The Saturday Sandwiched Between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection
Sorrowful. Traumatized. Devastated.
This is what Mary, Jesus’ mother, may have been feeling the day after He died. I think back to how I felt the day after my son died. I was buried under a load of grief and I didn’t experience the horror of seeing him die as Mary did her Son.
Besides watching the physical death, Mary certainly felt the hatred towards Jesus of those who were causing His death. Not a death in solitude, but in public where many would pass by. She would also have sensed the shamefulness of His death by crucifixion.
The circumstances surrounding a death make a huge difference in grieving that death. Did Mary carry the shame of that death afterwards, feeling isolated and stigmatized because her Son had been killed as a criminal? Had she been so overcome with grief that she forgot what Jesus said about coming back to life?
That Saturday must have been so difficult. By then, it was all over. The dust was beginning to settle. Shock may have set in. Or maybe the full impact of the loss ripped through Mary’s equilibrium. Perhaps the events from Friday played over and over in her mind.
For us, the day after Good Friday is often a day to prepare for Easter. The special church service, spring clothes, a meal with family and friends, Easter traditions.
But for that first Good Friday, no one seemed to anticipate a resurrection. On Sunday morning the women brought spices to put on the dead body. Later in the day, when the disciples saw the resurrected Christ, they needed some convincing.
On that Saturday, Mary and many others were in deep mourning. It was a day of despair and dashed hopes.
In a sense, we are living in that “Saturday sandwiched between the crucifixion and the resurrection.” As believers, spiritually we have been crucified with Christ. Spiritually, we have also been risen with Him. But a day is coming when we will physically be resurrected and receive a new body that will never suffer and never die.
Sometimes the cares of this life and our struggles become so big we forget to anticipate our future resurrection. But it is promised to us in the same way Jesus promised He would rise from the dead. The annual celebration of Easter is a reminder to celebrate all the blessings we have because of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Today on this “Saturday sandwiched between the crucifixion and resurrection,” I am reminded of the truth from Romans 8:38-39 that nothing can separate me from the love of God (For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ESV)
That means that the person I am, and the quality of my life is not dictated by circumstances, but by the fact God loves me. That means that even the times this week I was frustrated because my vision is getting worse, making it difficult to read and slows down my work, that God still loves me and my life has value.
What blessing of Christ’s death and resurrection is meaningful to you today?