Maundy Thursday. Good Friday. Easter Sunday.
What about Saturday?
In our zeal to get from the crucifixion to the resurrection, we often skip a day.
I call it Dark Saturday.
In some traditions, this is known as Holy Saturday, the time when Jesus supposedly went to Hades and liberated the souls of the Old Testament saints.
I prefer to experience this day from the viewpoint of the disciples.
Can you imagine how they felt on the day after the crucifixion of Jesus?
The shock of Good Friday has now settled into a grim new reality. All their hopes and dreams of a kingdom with Messiah Jesus on the throne were shattered.
“We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21), said a depressed disciple on the road to Emmaus. The implication being, “Guess we were wrong.”
The disciples now found themselves closeted behind locked doors, weighed down with sorrow and a grief so deep it couldn’t be measured.
“You will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices,” Jesus had told them.
Dark Saturday was a day for grieving.
It remains so for me.
Dark Saturday is a day when I try to put myself in the disciples’ shoes and feel what they must have felt on that sad, depressing, empty day. I try to experience a measure of the hollowness of soul they must have felt, for they clearly did not expect Jesus to be raised from the dead.
As far as they knew, it was over. “We thought he was the one…”
Jesus told his disciples, “Your grief will turn to joy,” but none of them put much stock in those words.
And yet, as they would soon discover, Jesus’ words were true.
Dark Saturday gives way to Easter Sunday.
When the Sun of Righteousness rises with healing in his wings.
And a new creation begins.