I was teaching a Bible study on The Last Supper to a bunch of middle schoolers this past week, and a few hours after, one of my students took his headphones off from his Zoom and asked, “What happens on the Saturday before Easter?” I grappled with how to tell a 13 year old that nothing happened. Absolutely nothing.
I think if we are honest with ourselves we have asked this question before and quickly brushed it off. Because on Saturday nothing happened. Saturday was silent. Saturday was uncomfortable. Saturday forced every disciple and anyone who had ever heard the stories of Jesus or had been healed by him to wrestle with their faith.
Saturday was nothing to celebrate.
Saturday was silence. And in the silence, they had to decide if they would stand firm in who they knew their God to be. Saturday forced them to be steadfast in who they believed Jesus to be.
In the silence of a season where you’re expecting a confetti boom, will you still believe God is who He says He is, even if there’s nothing but silence?
Jesus made Himself heard on Friday. He tore open the curtains of the temple. Earth quaked and the skies opened up. On Sunday we sing about how our God has robbed the grave and how He has conquered death.
But Saturday? We heard nothing. The silence tormented us - the questions of “Did we do what we were supposed to do?” and “Is God even listening?”
But the silence never meant that God wasn’t working.
Too often we mistake the silence of God as a “no,” and we mistake silence for punishment instead of a chance to rest.
What I love about Silent Saturday is, if you do some digging, there was actually a lot of preparation and sabbathing happening.
And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.
And on the sabbath they rested according to the commandment. (Luke 23:50-56)
I love this passage, because I can see you and me in this story - all of us running around after Jesus has died on the cross, and all of us feeling like we needed to do something. I can see Pilate, and I can see Joseph feeling the weight of mourning and disappointment and fear as the women step in and prepare the body of our Savior.
I can also feel the weight of the moment, thinking to ourselves, “what do we do next? Is Jesus really who He says He is? Can we do anything else? Are we doing enough? Are we missing something?” Do you know what I love about this moment? After all they could do was done - they rested. Even in the uncomfortable shaky moments of silence, they rested and left the rest up to the Lord.
By their decision to step into rest in this moment, we are shown that even in their silence they did all they could think to do here on earth, and then rested when there was nothing left.
When we rest, we allow God to do the rest.
What if we decided to no longer see silence from God as distance, but instead this Easter season see it as the perfect opportunity to trust Him and rest, even in the silence?
Today, will you step into rest with me? Even if the silence of your season is leaving you aching? Today I challenge us to think of areas of our life, or even the whole season, that we need to lay at the feet of Jesus and trust HIm.
Let’s lean into rest and sabbath on this silent Saturday, knowing that tomorrow morning we get to celebrate the resurrection of our sweet Savior.
Jesus, this morning I thank you. I thank you that your plans for my life always blow mine out of the water. I thank you for teaching me the importance of rest and trusting you. Jesus, today, in the middle of the silence that scares me, I step into trusting you to do exactly what you always do. I lay down my anxiety, my doubts, my thoughts of whether or not I did enough, and I step into trusting you fully. In Jesus name, Amen.