Easter Saturday is often overlooked by Christians during Easter celebrations. Good Friday is painful, sad, hopeful. Easter Day is full of joy and celebration. But what do you do on the Saturday?
In the story of Easter it was a day when nothing happened. Jesus was dead, and his disciples were bereft. I think for the Christian in the 21st century it is a day to remember that sometimes life can feel like God is absent and that prayer can seem unanswered. The disciples felt no hope, they were not expecting the miracle and sometimes we find ourselves with similar feelings.
Feeling the absence of God is not a good place to be but it is a real feeling that I think is dangerous to shun and dismiss. Faith in Jesus is a journey and it is important to embrace all the extremes of the journey. I think we all feel hopeless at times – maybe because of serious illness, debt, addiction, loneliness, purposelessness, or even death. It is at these lowest points in life that we have to learn to grapple with pain and God – like when Jacob wrestled with God.
There will come a time when the reality of Easter morning breaks in but you can’t just be told that. You have to experience the low, struggle with faith, and discover the goodness, mercy and love of God for yourself. This Easter, if you’re feel down and trapped by life, it is important to know that the resurrection is just round the corner, and look forward with hope and faith – but don’t feel that if prayer seems unanswered or if God seems absent that your faith is worthless. The disciples felt no hope after Jesus’ death yet they went on to experience the life and fullness that comes with faith in the resurrection of Jesus.