoiler Alert*** Aslan has died after giving himself over to the witch and her minions for the sake of Edmund. In gut-wrenching despair, Lucy and Susan attend to their slain friend, struggling to remove his bonds and overcome with grief. Lewis writes:
I hope no one who reads this book has ever been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again.
This chapter describes that first Holy Saturday. If you’ve read the book, you no doubt understand the deep loss the Pevensie children felt. No doubt, this is only a shadow of the grief the first disciples felt on this day.
Today, let’s contemplate the darkness. Not in despair, for we know how the story ends, but because, as one has said, “The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.” Let’s remember that, even in our darkest moments, God is faithful. Let’s make today a day of quietness before Him. Then, tomorrow, let us celebrate the Resurrected King.