Saturday's Reading: Matthew 27:62-66
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. Matthew 27:62-66
It's Saturday. Jesus lies dead in a tomb. The disciples are hiding out in fear and disillusionment. Priests and Pharisees are still scheming. Pilate is issuing orders. Roman soldiers are posting a seal and standing guard.
It's Saturday. The day is dark and hard. Hope seems vanquished. A dream seems dead. A relationship seems lost. A plan seems failed. A belief seems misplaced.
It's Saturday. The "in between" day. The day between Friday and Sunday. The day between Crucifixion and Resurrection. The day between crosses and an empty tomb. The day between excruciating grief and unspeakable joy.
It's Saturday. You've got nothing. You're empty handed. You've lost what you were working for. Your dreams have dissolved into painful memories. Your sense of normal is no more.
It's Saturday. It seems to be the worst weekend ever.
Things had started off so well on the previous Sunday. Palm branches laid down and shouts of "Hosanna." It was a day of joy, hope, and expectation. Monday was a day of expanding faith and overcoming doubt. Tuesday, a day of great stories and awareness of evil. Wednesday, not a bad day. Thursday, a day ending in prayer, bloody prayer, and a surrendered will. Friday, a horribly brutal day, a lethal day in which all that is wrong about life was paid for in full. And now it's Saturday.
We all go through Saturday seasons in life. It comes with the territory of following Christ. It is a vital component of our stories blended with the story of Jesus. Periodically, we Jacksons have found ourselves in those dark and hard Saturdays. Multiple cancer diagnoses, unexpected loss of loved ones, house fires, and hardships have taught us that Saturdays can lead us to a deeper understanding of things, of ourselves, and the Gospel.
Perhaps as you read today's devotional, you suddenly realize, "It's Saturday." Things are dark and hard right now.
We've found there is a hope to cling to on your Saturday.
A hope that though Christ seems absent, He's not.
A hope as the author of Hebrews puts it, is an anchor for your soul, firm and secure.
A hope that breathes confidence in knowing God has this all worked out.
A hope that embraces the fact that… Sunday is coming!
This week we invite you and your family to take a trip with us. Place a suitcase/bag where it can be seen all week and each day we will add a new item to it. For parent introduction and a list of items to be gathered before you begin, visit Journey with Jesus.
Day 7: Journey with Jesus
Add to the suitcase: black material or paper
Read: John 19:38–42
Process and discuss together:
- What does this tell us about Jesus?
- What does it tell us about ourselves?
- How should we follow Jesus today because of this scripture?
- Who could you tell this story to?
- Pray together.