The Weight of Holy Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday.

On this day there is great silence, great stillness. On this day – we tread water


This, to me, is one of the most important moments in the Holy Week. The Bible tells us nothing about disciples between the cross and resurrection. We do know they didn’t anticipate the resurrection, at least not fully. John 20 explains that the disciples were surprised at the empty tomb.


And we need to remember that the resurrection didn’t happen instantaneously – there was a heavy, sacred space of time.


Put yourself there for a minute.


The disciples had put all their hope in that Jesus was the Messiah. They were signing their death warrant by following him… and then he died.


Confused, distraught, overwhelmed, it’s not hard to imagine they had no idea what to think or do. Much like the shock after hearing the words, “cancer”, “divorce”, “we have to let you go” – we, like the disciples must live with the weight of arduous silence.


We mustn’t forget: Holy Saturday is a day of dashed hope – living shattered to pieces.


There are no “Hosannas” or “Alleluias” but instead, a resounding and heartbroken “what next?” in the void of unknowing.


Holy Saturday is the time in between death and resurrection, fear and hope, pain and comfort. It is the valley of grief and uncertainty, for us and for Jesus’ first disciples.


Many of us are living in Holy Saturday – unsure of what the future will bring. For others – it may be hard to live Holy Saturday, because are hearts are already set on the open tomb.


Maybe today, pause and put yourself in the shoes of one of the first disciples on Holy Saturday—Peter, Thomas, Mary of Magdalene, Mary or Martha of Bethany, Jesus’ mother Mary. Visualize yourself as one of them: see your life circumstances in light of the cross, and feel your loss at Jesus’ horrifying death, feel your sense of uncertainty, feel the unknown that lies before you. Let your heart and head sit with that gravity today.


Take time to pray your uncertainties, lifting them to God for comfort and guidance, knowing that, while God is with us on the mountaintops, he’s also with us in the wilderness.

On this Holy Saturday – we worship. For here is where God meets us. God is in our loss. God is in our fear. God is in our pain. God is in the valley.


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