Tucked between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is mostly overlooked, largely neglected middle child of Easter.
Saturday, also known as Sabbath.
The Day of Rest.
In this country, it is a day jam-packed with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, church potlucks and carnivals, Easter egg hunts and other fun activities to kill the time between Good Friday and the sunrise service on Sunday.
I often wonder, though, about that first Sabbath, the first day of rest after the crucifixion of Jesus.
After the drama, the chaos, the noise, the horror – the nightmare of the day Jesus died, how in the world did the friends of Jesus find it in themselves to honor the commandment of God to keep the day of rest as they obviously did??
Everything happened so fast.
Everything happened so unexpected.
Were they reeling from all the thoughts and emotions that swarmed inside them, drowning in confusion and the turmoil that they were simply spent? Emotionally, physically, spiritually exhausted, so they entered a coma of sort, shocked and disengaged as they reached the threshold of human limit to bear grief.
Or did they, while going about their day, slowly, gently, quietly wrap in burial cloths their hopes and dreams, and lay them to rest alongside Jesus’ dead body, remembering with shudder the rolling of the stone, closing on the grave with the final thud?
Were they gathering the little strength that they had left to prepare for facing unimaginable, facing the new week, the first day of the new Jesus-less era, wondering how were they going to survive a minute, an hour, much less an entire day with him gone… knowing its forever?
Or were they somehow, someway able to receive the rest that God gives to all those who trust His goodness even in the darkest, longest night?
I wonder what the friends of Jesus felt on that day... that must have felt like a thousand-year long sleepless night of rest...