For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. -1 Corinthians 15:3-5
There is much that is made out of Good Friday and Easter Sunday…and rightly so! The death of Jesus made possible forgiveness of sin and peace with God. The resurrection of Jesus opens up the reality of eternal life and hope after death. What better news than this can there ever be?!
However, there was a space and a day between Friday and Sunday that doesn’t get enough attention and yet is so relevant to many seasons in our lives today. It’s the day in between death and resurrection. It’s the pause between the promise and the fulfillment. It’s the space between our dreams being shattered and hope being restored. It’s when we bury what has died but have yet to experience new life from the seed that is planted. It’s the day when, well, nothing seems to be happening. It’s the day when we are caught in confusion, despair and disillusionment; an end has come but new life has not yet begun.
Ever experience a “Saturday” of the soul? Jesus’ own disciples surely did. Some of them watched him being crucified. They saw the spear pierce his side. They witnessed him being taken down and laid in a tomb. The stone was rolled firmly shut. And then…silence.
Think of this in the context of many aspects of life. A seed is planted in the ground but then comes a long waiting period before new life begins to break forth and spring up from and through the ground and a harvest is reaped. A caterpillar hides itself in a cocoon for a time before breaking forth having been transformed into a beautiful butterfly! You get engaged…and then wait for what seems like forever for the wedding. You find out you or your wife is pregnant; but then the long weeks of waiting for the baby to come forth. Some days you wonder if anything is happening because there seems to be no activity!
But just because it seems like nothing is happening doesn’t mean nothing is. There is much that often happens beneath the surface, in the womb or in the cocoon! (In Jesus’ case 1 Peter 3:18-20 seems to touch on what was happening but it’s beyond the scope of this article).
Friday’s are intense and Sunday’s are joyful, but Saturday’s are well…long. I liken it to a funeral. In six years time, when I was pastoring a church, I conducted thirty funeral services. When someone dies there is a lot of activity. Friends, family, neighbors and others are calling and gathering. Memories are shared. Funeral arrangements are made. The pain is raw and real but there is a sense of it all being a blur. It’s like a “Friday.” But when the casket is lowered into the ground there is a deeper sense of finality. There is a silence that comes upon those gathered. And then…nothing. Friends and family disperse. Life returns to “normal”…but it’s like time stands still, all is different and disorienting. Saturday has come.
Maybe you are experiencing a “Saturday” of the soul. Maybe something (even someone) in your life has died. Maybe something needs buried. Maybe you need to let go. Maybe you are confused, disillusioned…wondering what has happened, what went wrong, why whatever has happened has happened. Saturday is a time of reflection. It’s a time of rest. It’s a time of ending something but something new not yet beginning.
But the Good news is, Saturday’s come and go, like every other day and season. And the next season is one of new life, new joy, new hope. It’s a resurrection season, a time of new beginnings. But understand, this is why Saturday is so important. Before something new comes forth, something old has to not only die, but be buried. It has to be let go of. You have to entrust it into God’s care and keeping. And then…well, the hardest part of all…you have to wait on his perfect timing.
God has a way of resurrecting old dreams. He has a way of faithfully fulfilling every promise…even one’s that seem hopeless, impossible and over. He has a way of bringing forth new life, in place of the old. He has a way of turning “Saturday’s” into “Sunday’s.” It’s a principle in the natural world and it is also a principle in the spiritual realm.
If you would like to hear more on this, listen to one of my favorite sermons I ever preached called: “In Between Friday and Sunday was Saturday.” Just click on the link to that title and let God do a new work in your heart and life as you wait upon Him to fulfill His promises, which are “yes and amen” in Christ!
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. -John 12:23-25