Matt 10:27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight…
Without a doubt the most important event in the history of our planet was the death and resurrection of Jesus. Though our traditional celebration for this occasion happens on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the actual calendar dates are unknown. Since the resurrection of Jesus it has been our custom to focus on Good Friday, the day our Lord died and Easter Sunday, the day He rose from the grave. Little attention is ever given to the day in between. Because of our tradition I am referring to this day as Dark Saturday.
Let’s talk about Dark Saturday. What must that have been like? What were people thinking and feeling? In Luke 23:56 it says the disciples rested that day as it was the Sabbath. But did they rest? I believe it is likely they were in great turmoil.
- They were mourning the loss of what they had before
- They feared what happened to Jesus would probably happen to them
- Their world came to an abrupt stop
- Everything was turned upside down—doubt and despair settled in
- They were having secret meetings—probably sequestered in their homes and hiding out
- They were no doubt confused and scared about their future
The bottom line—this had to feel like the longest day they ever experienced. It was so hard that the anticipation of something good coming out of this was almost impossible to fathom. And the big question…where is God?, was on their minds.
Dear friends could we be living right now in a modern day Dark Saturday? I think there are some amazing similarities here. Think about it—life was going along pretty normal. If you are in my audience for sure you probably had what you thought was a good relationship with our Lord. Things were normal. Then, death. Death to all the consistency and routines we had become so familiar with. Now we find ourselves in a modern day Dark Saturday.
Think about the list above. We are missing the norm, our world has come to a halt, we are questioning where God is in all of this and we are fearful and anxious about our future. On top of that, just like the disciples, we are sequestered and confused. There is one major difference however…we know there is a resurrection coming. We have a lifetime of seeing how God works to give us faith that this will pass. However, there is a bigger question we are needing to ask here.
God, what are you wanting to teach me in my Dark Saturday? My friend we must not miss this. We have an opportunity here to process where we’ve been, where we are now and how our future may unfold as a result of this struggle. I truly believe this is God’s timeout for his church—and that’s you and me.
I want you to think about a typical basketball game. Your team is doing ok—they are winning and then late in the game things start to go the wrong direction. They look confused, tired, not hitting their passes, the game plan is no longer working. What does the coach do? You got it, TIMEOUT! Well, I believe the Big Coach in the sky has been calling a timeout to the church in America for some time now for all the same reasons and we are not coming to the bench. Could it be that God wants us to see this as His timeout?
I truly believe that God is desperately trying to teach us something really big and potentially world-changing during our Dark Saturday. But, we need to hear what He is trying to tell us. Life, as we have become accustomed to it, was not working for His purpose—the advancement of His kingdom. I truly believe that God wants us to use this time to re-evaluate every area of our life and determine to see our resurrection out of this like what happened with Jesus. Think of it—after He rose the world was never the same.
What if we could emerge from this and as the result of all of us seeing life through a whole new prism we discover a new role He wants us to play and a great spiritual awakening in our land is the result? This is an exciting time my friend. People who do not know the Lord are seeking, the church, through creative social media efforts are experiencing an incredible spike in views for the services and demand for spiritual resources. We have a tremendous opportunity before us to see a great spiritual revolution in our land…indeed the world.
None of this will happen though if you and I do not process this Dark Saturday in our lives the right way. I know there are many of you who are anxious and finding it hard to be positive right now. But we must. This is the time for our faith to take center stage and to lift our countenance toward our gracious heavenly Father—in full assurance of His grace and protection.
We need to come to His bench…listen diligently to our Coach and discover His new game plan and our role in it before we get back in the game. Winning the game right now is our top priority. Each of us needs to honestly evaluate everything in our lives in a new and much more critical way. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- What are the things we valued that somehow don’t seem that important anymore?
- Are the things we want becoming a distraction to the things we need?
- Do we live to work…or work to live?
- Should we consider being more involved in our kid’s future and education?
- What non-essential activities do we need to shed in order to focus on a deeper intimacy with God, my spouse and family?
- How can we do a better job of representing our Lord in our family, work and community?
Consider having a discussion with your spouse or family around these questions. Let’s determine to come out of this experience and believe for our world to never go back to the old normal. Let’s believe we are living in a pivotal moment and as we see a resurrection from this our world will never be the same…in a good way.
Finally remember the scene in John 20:19. It was the first day—the disciples were hunkered down behind closed doors anxious and confused. Listen to what our Lord told them and notice His first word.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:19