This Saturday, I am aware. I am both acutely aware of the cost of my salvation and that I have often lived as if Sunday never comes.
These three days from Good Friday to Easter are the most storied in Christianity. Death, life, and resurrection are the main tenants of being a believer.
Yet, this year I am looking at these three days differently. I have come across some great teachers, and they have broken down this miraculous story in a way my human mind can comprehend. Friday represents the death of the way things were. Saturday is the day of deep mourning and grief because things are not quite where they should be and it’s a bit scary to hope. And Sunday, Sunday is the celebration, the resurrection. It’s the day full of hope because the dead are brought back to life, though unrecognizable they may be.
Jesus was unrecognizable to even his closest friends and followers post resurrection. He was so magnificent, so glorious, that He had to show the scars on His hands and feet to be believed.* Resurrection does not simply mean that the dead are brought back to life-it means that the dead are given a NEW life.
Wishing for something to be as it once was is not hoping for resurrection. Hoping for resurrection is believing that something will be made new.
This is the first year I heard that truth and took it on board in my own life. There are areas of my life that I’ve wanted and prayed for what I thought was resurrection. In reality I was hoping for things to be as they once were.
Why would God even answer that prayer? He is so much bigger and better than the human mind can comprehend. Why would He give us what we once had, when it crashed and burned in the first place? Upon typing those words, that idea sounds even more preposterous.
So here I sit, in Saturday. For some relationships and things I want resurrected, I have been sitting for many Saturdays. That relationship or thing I had, died ages ago, and Sunday isn’t quite yet here. Perhaps, Sunday, isn’t here yet, because I have not been ready. I didn’t want a resurrection; I wanted what was. I wanted it exactly the same as it was before, before its death. So in His love and kindness, God has given me many Saturdays to grieve the things I lost, to mourn them and their importance in my life.
But, Sunday is coming. Resurrection and celebration of new life is coming. I can see the pink horizon of a new day dawning as my Saturdays draw to a close. I can feel the hope anew in increased laughter, love, and relationship.
I am aware that it may be a little terrifying to open the door to resurrection. It was for the followers of Jesus. Multiple times His followers were terrified in the face of the glory of a resurrected Christ and the men, “clothed in dazzling robes,” at the empty tomb.* New can be terrifying, because it is not what once was. And what once was often feels much safer and more secure than new.
Yet, despite all the arguments to stay in Saturday, the in between, the space of comfort and security of grief, I am ready to open the tomb. I am grateful for the push this year to pay attention to the new life. Though I may always bear the scars of Friday, I can step out of Saturday confident that Sunday is better. That it has been worth the wait. I can shed the fear of “what if.” There is nothing to what if, because it is not going to be the same. It is going be new, better than it was before.
*The asterisks reference scripture from the New Living Translation in the order they are written: Luke 24: 39-40, Luke 24:36-37, Luke 24:4-5
**The teachers I have learned from this Lenten/Easter season are She Reads truth, Annie F. Downs and Charles Martin. I encourage you to check out Annie and Charles’ podcast conversation and their books. I am better for having heard, read, and learned from them.
Link to podcast here:
She Reads Truth