Too often when we remember the events of Easter Week, canada medicine we tend to make a quantum leap from Good Friday to Easter Sunday; straight from the crucifixion to the resurrection. We skip right over what I call Silent Saturday. I don’t know why this is so; perhaps it is because there is more biblical material supporting the events around Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday or maybe because 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, diagnosis but we struggle with waiting for things to change, see whichSilent Saturday represents. Simply said, we don’t like the in-between times where we must wait, and wait, and wait
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. The meaning of Silent Saturday is rarely taught during Easter week, but it should be because the message is empowering. 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 them all (Romans 3:23) on the cross and He took care of them, so we could have a forever relationship with Him (John 3:16). All we need to do is repent of our sins and believe in Him as Lord and Savior (Mark 1:14-15). Without His supreme sacrifice we would all be lost, separated from God and His loving grace forever. Perhaps this is why Good Friday is called Good Friday; it was totally for our good. The second message of Good Friday, a practical everyday application, is that the worst has happened, and the best is yet to come just around the corner. Even though the Good Fridays in our lives may be tough and even unbearable, God promises they will pass (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). 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 (2 Corinthians 5:2, 6, 7-9).
Resurrection Sunday is the most joyously celebrated day of all; churches across the world pack out their meeting places on this day. The very fact that Jesus rose from the dead, as He said He would, brings all of us who believe in Him a real sense of peace and joy (Luke 25:1-6). Since He did this, He can do anything, even bring a miracle to our own lives if need be.
Silent Saturday, on the other hand, is rarely the focus from the pulpit, which may be due to the dramatic natures of both Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. It is an in-between day where nothing is seemingly going on with Jesus. Correspondingly, it represents the days we spend waiting for God to get us from our Good Friday circumstances to Resurrection Sunday. And during these waits we often wonder whether God is really working in our life. What was Jesus doing on the Saturday between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday? If we can answer this, then perhaps we can have a better feel for those seemingly Silent Saturdays that come.
First of all, He did not stay on the cross long like many others who were crucified by the Romans. He was instead immediately taken from the cross to the tomb. According to Scripture, His body stayed there in a state of death until early Sunday morning (Mark 16:9). But even though Jesus’ body stayed in the tomb until Resurrection Sunday, His spirit did not. Some time shortly after He had been wrapped in linen clothes, sprinkled with the traditional burial myrrh, and shut in by a sealed stone door, Jesus’ spirit got up and left His body (John 19: 39; John 20 6-9). His leaving could have been a matter of a few hours, a single hour, or even just a few minutes, but He did leave! So where did He go and what did He do during that time between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday? First of all, He was not on earth, but with those who were in hell, with those who had rejected God’s plan of salvation. He was there preaching the Gospel, sharing with them who He was, working as always for the Kingdom of God. In order to get a good picture of this, read the Scriptures Ephesians 4:7-9, Romans 4:11, Psalm 139:7-8, and Matthew 12:38-40 below. Why did He do this; they were already lost? I don’t know for sure, perhaps even those who are lost forever deserve a right to finally know and see who Jesus really was and what they missed by not repenting and believing as they should. The Scripture tells us that, “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 were lost forever. The point is that Jesus was working on Silent Saturday; Good Friday was over, Resurrection Sunday was coming, and Jesus worked in-between. And this is what He is doing for you between the Good Fridays and Resurrection Sundays of your life; working, always working for you. You may think from time to time that He has left you or that He has taken a break from you; this could not be farther from the truth. So when Silent Saturday comes this Easter, spend part of that day thanking Him for the work He is doing on your behalf, the results of which you may not be able to yet see, but results that are being perfected while you wait (Psalm 121:1-3).
Secondly, use Jesus as a model for your attitude between the Good Fridays and the Resurrection Sundays. During the Silent Saturday periods of your life keep working as you wait, reaching out to the lost in your midst.
In this Teachable Moment I will leave with you a personal story of mine where some orphan children I worked with while in College lived lives full of Good Friday (trials) and Silent Saturday (waiting on God) experiences. They also experienced Resurrection Sundays, too, as you will see.
A number of years ago I attended a reunion at an orphanage home where I worked during my college years. I walked into the cafeteria, a place where I had shared meals with young boys and girls who had been either abandoned by their parents or ended up in our facility because they were wards of the court when no one else would take them.
Working with these orphans was perhaps the best experience I had in my college years. I gained the job through one of the most incredible interview processes I have ever had. I saw the job posted at my college, which was not far from the facility in Hollywood. When I arrived to talk with the two administrators, they were very interested in me as an applicant because of my previous work with children at church and in the Boys Club. I had just come off of a great semester at school; one that was filled with God’s blessings. I had started a Campus Crusade Ministry on our campus and it had really gone well. I was sky high with God; there was a growing part of me that was beginning to believe that there was nothing I could not do if I just applied faith to the situation. My life was becoming more transparent with my beliefs and walk with the Lord.
The interview went very well, but the last question was the key to the job as I later found out. Margaret, the assistant administrator asked me about my faith. She noted that in my application I was from a Christian college, and that I had done some youth work with a church the year before. She pointed out that the orphan’s home was not a Christian home per se. She then wanted to know if I would be tempted to share my faith with the kids at the home should I be hired. I decided to answer exactly how I felt. God had been so faithful during the whole year, why should I do otherwise? “Of course, I will share my faith with these children. It is their best hope.” There was a moment of silence in the room. Both the administrators looked at each other and said almost simultaneously, “You’re hired. When can you come to work?” As I learned later, most of the staff had vital relationships with Christ; and because of it several children met their only hope, Christ. In fact after talking with others on staff it was deduced that about 80% of these orphans and wards of the court found Christ before they left.
As I looked around the room on that reunion day, some faces looked familiar, but I could not recognize them until they identified themselves. I wasn’t sure anyone would recognize me, except the old staff with whom I had worked. Surely, these kids who were now in their early thirties would not remember me even though we had many teachable moments together. Two young women approached me. One was with her husband and the other married with children. They were so complementary that it warmed my heart, but what really spoke to me were the lives they were now living. Both had married good Christian men and were raising their children the way they had always hoped for when they were children. Then all of a sudden this big, 6’5″ giant of a man grabbed me from behind and raised me up in the air. He was so excited to see me, almost as if I were his long-lost father. “It’s Brian, Mr. McClain, it’s Brian.” “Oh, my heavens! Not the little 11 year old boy in cottage five?” I exclaimed. And then he said something that really caught me, “Thanks, Mr. McClain, for writing me that letter right after you left the home. I was really struggling; but when your letter arrived, I knew God cared. And although there were many tough years, I have served Him as best I could. Thank you for the letter.” I could hardly remember writing the letter, but obviously God used it in a way I could have never anticipated.
The reunion was really a joy to attend. So many of these orphans had made good on their lives, but it was not because they had good parents. They did not. What they did have was an ever-present, loving God, ordained replacement parents, and willing hearts that said, “Yes, Lord, come into my life.” It is a wonderful thing to see kids grow up in Christian homes, and because of it they likewise trust God in their parenting. But it is really quite something else to see kids grow up with so many Good Friday (trials) and Silent Saturday (seeming Godly silence) experiences, but to trust Him anyway. In the end they raised families who trusted God. Is there a better Resurrection Day than this?
Have a wonderful Silent Saturday this Easter!
Kent and Myrna McClain
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.”
2 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.
2 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 to 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.”
Mark 16:9 Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.
John 19:39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
John 20 6-9 6 And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 9For as yet they did not understand the Scripture that He must rise again from the dead.
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.”
Psalm 121:1-3 1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.