The Darkness of That Saturday!

“But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.” (Luke 23:56b NLT)

We, as followers of Jesus, celebrate Good Friday, commemorating the day Jesus died for our sin. And we joyfully worship on Resurrection Sunday, acknowledging Jesus’ victory over death and the grave. But seldom do we hear a message regarding the Saturday in between.

Luke 23:49 references “Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed Him from Galilee, (who) stood at a distance watching.” What were they watching? When Jesus was being removed from the Cross, they wanted to see where His body would be buried.

They loved Him and followed Him in His life and ministry, and they wanted to honor Him in His death, even amid their heartache and sorrow. They needed to know where to go on Sunday morning, following the Sabbath restrictions, so they could prepare His body for a proper burial. Little did they know on Friday what they would find when they went to His tomb on Sunday.

Photo by Mayu on

As the sun set on that horrific day, many of those who loved and followed Jesus thought all hope was lost. They hadn’t been privy to what Jesus had told His disciples about His resurrection, and even those who heard, including the disciples, didn’t understand. How could they?

Though they’d seen Jesus raise the dead during His life, they hadn’t yet connected the proverbial “dots” that by the same power that raised Lazarus and others, that same Spirit would enable Jesus to walk out of His grave under His own power.

The darkness of that Saturday couldn’t have been blacker or more foreboding as those who loved Jesus anticipated the beginning of another chapter of their lives, without Jesus. Think of their grief. They’d believed Jesus was their answer to the hope they’d held for liberation, peace, contentment, happiness, life itself, but now He was dead. How could life go on? How could they face another day without Him?

Have you ever lost someone who, to you, represented everything good in your life? In your mind, it was as if life without “them” was like life without love, without meaning, without purpose, without hope. Multiply that by a thousand and you’ll get a sense of what those “friends” of Jesus were experiencing.

Like the men on the road to Emmaus, many were struggling to discover how they would – how they could – go back to life without Jesus. All their hopes were centered on Him. Their futures were envisioned with Jesus as their primary point of reference. Every thought, every decision, and every relationship was filled with Jesus and living out the plans He had for them.

What do you do when you lose hope? When sadness envelopes you and seems to swallow you into a deep, dark hole? Where do you turn? My first thought is Jesus! But what if, like those early followers who had seen Jesus die on a Cross, Jesus was removed from the equation? What if you had to face life without Jesus?

My heart can’t conceive of not having life and hope in Jesus. So, as you consider how it might have felt without having Him as your life and hope, think, too, of the elation, the absolute triumph of your Spirit when you learn on Sunday morning – “HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!”

Blessings, Ed 😊

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