I can’t imagine how depressed those disciples must have felt when they awoke to the reality of Saturday morning. The day after having lived the most horrific day in history. Good Friday is what we call it, but from their perspective is was anything but good. For three years they had followed Him. Three Years of transformation, expectation, reformation. Three years of physically being with Jesus every day. Waking up every day to a new adventure. Who would he heal today? What would He say? Where would He take us? Wonderful questions to wake up to. Everyday filled with anticipation.
I can’t imagine the confusion of Saturday, with the glaring reality of His crucifixion still throbbing in their memories. The way a fresh cut throbs, and we wince every time we accidentally bump it. That stab of pain shooting through us, reminding us that we are wounded. Heads pounding from dehydration as they cried out all their tears ‘til none were left to cry. Eyes swollen from the constant stream of salty moisture. That broken-hearted realization of knowing there would be no adventure today. No one healed, no new word from Him, no place to go, no one to lead them. Saturday is barely even mentioned in the narrative of the Gospels. The Gospel of Matthew reveals what happened.
The Closely Guarded Tomb
62 The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive He said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 Therefore give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come, steal Him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ Then the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “You have a guard of soldiers,” Pilate told them. “Go and make it as secure as you know how.” 66 Then they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting the guard.
Just ponder those words for a minute. Jesus is referred to as a deceiver. The last deception would be worst than the first, they say. Isn’t it just like satan, the great deceiver of the world, to point the finger at Jesus, claiming he is the one who deceived?
Jesus had told them he would rise again on the third day, but grief and confusion had caused them to all but forget that promise. They wrapped him up with 75 pounds of spices. They did not anticipate Jesus rising. Do we wrap Him up too? Do we forget his promises on our own Despairing Saturdays? Let’s sit in wonder at that day of hiding in fear the disciples went through, that day of grief beyond their ability to express. We know the end of the story they forgot that day. Meditate on its dark wonder.