The season of Easter is a focal point of the Christian faith, because it marks the death and resurrection of Jesus. For Christians, the death of Jesus is associated with sacrifice and the ability to be forgiven of our sins. The resurrection of Jesus is associated with victory over death and the possibility of new life.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday
During the season of Easter, we focus a lot on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And rightfully so—these are two of the most important events in our faith. It’s critical to mourn and reflect on Good Friday, to sit with the heaviness that is the death of Christ. And it is absolutely essential to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, that gives us hope for the future and for eternal life.
However, in the focus on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, sometimes I wonder if we forget about Saturday.
What Happened on Saturday?
What happened on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday? The Bible doesn’t really tell us the details. But we can imagine what the followers of Jesus might have been going through. I bet they were devastated. Jesus, the person they thought was the Messiah, had been brutally murdered. They were probably in shock, uncertain what to do next. They didn’t have the hope of Easter to look forward to yet. They were stuck in the Saturday.
Stuck in the Saturday
I often think about our lives as stuck in the Saturday. We might not be experiencing “death” per se, so we aren’t exactly in the midst of a Good Friday. But we aren’t experiencing the joy, restoration, and hope of Easter Sunday either. Or maybe we are in recovery from our own “death.” We are hoping and trusting for healing, but we aren’t there yet. What do we do when we are in that “in between” place?
3 Things to Do When We are Stuck in the Saturday
I think there are 3 key things to do when we are stuck in the Saturday:
- Don’t rush through it. Sometimes when we are in a tough place, it’s easy to try to rush on to the next thing. The painful feelings are so uncomfortable, we want to speed past it. Forget this Saturday stuff, you might say to yourself, I want the easter eggs and the sunrise service and the happy songs. So we rush through, not open to what the Saturday might have to teach us about ourselves. I’m a big believer that God doesn’t waste our pain. Even in our most difficult circumstances, I think there are things we can learn about God, ourselves, and our world. Don’t try to distract yourself from your difficulty and struggle. Don’t numb out with your addictions. Engage with your obstacle, be present, and be open to what your struggle might have to teach you.
- Be in community. It’s tough to go through the Saturday on your own. When you are in a challenging place, you need your community around you. Lean on your family and friends. Get professional help from a counselor if you need it. One of the worst experiences in life is to be alone in your pain. I think that is about as close to hell as we can get here on earth. Share your pain with one another. Bear each other’s burdens. That’s the only way to get through the Saturday.
- Cling to hope. My sense is that one of the things that kept the disciples going during their Saturday was hope. Hope that maybe, just maybe, Jesus was who he said he was, and all was not lost. In the same way, when we are stuck in the Saturday, we need hope that things can get better. Hope is what sustains us until our Sunday arrives.
We tend to focus on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but the Saturday is a key part of the story as well. And more often than not, at least for me, I find myself living in the Saturday. Not necessarily experiencing death, but not yet experiencing the joy and healing of resurrection. In those times, it’s important to take my time, be in community, and cling to hope.