The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
The Saturday after the resurrection had to be hard. It was a day of mourning. It’s the in-between day. The day after the crucifixion and the day before resurrection . . . you hope. You remember that Jesus said that after three days, he would be resurrected, but maybe you are not so sure about that on Saturday. On Saturday, you are just hoping what he said was true. If you even remember. Sometimes, we forget what God said when we are in between Friday and Sunday. Between crucifixion and resurrection. But your enemies didn’t forget.
The chief priests and the Pharisees didn’t forget that Jesus said that he would rise again on the third day. Even though they were the ones who got him crucified, they really didn’t forget about what Jesus said. And I’m guessing, they needed to cover their bases. So they sealed the tomb and put an armed guard in front to prevent what they thought would be a fraudulent attempt of his disciples to steal Jesus’ body to act like he rose from the dead. So they made the tomb as secure as they knew how.
I want to stay here for a moment. I’m not going to get into the resurrection yet. Today is Saturday and if I am a disciple, I don’t know if what Jesus said about raising up on the third day is true yet. I might not even remember what he said because I am in such mourning and shock over how his death went down. I might be thinking, what was it all for? I just spent three years of my life following this dude and now he’s dead. I thought he was a king. I thought he was going to rule. How is he dead? What am I supposed to do now?
I think we all have times in our lives that feel like Saturday. More often than we might desire. You have a promise from God, but it doesn’t look good. There is nothing that would give you any indication that this thing will actually come to pass. It’s Saturday. And to top it off, your enemies have done everything to make sure that this thing doesn’t happen. They have killed your hopes and sealed the tomb. And just to make sure no funny business happens, there is a guard outside of the tomb. They have made the tomb for your hope as secure as they know how.
The only thing we can cling to in these moments is what God said. The only hope we have is in God not being a liar and the power of God being stronger than anything we could ever think of, including any work of an enemy. I know that in certain areas of my life, its Saturday. God said something, but it looks like this thing is dead and buried and there is no hope for it ever happening. Even my enemies have seemed to take extra steps to make sure that these things stay buried. But my hope is in what will happen on Sunday. I fight to remember those words, and have to have faith that Sunday is coming.
Maybe you feel like its Saturday for you. And your enemies know the word that was spoken and have sought permission to make sure your hope stays dead and buried. But trust and believe in what you have already heard. Saturday won’t last forever. Believe in Sunday. Believe in the resurrection of whatever your hope is. If you got a word, it is true. Enemies are doing everything they know how to keep the reality of Friday and Saturday alive and the truth of what happens on Sunday buried in the tomb. And isn’t it just like God to make sure you know that whatever He has spoken will be undoubtedly something that only God could do? After everything is done that is known how to do, there can only be one reason why a resurrection happens. It is God’s doing. God will ensure that no one gets the glory but Him. Our lives are lived to glorify God. And that means we have to go through some Saturdays. Even when its hard. But trust and believe that Sunday is coming.