By Marcus Hathcock
April 6, 2012
Yesterday was Good Friday. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. In theliturgical tradition, this day in between is known as “Holy Saturday,” but I liketo think of it more as “Question-mark Saturday” or “Doubt Saturday” or “Faith-buildingSaturday.”
What was the purpose of this day? Clearly, Scriptures aboutthe Messiah stated that He would die and on the third day would rise again. Now,there’s plenty ofdebate as to the actual days these things took place — and how manydays, and how time was counted — but it’s safe to say that Jesus died and thenthere was some time in between before His resurrection. That time is what todayrepresents.
So, why did the Lord arrange it this way? I mean, surely Hecould have been resurrected as soon as the stone was rolled over the tomb and haveblasted it away! Surely He could have been resurrected the following morning,as opposed to days later. Why the wait?
I think the wait made the resurrection more believable. Ithink with less time passing, the theories and speculation about Jesus simplyhaving a bad headache, going into a coma or passing out would be all the morefueled.
No doubt about it: He was dead. It’s weird to think about anentire day when soldiers stood guard over a tomb that wasn’t empty. We so oftenpicture the tomb as being just filled or empty. But there was a time where adead Jesus indeed was inside and all hope seemed to be entombed with Him.I think the wait was somehow important for Jesus’ followers.Just imagine all that Jesus’ closest friends and disciples were going throughon that day. They'd just witnessed the hope of hopes die, the light of the worldsnuffed out. And then they woke up the next day to a new world. An empty world.
It’s in these times, when it seems there’s no way God isgoing to deliver on His promises, that we really come to terms with what webelieve.
During that time in between, Jesus wasn’t annihilated. Hewasn’t nonexistent. There’s plenty of debate on exactly what He was doing — theApostle’s Creed says Jesus was in hell, swiping the keys — but regardless of Histask, I bet He was giddy with excitement. The hard part was over; He wasprobably vibrating with anticipation of bursting from that tomb. At the sametime, He probably wept over the hopelessness that gripped all those to whom Hewas closest.
It’s God’s style to place a buffer between a major setbackand a major victory. Because He truly works all things out for the good ofthose who love Him, He knows that strengthening our faith and reliance on Himis far better for us than just giving us what we want when we want it. We canbe like bratty children a lot of the time, whining when things don’t go our wayand then whining louder when it’s obvious we have to wait for something. I’mvery guilty of this.
The day between — the day of doubt, the day of frustrationand questions and anguish — is just as important as the days surrounding it.You can’t have Easter Sunday without Good Friday, they say, but Easter Sundaywouldn’t nearly have its impact without faith-building Doubt Saturday.
When God’s promises seem anything but achievable, and yetyou still hold on to Him, seeing them come true in the end — even if it’stotally different than what you expected — is an incomparable joy.
Because then you realize God is real, God is true, God isfaithful, God is powerful and God is good.
Marcus Hathcock is the senior editor at NewReleaseTuesday.com and a contributor to RELEVANT.