Over this weekend, I really dove into the ideas of Easter. I think, for the previous 20 Easters I had celebrated, I hadn’t truly understood what Easter meant to me in the context of my faith. Don’t get me wrong– I knew the Easter story like the back of my hand and could tell you why we celebrate it. But it had never really resonated inside me until Saturday night- “Easter Eve.” I was sitting on my living room floor, playing WeTopia, watching tv with my parents. Then I looked at mom and said “why don’t we celebrate today? We celebrate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and then Easter on Sunday. Saturday is left out.” Aside from our sarcastic comments that followed, we didn’t really have any answer for it. I kind of just let it go until I went to my room to get ready for bed.
As I pulled out my Bible to prepare for my devotions, I just prayed. I prayed for my friends near and far, for the salvation of my loved ones who don’t know the Lord, for my future husband, for my family, and for the holiday merriment that would ensue the following day. Then I just sat there for a while and again begin to mull over the idea of not celebrating the day before Easter. I couldn’t understand it.
So I put myself in the shoes of a member of the crowd on the day of the crucifixion-the Good Friday crowd. What was I seeing? If I were a follower of Christ, I was seeing the man whom I believed to be the Messiah being put to death on the cross. If I were just a woman who was skeptical or nonbelieving of the identity of this man up on that cross, I would simply be witnessing the ritualistic death just like many others that I had witnessed in my life before that. Regardless of who I was BEFORE the crucifixion, I would be a believer when day turned to night and the earth began to shake. I would know, just as the Centurion did, that this WAS the Son of God.
Do you REALIZE how sad that day would be? Jesus was the HOPE of all things good for these people! He was the One they had been waiting for for CENTURIES. They knew He would do big things. In the 3 years of His actual ministry, He had performed miracles. He had made friends. He had given them hope of a better tomorrow.
For them, their hope had been crucified on that cross. Their tomorrows were depleted. Their ways of life would change. Waking up the next day–that Saturday, would be the worst day of your life! You would be beginning your life in a brand new way–without the hope of a tomorrow. Thousands of thoughts would be crossing your mind: what does that mean for me? Jesus was supposed to save us. But now He’s dead. Who will save us now? What if He ISN’T the Son of God?
Saturday was a day of no hope. Saturday was a day with no promise of tomorrow. Saturday was a day of sadness–“Sad Day Saturday.”
But without a day like Saturday, Easter Sunday loses a lot of its luster. You see, until we realize just HOW much we need Jesus, Easter Sunday means nothing. Easter derives from the word “Estre” which means “Rising.” On Easter Sunday, Jesus ROSE from the dead. He renewed the hope that people had lost. He restored peace among the people. He healed the broken hearts. He brought about new joys for tomorrow. It’s because of the beauty of Sad Day Saturday that we are fully made new in the Crucifixion.
I think a lot of times, we have Sad Day Saturdays in life– or Melancholy Mondays or Terrible Tuesdays or Worrying Wednesdays or ThrowAway Thursdays or Frightful Fridays.. and even Sulky Sundays. But, thanks to the crucifixion-thanks to the HOPE that it renewed–we can changed our Sad Day Saturdays into days of worship, of peace, of happiness, of love of compassion, of joy. And if we mess up, we have a God that will help us rebuild it for tomorrow.
I am so grateful for the hope that Jesus gives me-The hope in a future where I am happily living in the will of the Lord. Where I am doing what He is calling me to do WITH a man whom God has designated to be my partner in a life of serving Him. I am so happy that He holds my tomorrows. It is because of Sad Day Saturday that I know that Jesus restores. And it is because of Easter Sunday I know that He is in control.
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.