There’s something about the silence of the Saturday of Holy Week that I just can’t shake. Each year, it grips my heart and holds on for dear life. What must have been like that first Saturday, living between the cross and the empty tomb?
Somehow we often associate silence with absence. We believe that the absence of sound equals the absence of movement. When we can’t hear someone, it feels like a sign of abandonment.
I wonder if that’s how Jesus’ closest friends felt on that day – abandoned? I would imagine they hadn’t slept more than a few hours since things began unraveling in the Garden of Gethsemane two nights prior. Surely they were exhausted, scared, disillusioned, angry and so, so, sad.
If I hadn’t known Sunday morning was coming, I imagine I would have felt the same way. The beautiful, sacrificial love of the cross is anchored in the hope of redemption. Without that hope, it’s still a beautiful picture of sacrifice, but it’s not the same.
But even though Saturday was marked by deafening silence, it surely wasn’t marked by abandonment. Rather, the greatest story ever told was taking a beautiful, graceful, purposeful turn towards the moment of redemptive glory.
Even now, more than 2000 years after the glory of the resurrection, how many of us still live between the cross and the empty tomb? Do we recognize the sacrifice of Jesus without embracing the redemptive hope of the empty tomb? Are we living in the despair of Saturday, feeling like the silence around us means that we’ve been left alone and hopeless? Are we trusting there’s another chapter? a better ending? a life filled with hope and the promise of mercy?
The space between the cross and the empty tomb must have been so heavy. What a blessing it is that we do not have to live in that space today. Let us live forward towards the resurrection, trusting the hope that Sunday is coming.