I woke up this morning thinking that today needs a name.
Plenty of names come to mind.
“Wait and See Saturday.”
“What the Heck was I Thinking Saturday.”
Or maybe “I thought I had this all figured out and You promised to be with me to the end but now Jesus is dead and I don’t know what to do Saturday”.
What do we call the day between our deepest despair and our greatest triumph?
It is easy for us to overlook today because we know what happened Sunday. Even yesterday, Good Friday, is only good when it is seen from Sunday’s perspective. On the first “Good” Friday, it was anything but good. The disciples were scattered and sent reeling trying to wrap their heads around their present reality. One of them had delivered Jesus into the hands of His enemies. Laced with obscenities, Peter vehemently denied he even knew Jesus. But at least he made it to the courtyard…at least he was that close to Jesus in His final hours. The rest of the disciples had run away.
They all found a place to sleep that night, but I’m sure they had trouble dozing off. Their minds had to be racing with all kinds of fear and doubt…desperately attempting to make sense of their last three years in light of Jesus’ brutal death. And then the woke up Saturday morning. Surely some of them hoped the events of Friday were only a bad dream…that they would awaken and discover that everything was normal and as it should be…that nothing had changed.
But they quickly realized EVERYTHING had changed and Friday wasn’t just a nightmare. Their friend was dead and so was all hope. Jesus’ words and promises had to sound like a cruel joke in their present reality.
And isn’t this where we live most of the time? Our experiences and circumstances have rocked our world and left us reeling with questions and doubt. We struggle hearing the whisper of God’s promises over the blaring fog-horn of our reality.
Scripture is full of story after story of people living “In-between Saturday”…
- Abraham is told that his descendants will be like the sand on the seashore, yet he is without child in his old age.
- When Abraham and Sarah finally have their miracle baby, God tells Abraham to kill the boy.
- Jacob has to work 7 years for his wife Rachel, only to discover he actually married her sister. He then has to work 7 more years for the woman he loves.
- Joseph is sold into slavery and forgotten in prison for 14 years before he is exalted to second-in-command over Egypt.
- Moses kills an Egyptian and flees from Pharoah.
- Moses returns to Egypt and frees God’s people from slavery, yet they wander for 40 years in the wilderness.
- God promises His people a “land flowing with milk and honey” and 8 out of 10 spies bring back a report that there is no way they can prevail.
- David and Solomon build a mighty kingdom that is ultimately split in two.
- Israel and Judah are plundered and taken captive by the Babylonians.
- For hundreds of years, prophet after prophet tells of a coming Messiah who will deliver God’s people and for hundreds of years, the people wait.
And on and on we could go. Stories of people desperately trying to hang onto God’s promises when everything around them seems to be screaming the exact opposite.
But no matter what our present circumstances seem to be saying to us and no matter how loud our enemy says to us “Has God really said?”, Sunday is coming. God is “working all things together for our good” even when it seems God is being cruel instead.
Easter Sunday puts all things in perspective, even the “In-between Saturday” we are living right now.
What does your “In-Between Saturday” look like? Why is it often easier to believe the lies rather than hang onto God’s promises?