Holy Saturday


It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 

When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 

But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Luke 23:44-49

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately on what thoughts were running through the disciples’ minds on Easter Saturday. 

Their Chosen Leader had just been crucified. And while we know, looking back 2,000 years later, that Jesus would rise on Sunday Morning victorious over sin and death, the disciples did not have the luxury of knowing what would happen at dawn tomorrow.

In fact, based on the story of Easter Morning, it would seem his resurrection caught them off guard. We certainly don’t find them awaiting excitedly outside the tomb for his promised return. Only the women went to the tomb on that Sunday morning—and that was to anoint his lifeless body with spices.

Yet, the disciples had seen the power of God on display for years. They had seen the glory and might of Jesus Christ both in them and around them for years. They had firsthand knowledge of who Jesus claimed to be.

And how could they ever forget the events they had just witnessed? Jesus was betrayed just as his predicted. And on Friday, during his death, the events were so unworldly that even at the foot of the cross, “the centurion, seeing what had happened, praise God, and said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” 

The veil tore, the sun went dark, the earth shook—and Jesus died.

And the disciples were there to see it all.

With that as the backdrop, they huddled together on Saturday. 

And I wonder if we can guess their feelings that day:

On one hand, they knew they were following the Son of the Living God. They had witnessed his power and promise. They had seen him heal and restore and grant life—even resurrecting his friend from the dead.

And yet, on that Saturday, God must have felt very distant. Everything they thought was going to be true when they began following Jesus appeared to be taken away. Their situation was dire—and yet God was silent that day.

Tomorrow would bring their answer. But not today. Not now. 

Today, they would just have to wait in circumstances they could not understand.

I wonder if some of you, right now, can relate to the disciples’ situation.

There is no doubt in your mind that God is who He says He is. There is no doubt that Christ is Lord. You have seen his work in your life and in others. Your faith in his death has brought you forgiveness and a new life. You know it to be true. 

His great works are too much for you to ignore.

And yet, today, your circumstances feel very different. You have wondered to yourself, “I followed God faithfully… how could this happen?” You did what he asked and yet your situation is not what you thought it was going to be. 

“If God is God, how did this happen? And where is He?”

Take heart. Hold firm to the faith you confess. Sunday is coming.


Heavenly Father, I love you today. Thank you for Easter Weekend. Thank you for your life and death and resurrection that we can know you and follow you and serve you. Give me faith and belief to follow you in the glory and light of Easter Sunday—and give me the faith and belief to follow you in the dark times of earthly trials as well.