By Carey Nieuwhof, Founding Pastor
Sometimes when you look at your life or at the world, you might be tempted to think God really has no idea how terrible things can be.
That’s why today matters so much.
This is the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter—the day between Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Saturday must have been the most horrible of days for Jesus’ closest followers.
None of them really understood that the resurrection was coming….after all, it hadn’t really happened before.
On Good Friday, it must have felt like hope died.
On Saturday, the dismal disappointment must have simply grown deeper.
After all, the One you had trusted was dead. Some theorists have suggested Jesus didn’t actually die, but all the evidence points to Jesus’ physically dying. (I recently talked to Dr. Craig Evans, one of the foremost biblical scholars alive today, and asked him about how we can be certain Jesus was physically dead (that he didn’t just faint or have a near death experience). Here’s his answer.)
What do you do when your hope dies?
You question God.
You wonder how he could possible understand how bleak things get in this life at times.
You assume God is either unwilling or unable to help.
Too many of us live like it’s Saturday.
We forget that Saturday wasn’t the end of the story. That death was in the process of being defeated. That the enemy was losing. That sins were truly being forgiven.
Within 24 hours, there would be an explosive eruption of life from the tomb.
To be fair, pretty much no one in Jesus’ day knew Easter was coming. But we do. And we should live like it.
The world threw the worst it had at Jesus—a horrible death. God countered with his best—magnificent resurrection.
Hope didn’t die on Saturday. It rose again on Sunday, completely resilient. For hope’s worst enemy, death, could not strangle it any longer.
That also tells us we have a God who is very familiar with suffering and the reality of a broken, battered world. Who fully understands how painful it can be, and answered that pain more powerfully than any of us could.
We have the advantage of living every day on the other side of Easter.
On the days it feels like Saturday, just remember…Sunday’s coming.
Prayer: Lord, when I despair in my life or in the world, help me to remember you conquered despair. On my Saturdays, help me to remember that Sunday’s coming and to completely trust that, in your time, you will right the wrongs and make all things new. In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.
Join us online for a Good Friday service at 10 am and for Easter Sunday services at 8, 9, 10 & 11 am on YouTube. You can get more information, including details on the Easter Jam celebration for your kids, here.