What a mixture of emotions the disciples and friends of Jesus must have experienced that Saturday. Had they missed something? How could it all end this way? Sure Jesus had said something about death and burial, and then there was something having to do with 3 days, but he often taught in parables. He was such a powerful teacher and miracle worker. What had he done to deserve this?
Any man could have died on the cross. Any man could have taught. The miracles would be difficult to explain away as the work of a man, but they had seen his death…and seeing IS believing.
Those thoughts, and many more must have been going through their minds. What about you? What thoughts have been going through your mind? What thoughts creep in when tragedy strikes you? What doubts seem too large to overcome when everything you had hoped for seems to crash around you? It’s ok. The disciples must have had the same doubts that Saturday.
Yes, that Saturday must have been a painful and confusing one for those who were closest to him. They were close enough to have dearly loved him, but the time had not yet come for them to truly know who he was…to fully believe all the implications of his life, and of his death. For it was not yet Sunday.
The Apostle Paul also must have wrestled through all of this as he engaged the early church. In 1 Corinthians 15:14 he states, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” Paul is stating what the disciples felt, and what we feel in times of darkness. If Jesus is dead, then none of it is true. It must have all been a fleeting dream.
That was the struggle on Saturday, but praise be to God…Sunday came! And when it came, all could see that Jesus’ death was not defeat, but victory. In his death, we received life, and the proof was in the Resurrection. He was not merely a man. He was, and is, the God Man…the Lord Jesus Christ!
What a glorious day that Sunday was, and is! The Resurrection serves as a seal of authenticity for all of Jesus’ teaching, for his life, and for his death. But the Resurrection was not only proof of the past, it was an indicator of the future. Paul continued in 1 Corinthians 15:20-21… “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfuits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.” Paul is telling us that Jesus’ Resurrection is the kind of resurrection believers will enjoy as well, as we will be resurrected to an eternal, physical life with him.
Yes, Saturday was a dark day for the disciples. We too can undergo our Saturday struggles, but our hope is reassured in the same place, or rather in the same person. The place was the empty tomb. The person is Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and was buried, but three glorious days later, he rose again. Praise be to God! Sunday came!