I always find this time of Holy Week the strangest. On Good Friday, Christians gather together and share in the experience of the death of Jesus, remembering the sacrifice and the grief.
When it comes to tomorrow, there will be genuine celebration and happiness at the reality that we do not worship a dead deity, but a risen Saviour.
But what of today? It seems to me that Christians neither continue to experience the grief of the Friday, but aren’t in a place of celebration as we should be tomorrow. It’s almost as if today is a day where business is back to normal, without really being back to normal.
This whole week has been taken up with daily reflections in church, yet today, there’s nothing. Most of us, I imagine, went about business as usual today.
I must confess, I don’t like this. I don’t like the idea that Holy Saturday is somehow a day when things momentarily return to normal before the glory of the resurrection. I admit, there’s nothing to be done about this, its the nature of the world that we are currently living in. But I think it does this whole amazing story a great disservice if we treat the day between Jesus death and resurrection as “back to the norm”.
So, instead of looking at a biblical text today (for there aren’t any which deal with the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday) I want you to scroll back to the top of this feed and spend some time looking at it.
Now, consider this picture:
One word springs to mind when I look at these pictures: bleak.
The first is bleak because of the plain landscape, which suggests, to me at least, emptiness. The second is bleak, not just because of the colour, but because of the obvious features: grave stones.
We might be able to live our lives “as normal” on the day between Friday and Sunday, but back then, life was anything but normal.
The disciples should have been sharing in the Sabbath together. They were supposed to be worshiping God together. Jesus was supposed to be with them, sharing in all of this, teaching them and instructing them. But He’s not there.
Instead, His body lies in a grave, cold and dead. They maybe sit together, but they don’t share any words. Each is consumed by his own thoughts, as they try and come to terms with what has happened.
Some feel intense rage at Judas, their beloved brother who turned his back on them and led their teacher to his death.
Some are filled with grief as they remember the moment in the garden when they ran. They weep quietly to themselves and they think about their teacher being led off by the guards, and all they could do was flee. They feel sick.
Peter is alone in a corner, and no one dares go near him. He is racked with guilt. He cannot believe that he denied knowing Jesus, when only hours before he had promised to follow Jesus to death. He remembers that moment when, as He was led from the High Priests house, Jesus’ gaze fell upon him, and pierced him right to his soul.
Life to the disciples looks anything but normal, and never again will it be business as usual. They look at their future, and it looks like the pictures above: bleak. In fact, from their point of view, they have no future.
Life to the disciples will never go back to normal, but in a way they cannot yet imagine. Their teacher is dead.
And our King is dead. Yes, we can appreciate things from a different perspective. Yes, we know that this is not the end of the story. Yes, we know that there is a chapter still to be written. But, we must take seriously this day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday; we must remember the grief and sadness of this day. We can’t let “business as usual” take away from the reality of the aftermath of Jesus death.
And I only say these things because I know its not the end of the story.
Good Friday: the King is Dead
Holy Saturday: the future looks bleak
But Sunday is coming!