Holy Saturday is often seen as an in between kind of a day, a day of trying to process what had happened to Jesus on Good Friday, and wondering what the future might hold. Some of Jesus’s family and friends had stood at the cross, and had witnessed his death. They were numb- had all the miracles and wise teachings resulted only in a cruel and unjust death? It didn’t seem to make any sense.
If we are honest, I wonder if we often question if life is making sense. People suffer unexpected losses and bereavements that turn their world upside down, and we go though long periods of lament. We often reexamine details of events again and again, and think if only……..
The Easter story feels very raw and very real. We think of Mary having witnessed the death of her son, Jesus’s friends sharing his last hours of life, watching in disbelief and horror. And for Jesus to say the words ‘Father, forgive’. In the midst of the emotional, physical and spiritual anguish, his heart was still full of forgiveness and love.
And so on the Saturday, the Jewish sabbath, there was a sense of shock and bewilderment. Some of Jesus’s disciples hid because they were afraid that they too might be arrested. Others met in small groups, and went over the details- the betrayal, the arrest, the trial before the Sanhedrin, and then Pontius Pilate, the scorn and beatings from the soldiers, the crown of thorns. How cruel. What good could ever come from such a dark day?
Whatever place we are at today, if we are questioning or upset, heartbroken by loss or bewildered by injustice, may God draw us near, and remind us of His loving presence. Sometimes we don’t find the answers we seek, as to why something has happened, but even if we can find the healing and strength to live with it, maybe that is enough. There are so many in between days of turmoil and sadness, but Jesus understands, and He reassures us and brings hope.
Eternal God, You reveal that there is a loving purpose for this world, but sometimes there are so many challenging and painful things, we question what is happening. The pain can seem unbearable. Even your precious Son, although he had done nothing wrong, faced bullying and scorn, violence and an unjust and painful death. We believe that somehow through the mystery of the cross, our sins are forgiven, and that we are given the gifts of peace and of eternal life. Yet meantime, day to day, life can still be a struggle. Thankyou that it us ok to question, to he honest. Risen Lord, when you appeared in the garden on that third day, You had tender words of love for Mary. Help us also to know these words are also for us, and may your holy spirit help us to trust, even in the most difficult of days, Amen.