Too often when we remember the events of Easter Week, we tend to make a leap from Good Friday to Easter Sunday; straight from crucifixion to the resurrection. We skip right over what I call Silent Saturday. I don’t know why this is; perhaps it is because there is more biblical material supporting the events surrounding Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday or maybe these two dramatic events are so intense and spectacular, we don’t hear the message of Silent Saturday.
As Christians we often know how to accept the tragedy of Good Friday and look forward to the victory of Resurrection Sunday, but struggle with waiting for things to change, which Silent Saturday represents. Simply said, we don’t like the in-between times where we must wait, and wait, and wait on God. But before we look at this message, let’s briefly revisit the wonder of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.
Good Friday reminds us of many remarkable things, the most important of which is the fact that Jesus died for our sins. He laid all of them on the cross so we could have a forever relationship with Him. All we need do is repent of our sins and believe in Him as Lord and Savior ((Romans 3:23, John 3:16, Mark 1:14-15). Without this supreme sacrifice of His we would all be lost, separated from God and His loving grace forever. Perhaps this is why Good Friday is called Good Friday; miserable for Him but good for us.
The second message of Good Friday, a practical everyday application, is the worst has happened, and the best is yet to come. Even though the Good Fridays in our lives may be tough and even unbearable at times, God promises these times will pass. He promises that He will bring peace to every circumstance in our lives whether it is realized here on earth or in heaven to come (II Corinthians 4:7-12, II Corinthians 5:2, 6, 7-9).
Resurrection Sunday, needless to say, is the most joyously celebrated day of the Easter weekend. Churches around the world pack out their worship services and meeting places to honor Christ on this special day. The very fact that He rose from the dead, as He said He would, brings a real sense of peace, joy, and hope to all who believe. (Luke 25:1-6) We say to ourselves on this day, “If Jesus did this, and I believe He did, then there is nothing He can’t or won’t do for me in my life.”
Silent Saturday, on the other hand, is kind of a forgotten day during the Easter weekend, and is rarely the focus of most sermons. This is probably due to the dramatic natures of both Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. It is an in-between day where nothing seems to be going on with Jesus.
In a comparative sense, it is like the times in our lives where a lot of waiting on God goes on. During these Saturday times, which usually come after a Good Friday set of experiences (trials), we sometimes wonder where is God, has He not heard our prayers? So, we wait, not seeing or hearing anything. Just like the waiting the disciples must have had done on the Saturday after Jesus was crucified. But according to the Scriptures even though Jesus’ body stayed in that tomb until Resurrection Sunday, His spirit did not. Shortly after He had been wrapped in linen clothes, sprinkled with the traditional burial myrrh, and shut behind a huge stone door, Jesus’ spirit left His body. Where did He go and what did He do during this time? First of all, His Spirit was not in the tomb, but instead visited those who had been cast into hell, with those who had rejected God’s plan of salvation. He was there proclaiming the Gospel, as well as who He was to them. (Ephesians 4:7-9, I Peter 3: 18-19, Psalm 139:7-8, and Matthew 12:38-40). Why did He do this for they were already lost? I don’t know for sure, but perhaps even those who were lost forever deserve a right to finally know and see who Jesus was and what they missed by not repenting and believing as they should.
The Scripture tells us, “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Romans 14:11) I guess that means everyone, including those who had died and were lost forever. The point is that Jesus was working on Silent Saturday, for Good Friday was over, and Resurrection Sunday was yet to come.
In application this is what Jesus is doing for us between the Good Fridays and Resurrection Sundays of our lives; working, always working for you and me. Never lets up! You may think from time to time that He has left you after a trial, but He hasn’t. In fact, He’s very busy getting things together for an ultimate answered prayer and victory, a Resurrection Sunday for us so to speak.
Therefore, when Silent Saturday arrives this weekend, spend part of that day thanking Him for the work He did on that day 2000 years go, but also the work He is doing for you if you should be experiencing a silent Saturday.
Remember, Good Fridays do pass, Silent Saturdays follow, and Resurrection Sundays always come, even when all seems lost, especially then.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121
Romans 3:23-25 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished…
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Mark 1:14-15 14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’
II Corinthians 4:7-12 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.
II Corinthians 5:2, 6-9 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord; 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
Luke 24:1-6 1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen.’
Ephesians 4:7-9 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.
I Peter 3:18-19 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
Psalm 139:7-8 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
Matthew 12:38-40 38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ 39 But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’