Do you ever think what Saturday might have been like for Jesus’ followers?
Right there between sin and death on Friday and life on Sunday?
Crouched behind closed doors. Fearful for their lives.
Friday had been foretold to them. Sunday had been promised to them.
But here they sat on Saturday, bewildered by the crucifixion, and hopelessly in the dark about the Resurrection.
Scripture doesn’t tell us much about Saturday.
Matthew and Mark mention it only in an introductory phrase leading into Sunday.
Luke gives it all of one sentence.
But I can imagine what it was like:
They had all day Saturday to contemplate the events of Friday.
Did sin have the last word?
I wonder about Peter specifically.
Did he recount how many times he …
… spoke too soon
… said too much
… asked too many questions
… gave too many rash answers
… took his eyes off the Savior
… stared at the storm
… thought he knew better than his Lord, rebuking him even.
Did he remember how many times he had been at the top of his disciple game, only to fall and sink (literally!)?
I wonder if his internal dialogue went something like this:
Who am I kidding? I am such a hypocrite … a fake.
Sure, I can boldly declare, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God’ when He’s standing there in front of me. But in the darkness when I’m alone, I can’t even acknowledge I know him.
Arghhhh! When he was declaring, “I am who you say I am,” I was out there denying, “I am not.” How ironic is that?
Why do I even try? Maybe I shouldn’t, since I’m only going to fail. At least I won’t bring more shame to His name.
Did he wonder if sin had the last word?
~ Would his swear, “I do not know the man!” be his final outburst in Jesus’ ears?
~ Would those eyes and that look from his Lord haunt him for the rest of his life?
~ Would that fiendish rooster’s shriek plague him every time he tried to sleep?
There was no way they could make it right
Peter may have been the one to openly deny, but Scripture records only one disciple there at the foot of the cross. On Friday, they all had scattered like sheep — just like He predicted, even though they all had echoed Peter’s bold statement, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
And so on Saturday, I can envision the fear.
And I dare say it wasn’t just because they knew their lives were at stake.
They had deserted the only one who gave their lives meaning.
The inner circle trio must have heard Jesus’ words in Gethsemane reverberating in their ears, as they replayed what a disappointment they were to their Savior – their friend – in his darkest hour.
They had let their Lord down and there was no going back.
Nothing could change their situation.
There was no way they could make it right.
The darkness would follow them wherever they went from now on.
They had received His truth, had heard the promise, had seen him work miracles, even raising Lazarus from the dead. But somehow, this time, their time, this situation must be different and all of that didn’t apply here.
From Scaredy-Cats to Super-Disciples
But Saturday wasn’t the final word.
On this side of the story, we know how it ends.
We know Jesus’ messenger is going to call Peter by name when he instructs the women to go tell.
We see the inherent redemption already at work in those few words.
We know Jesus is going to come to their dark, closed room and say, “Peace be with you.”
And even more glorious, He’s going to breathe on them and say, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
We know Jesus is going to pursue restoration of Peter, intentionally giving him three opportunities to profess his love.
One for each time of denial.
We know the Holy Spirit is going to empower them and they will change the world.
When I teach kids about the “Case for Christ,” I describe it this way: They go from scaredy-cats to super-disciples!
Turn the calendar page
If you see your reflection in my imagination of Saturday, you are not alone.
The struggle to silence the accuser is real.
He would love to convince us that sin and death get the last word, but it’s a lie.
As believers, we know and love and desperately want to serve our Lord, but instead we disappoint. Time and time again, we’ve tried to get it right and right the wrong, but we fail. Eventually, if we don’t bring those failures out and expose them to the light of truth, it begins to feel like the darkness has overtaken us.
We can’t shake Saturday’s shadow, and we end up hiding from our thoughts, replaying broken promises, and recounting failures. And this is exactly where the great accuser would like to see us stay.
Dear comrade in arms, if this is you:
Turn the calendar page and hear all of heaven proclaim, “He has risen … go tell his disciples and ____ (insert your name)”
Run, believer, Run!
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
He calls our name after failure.
He whispers, “Peace be with you” when the darkness closes in.
He pursues restoration after sin.
Saturday’s shadows faded in the glorious light of Sunday.
On Friday, sin lost its penalty.
And on Sunday, it lost its power.
The Resurrection changed everything.
And it’s not just for judgment day, it’s for TODAY.
Because he overcame the grave, we are overcomers!
When Peter and John heard the news from the women, they RAN.
Ran toward the only thing that could change anything. The empty tomb. The place where death lost its sting and the grave lost its victory.
We should too. Run toward the hope and power and justification that the truth of the Resurrection proclaims. Leave the inner scaredy-cat and the shadows of Saturday behind.
We were made for Sunday and we are super-disciples!
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Grow your biblical worldview standing on the Rock of Ages!