The Catholics say today is Holy Saturday. Others call it Easter Eve, or Black Saturday.
Last night I heard a new title for this day : Silent Saturday.
Somehow silence rings truest.
I picture Mary Magdalene spending months with Jesus, hearing him speak like none had before. Giving back the dignity to women religious leaders of the day had taken away. Watching him heal the sick, feed the hungry, and all the while knowing she’d found something more than human.
She loved Him. Put her faith in Him. She followed Him.
And then wept broken tears as she watched Him die. He just died. Like any other convicted Roman criminal with nails in their hands and feet - Jesus simply died.
I can imagine hours later when the storm of grief lessened out of nothing more than exhaustion, Mary felt the heavy weight of “what now?”
“Now I’ll go and help prepare his body for the tomb,” she may have said.
She’d met a rich man who’d gotten permission from the Roman authorities to bury Jesus in his own tomb. As Jewish tradition required, Mary would rush alongside others to get Jesus’ body wrapped and laid out for burial before the Sabbath would allow her to do no more.
Once he was laid on a hard slab of rock, cut out from side of an elaborate cave, she sat across from him and watched.
And again perhaps, felt the heavy weight of “what now?” What of this man she put her faith in? Who deep down, she believed was more than a man, but God himself.
A God who was now very silent.
Forced to leave the tomb so a giant stone could be placed at the entrance, Mary still couldn’t leave His presence. She found a spot on the grass, amidst the dozens of rows of grapevines, and watched. Waited. Devastated in the silence.
She’d had plans, dreams, and ideas. She was going to follow Jesus until the day she died. She would help him heal the wounded, care for the sick, and comfort the broken hearted. She’d dreamed of telling the world about this love that had rescued her from a life she couldn’t even bring herself to think about now. And oh, what Jesus would do for women! He believed in her. The first to see her with the same worth, value, and gifting as men.
Were those dreams now as dead as her Lord? Were they as silent as the heavens felt now?
Mary didn’t yet know the full story.
She didn’t know what would happen tomorrow.
She didn’t know He would to do so much more with her dreams than she’d ever imagined. She didn’t know He’d come to her first. She didn’t know He would make her, a woman, whose testimony wasn’t even valid in court, the very first evangelist. The first to preach to men about this God, who himself became a man and died, only to come back straight to her.
She could only sit in the silence and hope it wasn’t all for nothing.
I believe there are things in our life meant to die and never come back. There’s dreams, relationships, even loved ones, who die and don’t return to us. In our mourning, when we feel our God is as silent and dead as our broken hearts, remember...we don’t know how the story ends.
Silence doesn’t last forever. There will be a resurrection. A resurrection of hopes, dreams, loves, faith, and even our weary souls.
The price was paid. Our place was taken. It is finished.
But the story…Your story…it is far from finished.
The silence is merely the calm before the glorious storm.
Take a lesson from Mary, and wait for it.