The Day Between
By Anthony Casperson
This past week has been the celebration of the Holy Week. The week leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. And so, with tomorrow being Easter, my thoughts have been moving somewhat in that direction.
Typically, when we get to this season, Resurrection Sunday is the big day and Good Friday gets some press. But the day between (today) doesn’t have too big of a meaning to most people other than the busy day when preparations are made.
But I believe that there is significance in the day between the sorrowful day of death and the joyous day of resurrection. There’s meaning in the held breath between the gasp of the cross and the shout of joy for the empty tomb. That place where death seems permanent and hope has been lost.
The weekend that Jesus died was an immense emotional roller coaster for his followers. It was a day where faith wavered. It seemed like everything had fallen apart. People began to doubt the truth of Jesus’ messiahship.
They’d heard the message of Jesus. He’d even flat out said that he was going to die. But they expected something would happen. Something to counteract it. Something to overthrow their enemies. But as his last breath left, their Messiah appeared defeated. And so were they.
His closest followers locked themselves in, afraid that they’d be next. People went about their business, resting on the Sabbath. The time of the Passover, a reminder of God’s salvation of the Israelite nation, feeling as bitter as the herbs they’d eaten during their feast.
I wonder how many family gatherings had fallen to silence as the violence of the cross seared into their minds. They had nothing but time to contemplate the effect of this death. The work-less day of the Sabbath saw to that.
That day between was an image of human life between the resurrection and the return of Jesus. We live in a continuous Saturday between the accomplishment of the sacrifice of Jesus and the resurrection day we followers of Jesus will experience when he returns one day.
Sure, we know that “Sunday is coming.” We have faith that Jesus will return one day. But some days that faith wavers. Some days the sorrow of this day between pulls our mind from the truth of yesterday and the joy of tomorrow.
Today, the day between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, is a reminder to wait in patience and contemplation of what Jesus did thousands of years ago as well as what is coming in the future. It’s a day when silence and contemplation is expected.
During the early history of the church, followers of Jesus would gather together on Good Friday, reminded of the sacrifice of Jesus for them. And as they left, with their minds on the meaning of the cross, silence would befall them all.
From that Friday night, through the whole day Saturday, and up until Sunday morning, that silence would continue. Not a sound would come from the people until they could speak in joy, “He is risen,” on Sunday morning.
That day between meant silence and contemplation to them. It meant anticipation for the next day when their next words would be the truth of the gospel that Jesus rose form the grave.
I know that an entire day of silence in our lives is impossible for many and unlikely for others. (And some people will read this post after the day I put it up.) But there is meaning in the silence of the day between.
So, I challenge us all to take some time during the continuous “Saturday between” of life and let the reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus and the joy of his return fill our minds. Let it embrace us in our sorrows and lift us in the anticipation of tomorrow.