Ears to Hear: Reflections on Holy Week, Saturday
Everything is quiet. It would have felt like a pit of despair for the disciples. After what seemed like a great run with their rabbi … huge crowds, incredible teaching, miracles, touches from divinity … it all came crashing down in one day. “It’s over.” Saturday was the Sabbath, a day of quiet but the quiet must have been deafening and excruciating for Jesus’ followers.
The only “movement” of Saturday was the Jewish and Roman leaders conspiring to make sure that the tomb would not be defiled. This would have added to the despair. “It really is all over.” Seemingly, all that was left was to clean up and the authorities were in charge of that. Guards were posted and the tomb sealed with a Roman seal. It is fascinating that the religious leaders couldn’t even honor the Sabbath … a day where rest and release of the burdens of life was offered by God as a gift. A day to let go all responsibilities and trust that God would take care of all things. They didn’t trust God but ended up being used by Him. How wonderful to know that the posting of the guards and the sealing of the tomb prevented the potential propaganda that the disciples simply stole the body … but that insight comes through looking back through the lens of Sunday.
We know from John 20:9 that until Sunday the disciples still didn’t get it. The words that Jesus shared about rising from the dead after three days hadn’t sunk in. Saturday’s quiet would have ushered in all kinds of thoughts and doubts and misgivings and fears and suspicions. “What we were thinking?” “We wanted to believe our rabbi was special.” “Why did He have to die?” “Why didn’t we do something?” Prayers of lament were certainly offered.
Indeed, modern day followers of Christ have the luxury of being able to see the events of Friday and Saturday through the lens of Sunday. However, I want to challenge you to let go of Sunday for a period of time today and let that time be a reminder throughout the day.
Take 10-15 minutes of quiet and put yourself in Jerusalem on that Saturday. Imagine yourself sitting in a dark room with just a few slivers of sunlight poking through some cracks in the walls. You’re not hungry. Your thoughts are bouncing around but more than anything you feel despair. Imagine that your rabbi had been brutally murdered and you can only ask “why?”
Now, put yourself in your life today and consider what your life would be like if Jesus had not been raised from the dead. How would life be different? How would your life be different? Where would you put your hope? How would you experience peace? Sit with those questions but don’t go to Sunday … yet.
Stay in this place today as a preparation for Sunday …