Easter is always a fun time of the year. Aside from the ridiculous amounts of candy, the costumes–er, outfits that people wear to church on Easter make it worthwhile almost by themselves. One of my former students once described a crocodile leather/peacock feather combination that makes me long for time travel so I might witness its beauty with my own eyes. Easter rocks.
I do have to admit, for purely selfish reasons, Easter is also great because we get Good Friday off. Any day off from school to recharge my frayed battery is welcome. Of course, Sunday is also a fantastic day. My favorite scene in The Passion of the Christ is the end, when Christ rises as the stone is rolled back. It’s a beautifully done scene, and after watching it the first time in the theaters I was ready to charge into the abyss for God. It is a powerful reminder of just how amazing the gift of our risen Savior really is: God fought death and won, and He did it for me. Praise His name!
I do, however, get stuck on the fact that we seem to have forgotten one of the days. Christ died, was in the grave for three days, and rose again. We got the death, we got the resurrection, but what about the third day? Or in this case, the second day? What about Saturday? Very little is known about Saturday. We know its a Sabbath day, so there wouldn’t be any work (this is partly why the women went to the tomb on Sunday…they couldn’t on Saturday) but other than that, we don’t get much detail, even from Luke the master storyteller and reporter. So what happened on Saturday?!
I can only imagine what Jerusalem must have been like on the day after. There are two groups of people; disciples who aren’t quite sure what hit them and religious leaders who aren’t quite sure what’s coming.
The disciples have spent the last three years following this man, hanging on every word, every action, and have developed the faith and courage to say that He was the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. They’ve left jobs, hometowns, families, wealth, everything, and followed this man, and now He’s dead. He said He would rise on the third day, but that had to be a long twenty-four hours, wondering if they’re going to be the next to die, to be beaten, to be crucified.
The religious leaders think that they’ve won. The nuisance that has threatened their precious hierarchy is dead, the rebellion seemingly squashed. However, at the moment Jesus died, some incredibly weird things happened: the dead rose from split open graves, earthquakes, the temple curtain tore from top to bottom, storms, etc. Something doesn’t seem right about this “victory.” They know the rumors as well, that Jesus was going to raise Himself from the dead on the third day, and so they’re sitting there, enjoying a potentially short-lived triumph.
Two groups, both unsure about what comes next, sitting…and waiting.
I think that is why Sunday is such a day of joy. The fear, the apprehension, the chaos of Friday/Saturday leads into the unbridled joy of Sunday and our risen Lord. Terror turns into happiness, sadness into joy, and defeat into eternal victory. So enjoy your Good Friday, celebrate your Easter Sunday, but spare a moment for Saturday and the anticipation of what’s to come…freedom from death and victory in Christ.
“He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.” Matthew 28:6
Secondary Education Principal
Logos Preparatory Academy
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