In all the busy bustle of the Easter Holidays, we can forget what the time between Jesus’ death and resurrection would have been like for his disciples. Alex Taylor encourages us to make time to reflect on that crucial time this Easter.
Easter is all about Friday and Sunday. On Good Friday, we mark the trial, death and burial of Jesus; on Easter Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death. But there’s something missing in this picture. What about Saturday?
For us now, Easter Saturday is probably filled with trips to the supermarket, trying to amuse the children or entertain visiting family members. However, for Jesus’ friends, what must that day have been like?
From just before sunset on the Friday evening until the sight of the stars on Saturday evening, Jesus’ friends observed the Sabbath. This is why they were in a hurry to take Jesus’ body down from the cross – doing so would have constituted ‘work’, which would have been forbidden on the Sabbath. With Jesus’ body safely in Joseph’s tomb, Jesus’ friends could do nothing but wait. And the rules around mourning meant that they would not have been able to show any grief on the Sabbath.
Imagine you are there with Jesus’ friends on that Saturday, in hidden grief and desperate sorrow, no knowledge of the momentous events of the following morning. Even though Jesus told them what would happen, the disciples and other followers didn’t understand. It’s unlikely they would have gone out to the temple to pray for example. They would have been in fear for their lives. There’d be no work, no cooking…What would that have been like?
Today, we see the events of Good Friday in the light of what is to come on Easter Sunday and coast through the day in between. Perhaps we should pause and reflect on the story so far on Saturday? This Easter Saturday, how about considering some of these questions as you move from supermarket to board game to granny’s visit and dinner?
• What must Jesus’ friends have been thinking the day after Jesus’ death?
• Imagine a conversation between the disciples – what might they have been saying?
• What do the events of Good Friday mean to you?
• What conversations might you have about the events of Good Friday with your own children or those you come into contact with on Easter Saturday?
As a children’s or youth worker or parent, you’ll know that the thoughts of children and young people can often be revelatory in our own faith and understanding, so seek out times to chat – in the car, in the freezer aisle or at a football match. In this busy period, take time to reflect on that day in between and see what God says to you about the momentous events of Easter.