Yet I think there is so much we can learn from this day about following Jesus, and our need for Him.
The first Holy Saturday was a day without hope. A day of grief and despair for followers of Jesus. The previous day they had seen their leader tortured and crucified, publicly humiliated and seemingly defeated.
Jesus body was in the tomb, sealed in (see picture left). It wasn’t rolled away and there seemed no chance of it.
The disciples themselves were hidden away, fearing for their lives.
They had put their faith in Jesus. They had given up their livelihoods and possessions to follow Him, surrendered their lives as they knew them. They had lived with Him, eaten with Him and trusted that He was the Saviour foretold in the Holy scriptures.
They had no doubt He was the one who had come to save them, to liberate them. In their eyes to rescue them from the Romans.
Now He was dead.
They were directionless, without hope or purpose. Everything they had, their life as they knew it had been stripped from them.
They may have been angry with God, even with Jesus. On the face of it, He had let them down. He had promised them victory, new life, a new beginning – and now He was gone. Their plans for the future had been completely disrupted and torn apart.
What were they to do now? How were they to respond?
Turn to God? He had just abandoned them hadn’t He? Why trust God when they had lost the man they thought He had sent, or when He had seemingly abandoned Him?
Go home? What, and simply give up on something they had given up their livelihoods for, something they believed in so strongly?
They would have been a whole mixture of conflicting emotions and thoughts.
Deserted by God.
Do any of these sound familiar? Do you ever feel any of those things?
When life is disrupted. When something happens out of your control or outside anything you had planned for or expected.
This is exactly what the disciples would be feeling at this moment. Remember, at this point there was no resurrection. Jesus, as far as they were concerned, was gone.
Can you imagine a world without Jesus?
Some would say you’d have no religion and no wars without Jesus.
Without Jesus you’d probably have just as much religion, and just as many wars. These come from the human condition, the human need to control, from fear. Not from Jesus.
Jesus brings hope. He brings true peace, the shalom of God. He breaks down barriers and restores relationships. He reconciles all things through and to Himself. He makes us all equal.
He casts out all fear and replaces it with love.
But a world without Jesus? A world without Jesus would be a world without
These all begin and end with Jesus. Without Him, with God, these would not exist. It is through these qualities, these characteristics, that we can see God in the flesh.
A world without love, without peace, without hope or joy, is the world of Easter Saturday – and it’s not a pretty place.
This Easter Saturday, just reflect on a world without these. Often it seems the world we live in now is absent of many of these qualities, doesn’t it? But ultimately, a world like this is not sustainable.
It cannot last.
It cannot go on.
It will not go on.
Tomorrow will be a new beginning.