by Kim Gunderson
What comes to mind when you think about Easter? Frilly dresses, baskets overflowing with candy, hidden eggs. Conquered death. A celebration of new life. A time to remember the suffering that Jesus endured to make us right with his Father.
What about the day between Good Friday and Easter? What about Saturday? It kind of seems like a waste, a day of waiting for the grand celebration of Easter. But what if there’s more to Saturday than we realize?
On that long-ago day, the world was silent. The mourning continued. Jesus’s body lay in a tomb, hopes for a conquering king buried with Him. The disciples scattered and hopelessness set in. What the disciples then didn’t know, that we do now, was that Easter was coming. Jesus would conquer death once and for all.
But that Saturday? Perhaps the silence still rang with hallelujahs as God’s plan unfolded. Silent hallelujahs. Hopeful hallelujahs. Expectant hallelujahs. In the silence his presence is known, when the sounds of the world cease.
“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10, NLT
Perhaps in the silence of that Saturday the disciples remembered stories Jesus told, recalled memories of what he had done, clung to the reality that he had lived. Perhaps they remembered the miracles he performed, the lives he transformed, the dead he had raised. On that long-ago Saturday, his body may have been in a tomb, but his ministry had not ended. God was still at work, even in the silence.
Personally, I’m not fond of silence. Having raised four kids and numerous pets, our house was a lively one. Until silence entered our home when our youngest daughter died. Saturday arrived, and the silence was deafening. But in that silence, God whispered truth. He reminded me that while I might wait a hundred Saturdays, one day, Easter will come. Jesus will return.
“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. It seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will sure take place. It will not be delayed.” Habakkuk 2:3, NLT
I grew up knowing the truth about Jesus, His death and resurrection, and celebrated every year. But I suppose it was a little like hearing about something really awesome, say…like Disney World. I heard people talk about Disney. I’ve seen other people’s pictures but when the day came that I actually got to experience it for myself? Wow.
Everything changes, right?
That’s what happened when my daughter died. I experienced the tenderness of Good Friday like never before. I felt death’s sting to the core of my soul. The loss. The brokenness. The hopelessness. The silence of Saturday brought waiting. But I experienced God’s mercy in the depth of the silence through the gift of his Son, Jesus. He met me and changed my loss to gain. My brokenness was restored. My hopelessness was replaced with promised glory, glory and strength for today, and a precious hope for tomorrow.
It was in the silence of Saturday that I came to realize while I may not get to see my little girl here are on earth, the reality is that her soul is very much alive and one day we will be reunited again, never to be apart. Why? Because of Jesus.
Jesus, the One who took on the sins of the world. Jesus, the One who bore our shame. Jesus, the One who willingly suffered and died in our place. Jesus, the One who was buried but who was brought to life again. Jesus, the One who conquered death, once and for all.
So as you sit in the silence of Saturday, may you hear God’s gentle whisper, calling you near. In the silence of Saturday, may you recall the depth of love He has for you, even to the point of death. In the silence of Saturday, may you offer your own hallelujahs, even as you wait for the hope of Easter.
What do you need to offer God in the silence of Saturday this year? What do you need to hear from Him?
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