Passion Week – Silent Saturday
Be still, and know that I am God . . .
Psalm 46:10 NLT
When the routine of life comes to a screeching halt . . . when the unimaginable becomes a reality . . . when anticipated dreams become regrettable nightmares . . . hope is gone, feeling is numb, emotions are raw and the silence . . . the silence is deafening.
On the Friday of His last week, Jesus’ death culminated His trial, torture and crucifixion. There were the cries of the crowd, the mocking by Roman Soldiers and the tears of His followers.
Friday was loud . . . Saturday was silent.
Saturday would forever be a between day . . . between death and destiny, agony and answers, loss and life.
Yet, on this day between Friday and Sunday, those condemning Jesus found a boldness and brazenness that was boisterous.
Matthew writes, “The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to Pilate.” (Matt 27:62 ESV) They urged him to “seal the tomb” of Jesus. On their holy day, these men violate their sacred teachings in order to “prevent Jesus’ disciples from coming and stealing His body and then telling everyone He was raised from the dead. If that happens, they’ll be worse off than they were at first.” (Matt 27: 64 ESV)
These men were shameless . . . Jesus was silent. God was silent. The disciples were silent. Saturday was silent.
Had the Mighty God lost all power? Had the Everlasting Father become an everyday failure?
God may have been quiet, but He wasn’t quelled. The prophet Isaiah reminds a questioning nation of God’s words, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.” (Is 55:8 ESV)
In The Silence, God Is Aware. In desperation and despair, have you ever thought, “Does God know what’s going on in my life?” Our anxieties often lead to thoughts of abandonment. We think since God is not speaking, God doesn’t care. Jesus reminds us, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” (Matt 6:31-31)
Even when He is not speaking, He is working.
In The Silence, God Is Awaiting. God’s timing is never too soon or never too late. His timing is perfect. The psalmist reminds us, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14 NIV) On the day of Pentecost, Peter told of King David’s assurance and Jesus affirmation, “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.” (Acts 2:27 NLT)
Even when He is still, He is working.
In The Silence, God is Answering. Had I been in the Heavenly Father’s sitting room on that silent Saturday, I would have kept on asking, “Now?” . . . “Is it time for Jesus to rise?” We often equate God’s need to answer with our admission of urgency. The immediate becomes the important . . . the problem becomes the priority. God reminds us that our peace is found in patience. James, a follower with firsthand and eyewitness testimony reminds us, “Be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.” (James 5:7 ESV) The prophet Zephaniah tells us of God’s working behind the scenes, “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, he will be quiet in his love, he will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zeph 3:17 NASB)
Even when He is silent, He is working.
When God is silent, we often think He has separated Himself from us. But, stillness is the steppingstone to God’s power, presence and peace.
In the early 1900’s Frank E. Greaff wrote the lyrics to a beloved hymn:
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained,
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press,
And the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
O yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary,
The long night dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
You days may be silent, but God is aware . . . God is awaiting . . . God is answering.
Yes, He cares.