Holy Saturday 2020

After celebrating the Passover. After the anguish in the garden. After the confusion and chaos of the arrest, and trial. After the horror of the crucifixion and the hurried burial, it’s easy to miss the next day. What we call Holy Saturday.

Can you imagine what the disciples must have felt? The crucifixion of Jesus, the Messiah has ended their dream for a different future. A liberated Israel. A new world. It’s over. Their hope is gone. Yes, Jesus told them he would suffer and die. Jesus said it, but they couldn’t hear it. I suspect, like us, they simply couldn’t process such an unthinkable idea. Everyone knows the Messiah doesn’t actually die. Until he does.

So there they were on Holy Saturday. The unthinkable has happened. The future is… is what? What do they do without Jesus? Are they safe? What do they do tomorrow? And the next day? And the day after that?

They are in a terrible place. Many of us have been in similar situations.  The unthinkable has happened. And what will happen next is unknown. Perhaps you didn’t get accepted into the school or program you applied to. Perhaps your job is gone. The engagement is broken. The marriage is over. Someone you love has died.

The future you thought was yours, now isn’t. It won’t happen. And you can’t make that future happen. Life will be different.

We are at a place like that now. All of us, everyone in the world. The Covid 19 pandemic has happened. All our futures will be different. And we can’t even imagine what that altered future will be like. This is a very hard place to be.

It doesn’t do us any good to pretend otherwise. But it is hard to live in uncertainty.

Part of the Easter story is that the unexpected – both the good and the bad- can happen. There will be a future, even though it’s not what we had planned. Even though we don’t see Jesus today. Jesus is not gone. We are not left alone.

On that Saturday, the disciples didn’t know this. All they had was their fear and grief. Even though the disciples didn’t know it, couldn’t see it, couldn’t feel it – God was active. God was at work. Defeating sin and death. Raising Jesus from the dead. And the disciples had no idea about any of this.

Friends when we find ourselves in our own Holy Saturday. Don’t deny the grief and fear. Mourn and cry. But also keep an eye out for how and where God is. The grand story of the Bible is that God does not abandon us. Ever. Even in the desperate times. The disciples didn’t know, but we do- after death comes resurrection.

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