This is the most unusual Easter weekend any of us have ever seen, and hopefully ever will. The sun is blazing where I live, but we can’t go out and we can’t even have church services to mark the most important day in the Christian calendar. This Easter Sunday will be different, to say the least. But I can’t stop thinking about Easter Saturday.
It’s the day we normally set aside for egg hunts and preparation for Sunday’s celebrations. It’s the day that even the gospels skim over, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The day between death and resurrection. The day when Jesus’ disciples were heartbroken and hopeless, even though they were only one day away from seeing the greatest victory the world has ever known.
This year, the egg hunts are cancelled and the disciples’ experience of Easter Saturday is feeling a bit more familiar. The world is all wrong for us, too, and many of our own plans and hopes are broken in pieces. Maybe this year we can understand the disciples a little better, as they woke on Saturday morning and faced a world where everything they had lived for was gone. As they went to bed that night, trying not to think about the blank future stretching out in front of them.
Easter Saturday is a day of mourning. It’s a loss of identity and purpose, a loss of hope, a funeral for the future.
I don’t think we should skip over it this year.
The world is in the middle of losing a lot of things we loved to put our hope in. Things we loved to define ourselves with. Things that made us who we thought we were. Things that we thought were secure. The world is in a time of mourning.
The things we lose may never come back the same way they were before. The disciples’ dreams for the future certainly didn’t – those old dreams died that Saturday. Maybe some of ours need to do the same.
Maybe the best way to prepare for Easter Sunday isn’t egg hunts after all. Maybe it’s better for us to prepare by seeing how everything else in the world falls apart except the power of what Jesus did on Sunday morning. The power that brings life out of the grave, purpose out of despair, and hope – solid, living, indestructible hope – for all who will come to Jesus.