Easter Saturday feels like the weirdest day on the calendar to me. Every year, after celebrating Palm Sunday, I ask my husband, “What’s the plan for Saturday?”
It’s an empty day. It’s a day for dying Easter eggs or picking out Easter clothes, making deviled eggs, or doing egg hunts. It’s a day to sit around, a day to do nothing, to fill with nothing.
While I have no idea what to do with it each year, in studying and writing for this study on resurrection I realized something —
Easter Saturday is an appropriately weird day, because it’s a day of waiting.
What must have the disciples thought of Saturday? What were they doing? Jesus had told them more than once that He would rise from the dead, which we covered in our video this week, but we have no indication that they got it.
What was the centurion by the cross doing on Saturday? What was Nicodemus, or Jairus and family, from our story yesterday, doing on Saturday? What about all the people He had healed or taught…what were they doing?
I’m going to guess that many of them were mourning, stupefied by loss, shocked into silent contemplation of the color of a spot on the floor, like many of us are in early loss. It’s the Sabbath, so Jewish believers would have been tied to the law of the Sabbath. Maybe then, they just sat around, unsure what to do, where to go, beyond mentally beginning the slow crawl to the new normal. They could have walked right back into regular life, thinking it was over, they had the wrong guy, so much for the Messiah being this one.
The time in-between generally feels like helplessness, nothing to be done.
The time in-between finds us with empty hands, either looking for something to do, like me on Easter Saturday of any given year, or drained of energy before the day has even started.
Just like for those followers of Jesus at that time, sometimes our times in-between, the waiting bits of life, are fear-filled, grief-filled, wondering-filled, or even nothingness-filled.
Mark gives us a tiny glimpse of the in-between, and even this small tidbit teaches us something. Read Mark 15:44-47 below:
44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
All while we’re unsure what to do, God is preparing some stuff. God sent a man named Joseph to lovingly care for Jesus’ body. The Spirit brought Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses to check on the place where He lay. Even Pilate, without him knowing it, was directed by God to work in the background in this time in-between.
This becomes even clearer if we read the time in-between account of the death and resurrection of Jesus in Matthew 27:62-66:
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard[j] of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
So, the Pharisees, unbelieving, murder-plotting leaders, remembered the point of it all. It’s quite remarkable that God works in these men, to set up something big in the in-between.
Seal the tomb.
Post some guards.
Nothing could keep Jesus in that grave.
God brings plans and purpose to our helplessness. God brings meaning to the moments, days, weeks, and years in-between.
Sunday is coming. Easter is coming. Resurrection is coming.
As Job reminds us in our study theme verse, He is coming back and we will see Resurrection like never before. Well, kind of like before, only better. Job 19:25-27:
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.]
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
And so we wait in the in-between. We live in between the Easter Feast and the Wedding Feast. Jesus will come back and make all things new, and because He’s done it once before in a small (by comparison) way, we can trust in the time in-between for us now. He is preparing and planning and doing His work in the middle.
He brings Hope to our helplessness and Magnificent to our middle, Meaning to the time in-between.