By Ashley Pooser
Nothing helps you realize just how much you don’t know like a child’s questions. The approximately 1,200 daily queries from my ten-and-under set certainly keep me on my toes. If your role in life has brought you anywhere near young children, I’m sure you know what I mean.
My kids tend to ask their most philosophical questions after we’ve said our bedtime prayers and I’m on my way out of the room.
“Mom? What if you wake up tomorrow and realize you’ve been asleep for seventy-five years and your whole life has been a dream?”
“Hey, Mom? Do you think there’s Chick-Fil-A in heaven?”
“Mom! If I tell God a joke, do you think he’ll laugh?”
One night we were talking about the upcoming Easter weekend. I explained Maundy Thursday, when Jesus and his disciples shared the Last Supper and Jesus was arrested. We talked about Good Friday and all the events of that sad day when Jesus died on the cross. Then we wrapped up with the celebration of Resurrection Sunday when Jesus conquered death and rose from the grave.
“But, Mom? You talked about Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. What about Saturday? What happened that day?”
My daughter’s question took me by surprise. I guess I had never really thought much about Saturday. We tend to skip over Saturday. “Jesus died on the cross and on the third day was raised from the dead.”
Growing up, I was in church just about any time the doors were open. Going over the same Easter lesson in Sunday school, Bible school, and youth group for years and years became rote. Just as 2 + 2 = 4, it was too often more like “Jesusdiedonthecrossandonthethirddaywasraisedfromthedead. Okay, time for pizza!” We didn’t often make time to really dig into what those days must have been like.
My daughter’s question got me thinking about what the followers of Jesus must have been feeling on that Saturday. The disciples had given up everything to follow Jesus. They had sold out completely. He was Messiah. The real deal. Jesus was the one they’d been waiting for to save them in what they most likely anticipated to be a dramatic and triumphant fashion.
They had literally up and walked away from their lives to live on the fringes of polite society. But it was worth it because everything was on track for them to have a front-row seat to history. As they came into Jerusalem, they must have been riding high as the people waved palms and celebrated Jesus. I can only imagine the adrenaline and jubilation.
How quickly it all changed. In a matter of days, the hero who had come to deliver them—the one who held all their hopes—was arrested, mocked, tortured, and killed. As the sun set that Friday, all their expectations disappeared with the light.
On Saturday, the sun rose. The earth kept turning. Life went on even though the story they thought God was writing was dead. Can you imagine how Saturday felt? They had watched hope die on a cross. Their faith, so strong just days before, was now broken and bloodied and lying lifeless in a borrowed tomb.
Even in the most important series of events in history, there was waiting. An entire day of waiting. A long, dark Saturday when all seemed lost. When it feels as though we’re completely on our own. When it all seems to be unraveling. When all we can do is look around a world full of confused faces and wonder, “What now?”
Thank God he doesn’t leave us there in that place of loss and confusion. When we’re floundering somewhere in the middle of our story, he is not surprised at the twists and turns. He knows every page. The Author knows how our story ends. He knows the stone gets rolled away. Darkness is defeated. The Light of the World shines on.
In the craziness of this world, it often feels as though we’re living in the tension of a lifetime of perpetual Saturdays. Our expectations of how our story is “supposed” to go are inevitably shattered, and we’re looking around wondering, “What now?” We feel abandoned on Saturday.
Oh, friends. Hold on.
It may be a long, cold, dark Saturday right now, but God has more for us than Saturday. Sunday is coming. Jesus is coming. The resurrection is coming. Our job is to believe in the resurrection, even on our Saturdays.
Ashley Doyle Pooser is a wife and a mom of three. She recently moved to Atlanta, where she’s trying her best to be a responsible adult but feels like she’s mostly flying by the seat of her pants. She blogs at ashleydoylepooser.com.
Photograph © Bethany Beams, used with permission