Saturday, April 11, 2020

Holy Saturday

Yesterday was Good Friday. And it was so good for our family. We participated in the Worldwide Fast to combat COVID-19 and it was a subtle, bonding experience for all of us. We have faith that miracles await us, including miracles inside that change our hearts and draw us closer to God.

When I woke up this morning, I couldn't shake the feeling that today was the darkest of the dark days for Christ's followers. Until His body was off the cross and in the tomb, I'm sure someone held out hope that He would wield powers from heaven and smite the Romans and the Jewish leaders with lightning and God's wrath.

But that didn't happen.

How would that feel? To place all of your trust and faith and freedom in a Man. . . and for it to die, just like any other person who ever lived? Rome beat the King. Judah beat the King.

He lost. And they lost.

That must have been the most confusing and painful Sabbath ever for Christ's followers. It was the Sabbath of the Passover--supposed to be their holiest celebration season of the year. And it wasn't. How could it be? 

I pass this prickly pear cactus on my daily walk, and most of the time I see the spines and potential pain. But this time of year, it's almost ready to bloom, loaded with the potential to be something beautiful. No one knows the day that it will change, but when it does, it is beautiful.

Christ's followers thankfully only had to wait one excruciating day and two nights before the miracle. Christ was King. He defeated not only the Romans and the Sanhedrin but the greatest foe we all face.

Our current circumstance is much like this tea rose that has intertwined its thorny and blossoming self with the cactus--two spiny plants that in spring share their beauty with the world, but beware the thorns.

How can I make this time in history not so dark for me personally? How can I focus on hope and the future and the flowers? That's what I'm looking for today on this dark Saturday when the tomb was still sealed, the heavens were silent, and Christ's people were broken in a way I will never understand. The miracle was happening behind the stone, just as it must be today.

That Holy Saturday must have been the darkest day in all human history for believers. Yet, as Joseph B. Wirthlin so beautifully said, Sunday came. Not everyone who knew of Jesus's death witnessed or even believed the miracle of His resurrection. But for the believers, it was glorious, faith-affirming, and life-altering.

This fast will have the same reaction. Some will see God's hand in the results. Others will justify them away or refuse to believe anything even happened. That's ok.

No one celebrates the Saturday. No one makes special meals or sings special songs. It's just the day in between the worst and the best. And that's where we are right now--almost to the solution, almost to the end, almost to the miracle--waiting for what is bound to be glorious and hard and beautiful.

I'm going to celebrate the Holy Saturday today. I'm going to remember those people who loved and lost not only their Savior but their friend, their brother, their son, their teacher, and leader. I'm going to mourn with them as they must have mourned, just as I mourn with the world today and those who are sick, have lost loved ones, or are fighting every day to find vaccines, tests, and cures. But the difference between them and me is that I know the end of the story. I know the miracle of Sunday.

Sunday will come for us, too.

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