Easter Saturday

How an Instagram post framed my Easter.

I came across an Instagram post from Erin Moon (COO of one of my favorite podcasts) that framed the rest of my Easter. People have a lot to say about social media which is interesting considering it’s part of my job, but I firmly believe that if you wade through and follow well, it can be a lovely place. I have been encouraged and challenged through it and her post on the Saturday before Easter was equal parts both.

Easter weekend was a bit abnormal for us this year since we spent a lot of it in a car driving back from our trip to South Carolina. As we followed the winding road that the mountains formed, I came across her post and it stopped me in my tracks. There are certain moments you just remember and for me, this will be one of them. Driving along with walls of rock and stone surrounding us as I read the words of a woman I have never met that traveled straight into my heart. Her words:

They put their hope in Him, just like He said they could, but this day must have been so bleak.

We only have one sentence in scripture that gives us any clues. The second half of Luke 23:26 says that since it was the Sabbath, they rested. I’ve often wondered how the authors of the Gospels felt when they went to record this particular day. The excitement and terror of Jesus’s arrest and death were over. They watched as their Lord’s body was placed in a tomb. They had no idea that Sunday was coming. For all they knew, it was over.

There are so many unknowns to this day. Maybe you feel like you’re standing vigil in your own life, wondering if rescue or joy will come. Perhaps you’re in a place of life you never thought you’d be, maybe you’re resentful of that place. It’s possible you feel stuck or confused by the waiting. In the unknowns, in the waiting, in the stuck, we can continue to move in faith, to do, as my friend Emily P. Freeman says, the next right thing.

If you’ve ever been in despair you know how these men and women felt. The loneliness, the grief, the heartache. Dreams shattered. But we get a picture of how to respond to this kind of devastation from the women that surrounded Jesus. The knew His body needed to be properly tended to, so that’s what they did. It wasn’t where the woman thought they would be, but they knew what they had to do. Jesus’ death could have paralyzed them but they put one foot in front of the other, and God did not disappoint. The were faith in moving in the rhythms of reliance, despite the circumstances. And how richly were they rewarded? These women were the first to see Christ resurrected!

When we’re standing vigil in our own lives, it is difficult to see past our Saturdays. We hold our breath and wonder if we’ve been forgotten or misplaced, or shelved. We doubt the promises that were true earlier.

There is more to Jesus than we ever thought possible. Sunday is coming.

-Erin Hicks Moon, @erinhmoon

I have never given this particular span of time a lot of thought. We entrench in the agony of Good Friday and celebrate in the victory that Easter Sunday joyfully brings. Saturday is often a lost day-no church service, no title, no particular recognition.

Erin’s words helped me travel back and try to envision what this day was like for Jesus’ family and friends. Like she said, they didn’t know that Sunday was coming. They were stuck with the heartache that we are filled with each Good Friday. I can’t imagine the suffering spirits of this group that didn’t know that Jesus would rise from that tomb…that he would be ‘bursting forth in glorious day’ (as one of my favorite songs so perfectly describes it). My heart hurt for the dedicated community of ‘His people.’ The disciples who had loyally followed him as He performed miracles and healed the sick. The mother who gave birth to him in a stall and watched as He was crucified. The friends who shared a table with Him as He shared and spoke words of truth into their lives.

How profound a loss to be wading through the discomfort…to not know that Sunday would be one of the brightest days of human history. I love the beautiful way that she painted the women that came to tend to Jesus’ body. How in their grief they came together to do what was needed. What a testament to how they loved him.

Her post left me in deep thought about Saturday. She referenced us standing vigil ourselves, waiting for the ‘next’. I think this is 100% true. At times, we find ourselves sitting, waiting, wondering why we continue to sit, wait, and wonder if God is who He says He is. Sometimes, I even think we make a quick exit stage right after Good Friday for a more comforting Easter morning.

This Easter, I tried to frame it all differently. Instead of skipping Saturday to make it to the happiness of Sunday, I attempted to put myself in the shoes of Jesus’ dearest friends, his family members, his mother on that day in between. I tried to grasp the loss they witnessed without the understanding of an impending victory of body and spirit. I tried to sit at the foot of the cross grieving the public death of the individual who I believed with my whole soul was the Savior of the world. I tried to think of how it would feel to think that evil had taken the final say.

Erin’s post, her words, and this change in thought reframed my entire Easter. Still joyful, still grateful, but through the lens of a Saturday of waiting with no known ending. May I sit in the Saturday more often. Be okay with the waiting. Seek him more “in the stuck”. Reflect on what was done for me with and without the promise of Sunday morning.

Thank you Erin for your perspective. In the car, in the hills of Tennessee, in my sweats…your words rang so very true.

Here is love unbounded.
Here is all compassion.
Here is mercy founded.
Oh great Redeemer.
Oh Prince of Glory.
Here is hope.

-Lamb of God, Rob Gardner