“Good night! Happy Good Friday and have a Happy Easter Sunday!”
As I said my farewell to my co-workers at the end of the workday on Good Friday, a thought crossed my mind. Why don’t we mention Saturday? For many of us during Easter weekend, it is a day of preparation, usually for a family gathering around an Easter meal. However, we never speak of Saturday. What happened in Jerusalem on the first Easter weekend? While the Bible does not give us any details of what happened, we do know that Saturday is the Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews. It was established by God when He created the universe. After six days of creative activity, God rested. He did not rest because He was tired. He rested because He ceased from laboring. The Jews also observed the Sabbath and had strict regulations about what types of activities could be done on the Sabbath. What was Jesus Christ doing?
Even Bible scholars are divided on what happened on that day. Some suggest that Jesus descended into hell to free those who died in faithful service to God. Others suggest nothing happened, it was a solemn day of silence as Jesus lay in rest in His tomb. Regardless, one fact is certain. On Sunday, Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. He received a glorified body, one that still bore the marks of Crucifixion.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
Hebrews 4:9-10 (NIV)
During the Saturday of the first Easter weekend, Jesus became our Sabbath-rest. We no longer have to work for our salvation by doing good works and following rules and regulations. We enter into the Sabbath rest of Jesus Christ by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior.
For many of us, the Saturday of Easter weekend is a day of preparation. It was also a day of preparation for God. On that Saturday, God, the Father, was preparing the world to receive the resurrected Savior. Even on a day when seemingly nothing was happening, the most important event in Creation was about to occur. Jesus Christ would conquer death.
There are times we may feel dejected and abandoned, thinking that God has forgotten us. No doubt the disciples and many of the followers of Jesus Christ felt the same way on that Saturday after seeing their Lord crucified. Easter Sunday, the Resurrection, reminds us that no matter how dark our current circumstances may appear, God is always at work, preparing us to experience even greater glories.
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.