It seems that often in our celebrations of Easter through the years, we skip right over Saturday. It’s just kind of washed out between the deep emotion of Good Friday and the grand celebrating of Sunday morning. But not this year. This year, Silent Saturday stands out to me. What must it have been like for those closest to Jesus on the day after his death? How many questions rolled around in their minds? Did they feel denial and anger as they progressed through the stages of grief? Did they question if they had been wrong about Jesus? What a long day of waiting they must have endured.
This year, we have a better understanding of what it means to “wait”. While individually, we might have experienced different seasons of waiting in our lifetime, our current circumstances affects us as a larger community. Such a unique time in our Nation’s history that has brought about a common experience for each of us as we feel isolated and alone at home. This year, I identify in a different way with Silent Saturday. Perhaps you do as well.
I encourage you to gather your family or find a quiet spot on your own today and walk through some Silent Saturday reflections today. Pray and ask God to speak to you during this time.
Read Matthew 27: 62-66, Mark 16: 1 & Luke 23: 55-56
These passages are the only mention of Silent Saturday in the four Gospels. They paint of picture of quiet emptiness in the community that surrounded Jesus. Waiting…waiting and grief. It was meant to be the week of the Passover celebration. But for those who knew and loved Jesus, they felt as though the celebration was replaced with sorrow, confusion and darkness.
The response in the Roman community was different. They were preparing for a battle. Matthew tells us that on Saturday, the Pharisees, who had initiated the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, went to the Roman authorities and spread fear. They remembered that Jesus said he would rise again on the third day and so a fear came up in their hearts. The response from the religious leaders and from the Romans was to increase the guards and prepare for a coming fight. Standing on edge, the guards waited and watched for some coming threat.
We have an advantage over the community that surrounded Jesus on that first Silent Saturday. See, we know that victory is coming on Sunday morning. That first Saturday, they did not. We know that we have reason to praise God even though the waiting on Saturday seems long…they did not.
Today, with your family around you, I invite you to experience some silence. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Spend those minutes in still silence. Listen with your ears to what is happening around you. Listen with your heart to what is happening within you. It will surprise you how long those 5 minutes feel. However, resist the urge to break the silence before the timer goes off. Pray…rest…remember Jesus and how he waited in the tomb until God’s perfect time had come!
When the timer goes off, share what the experience was like for you. Did you hear anything new around you? Did you hear something new within your own heart? Did you hear the Lord speaking to you? Did you gain a new appreciation for Silent Saturday?
Now…take heart! Sunday is coming!
Songs to aid in your worship: