If you have spent any time in Church, you are probably familiar with the term "Holy Week". It is the name we have given to the final week of Jesus' life during which many important events of of our faith took place. It starts on Palm Sunday, the day we remember Jesus triumphantly entering Jerusalem and being hailed as a conquering King. In my church and many others, we also come together to celebrate on "Maundy Thursday" or "the Seder" where we celebrate Jesus' last Passover supper with his disciples when he instituted the Lord's Supper, or Communion. The following night we have a very somber, but beautiful, Good Friday service where we contemplate Christ's sacrifice on our behalf, and, of course, at the end of the week there is Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, the culminating celebration that marked the end of the power of sin and death in our lives.
Everyone looks forward to Easter Sunday, and rightly so. Jesus' emergence from the tomb victorious over death is arguably the most important moment in human history. But there is one day in this Holy Week that has no celebration. It has no special name; it barely gets a mention. Saturday.
For us today, the Saturday before Easter has become a prep day for the celebrations to come. We start the preparations on our Sunday dinners, assemble Easter baskets for the kids, and host or attend egg hunts or family get-togethers that time or weather may not permit on Sunday. It is busy and filled, and if we're honest, we probably don't give the reason for all the busy-ness much thought on that "extra" day of our "Holy Week".
But what about that true Holy Week? On that Saturday where the body of Jesus lay lifeless in a borrowed rock tomb, what was that Saturday like for the disciples? His family and friends who had believed that THIS was the Messiah they had been promised to deliver them, and yet had seemingly not even been able to deliver himself? The feeling of loss and betrayal they must have felt must have been crushing. For three years, they had followed him, many giving up families, jobs, homes, everything they had for him. And now, he was gone. They had no way of knowing the great things God was preparing. From their perspective, all was darkness and loss and fear and pain. There was nothing to do but wait with no foreseeable end to the waiting. Saturday seemed it would last forever.
As you are reading this, you may be going through Saturday right now. Oh, I know you may be physically reading this on any day of the week, but spiritually, for you, it is Saturday. Some tragedy or difficulty has stolen your joy and left you feeling hopeless and stumbling in the dark. God feels so far away, and it seems as if this time of darkness will last forever.
But have faith, Brother or Sister; Sunday is on its way. God has not abandoned us to wander in the darkness forever. This is just a temporary stopping place on the way to more glorious things. The reasons for this detour may be many. Maybe God is teaching you to stop and wait on him- teaching you to listen for that still, small voice that we so often overlook when things are going well. Maybe he is giving you a chance to reconsider choices made of late and giving you a chance to repent and turn back towards him. Whatever the reason just remember: Sunday IS on the way.
The day is coming when life will overcome death, and Jesus will reveal himself in a new, mighty, and awesome way. Like the disciples two millenia ago, when you least expect it, Jesus will show himself to you again and reaffirm what you already knew, but may have forgotten in the midst of the struggle and sorrow: Jesus is Lord. Jesus loves you, and He died for you. And since He has risen from the grave, we need never fear living through Saturday ever again. Amen.