I mean, why a day in-between?
Couldn't there just have been death, and then the night, and then the next morning the empty tomb? Why the day of not-knowing? Why the day of defeat and despair? Why leave those first followers feeling like all their hopes had fallen down, like drops of blood consumed by the earth?
Three days. That's like a mean prank. An April Fools joke that got out of hand. Why would the Creator of heaven and earth wait? Why would the God of all the universe not just step in and make it happen?
I have no doubt He could have. If He can turn a moth into a butterfly, make flower-eating dinosaurs, and create a billion-zillion stars, then surely He could have swept in early that next morning and put everything back-to-right.
But he didn't. Instead He just gave us Saturday.
A day in-between.
A day of waiting.
A day of suffering.
A day of despair.
And maybe that's part of the purpose. Maybe He wants us to slow down. To enter into the world's despair. Maybe He's inviting us into the places and spaces of life that are often forgotten, or ignored, or sometimes avoided. Maybe the God of the universe is inviting us to step out of the Twitter-sphere and enter into His sphere.
And just wait. Wait with Him.
Just like He waits with us.
Maybe Saturday is there so that we're reminded that a big part of the story is about being in-between. Maybe He wants us to remember that Abraham had to wait a lifetime before his son was born.
Maybe He wants us to remember that before Moses led the people out of Egypt there was 400 years of slavery.
Maybe He wants us to remember the rebellion of the people who turned their hearts from Him and were taken away into exile.
Maybe He wants us to remember the leper who was waiting for Jesus on the side of the road. Or the woman at the well. Or Peter denying Jesus three times.
Maybe Saturday's there to remind us that the journey to Sunday involves a lot of struggling, suffering, hurting, waiting.
Maybe if there was just death, and then night, and then the next morning an empty tomb, we would miss the reality of what Sunday is all about, because we would have never plumbed the depths of our own hearts.
Maybe He gave us Saturday so that we would have a day in-between. Just to wait. Just to go a little deeper.
The Apostle Paul said, "we are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may be also be seen in our bodies" (2 Corinthians 4).
Maybe we have to go through Saturday before we can get to Sunday. And so maybe He gave us Saturday so that we would learn to enter in to the "in-between." To stop. To look around. And if we're wise, to look within. And then, to remember this.
And so, my prayer for you (for me) is this: that the love of the Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the abiding presence of the Spirit be with you in your "Saturday." And may you pause long enough to stop and look around, recognizing that all is not right, and yet, all is being put back to right, according to His plan and purposes.
It's Saturday. The day in-between.