Mark 15: 46-47. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
Matthew 27:62-66. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Very little is written about the day between the death of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus. The scriptures above tell us that Jesus was buried and that the religious leaders were worried about some sort of resurrection hoax. Sometimes we call this day Silent Saturday. It seems appropriate. Jesus is dead. The disciples are hiding. But the rest of the world picks up where it left off. It’s just another Jewish Sabbath. A quiet day of rest.
We live in Silent Saturday. The time between death and resurrection. We have died with Christ and one day we will be raised with Christ. Just as Jesus lied buried in the earth, we have been buried into Christ.
Romans 6:4. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
We live in between the ages. In the “already but not yet.” Ours is a quiet place. A place of waiting for resurrection. A place of suffering and sorrow.
But let’s be honest, we don’t want it to be quiet do we? In fact, we fight the quiet. We want big displays of God’s glory. Miracles. Movies about kids dying and coming back to life. People going to Heaven and returning (and writing a book about it). We want problems solved by God so we can testify at church about it (when’s the last time you heard somebody give testimony of an unanswered prayer?). We want to hear Jesus in our quiet time. We want loud worship music. Bright lights. Spiritual experiences that make us feel better.
But what if God wants us to be in the Silent Saturday? The space between death and resurrection. The place of Sabbath rest. The place of burial into Christ.
In his death and burial Jesus has completed his union with humanity. He has now done everything a person is destined to do – Born. Live. And everything a sinful person is destined to do – Die. Buried. He has been buried into us, so that we can be buried into him.
And now we wait. We wait in suffering and in sorrow. We wait for our resurrection from the dead. We wait in between death and life. Yes, we are dead to sin but alive to God, but sin and suffering still remain.
And yet, there is nothing more to be done. Jesus did it all on that day. On Silent Saturday Jesus was alive but no one could see it. His life was hidden. His body was in the tomb but his spirit was in Heaven presenting his sacrificed life to God.
Hebrews 9:12-14. [Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Everything is completed. His sinless sacrifice, and the presentation of his righteous life, have made it possible for us to share in his life, including his glorious resurrection from the dead. But until that day we wait in the quiet.
We may want big grand physical signs, but the true sign of Christ in us is the resurrection of our hearts unto love (see 1 Cor. 13). Quiet, humble, selfless, love. A life lived for Christ in the silence of Saturday. As we wait for a glorious Sunday.
Jesus we long for your return. We long for our resurrection unto completion. May the longings of our hearts in the waiting always be filled by you – your hope, peace, and love. Amen.