Mar 31, 2021 • Written by Judy Episcopo
As I prepare my heart for Easter, I tend to experience it in three parts: the trauma of the crucifixion, the silence of the burial and the joy of the resurrection.
Usually, I skip over the “Silent Saturday” - or Sabbath day as it was known. This is because nothing seemed to be happening. With Jesus’s last breath, any hope of rescue was silenced. No more accusations or pleas fill the air. On this particular Sabbath, there was nothing to do but sit in solitude with empty, hopeless, confusing and consuming sorrow. “Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of Jesus) were sitting across from the tomb and watching.” Matt. 27:61 NLT
This year, I was drawn to it, this Silent Sabbath, or Saturday, as we call it.
During Silent Saturday described in Easter, there are no words. I heard somewhere that one of the definitions of significant trauma is the inability to talk about it. And truly there are no adequate words to describe the horror and evil that had just taken place. Whereas the Sabbath had always been God’s provision for rest and reflection, this particular Sabbath seemed to emphasize hopelessness and the all-consuming darkness of evil. Where was God? Dead. So it seemed.
Have you ever had a season of “Silent Saturday”? When truly “rescue” seems a moot point? God seems nowhere to be found and nowhere to be seen. All that you believed and hoped for, everything you thought was right and true has been turned on its head and you feel like a fool, betrayed...and afraid.
BUT! Praise God! Easter reminds us that Sunday is coming! Resurrection Sunday turned all the grief into joy, purpose and conviction. Jesus brings us victory over sorrow and death! The Saturday silence of the Easter narrative underscores the silence of God that many of us have experienced in our lives. But as Resurrection Sunday eloquently and emphatically reminds us that there truly is an end to our problems, our sorrow, and confusion; it will NOT be forever, it is NOT hopeless. Saturday is silent, but Sunday is coming...