Saturdays are days that I have looked forward to for most of my life. Getting to sleep in late… no school… laid back schedule… Looney Tunes in the morning (where did they go?)… ball games … on and on…
I still love Saturdays to this day. I may not sleep in like I once did, but Saturdays are days where you can do what you want to done easier. I especially like Saturdays from September to January with all the football going on.
This week, I have been reflecting on events that took place during the first Passion or Holy Week leading up to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We come to one of the hardest, if not the hardest day of the week. I call it “Silent Saturday.” This includes much of the time between the cross and the empty tomb.
The only thing really mentioned about this time period in the Bible is found in Matthew’s gospel.
“The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come, steal him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” “You have a guard of soldiers,” Pilate told them. “Go and make it as secure as you know how.” They went and secured the tomb by setting a seal on the stone and placing the guard.” (Matthew 27:62-66 CSB)
Those who had pleaded for Jesus’ death wanted to make sure that He stayed there. They had shut this rogue Rabbi up, and they wanted to make sure things went back to the way they were when they were calling the shots.
What strikes me more than the paranoid (yet rightful) worry of the religious leaders of that day was the silence that is found in the Bible. The is not much at all mentioned about that day.
I can understand that though, too. If the One that you had put all your hope and dreams in was suddenly gone, would you really feel like doing much? I can imagine the remain disciples hiding out wondering if there would be a knock at their door from those who had Jesus killed wanting to do the same to them.
Some of the most difficult times in our journey of faith with God are those of silence. It seems that God doesn’t say or do anything. One can easily think that God has either been bested/stumped, doesn’t care, or left the scene and we are all alone in the situation.
The truth is that Saturday was silent because God wanted it so. I’ve come across some material that leans on the thought that Jesus was taking a Sabbath from His work on this Saturday. I could see that in one sense. I think it is more about what was said in the prophet Isaiah:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” (Isaiah 55:8-11 CSB)
What looks like apathy or abandonment to us was very different to God. Jesus had already said that He would be raised on the third day (Matthew 17:22). This was all part of the plan. A day of letting all of what had already taken place sink in was in play, but the silence wouldn’t last forever.
You may be in a period of silence. I would encourage you to take this time of silence to remember what God has done for you, already taught you, already done in you. Then, lean on His understanding and trust His timing. God is always right on time… not too early, never too late.