All Appears to Be Lost

By Chris Sparks

A mixture of darkness and light, of little reasons for hope and many temptations to despair, Holy Saturday is the day of ordinary faith. The Christians of Holy Saturday awaited Jesus's Resurrection from the dead; we await Jesus' Second Coming in this long Holy Saturday before the Easter Sunday of the end of the world.

On Holy Saturday, Christ has died - and is not yet risen. The silence of Holy Saturday is the silence of God. The Word made flesh is dead. The disciples are scattered. All appears to be lost.

In the face of the silence of God, the response is either faith or disbelief. Mary waited, we believe, mourning her Son and believing His Resurrection would come. And for the rest? Did faith linger in the hearts of the Apostles, or were they all struck dumb by this terrible fulfillment of the prophecies of the Lord? Did they remember that He had promised to rise again on the third day? Did they wait in prayer, or in mourning?

They had left everything for Him - families, businesses, and even, in some ways, their Jewish faith. Their Rabbi had been condemned by the Sanhedrin as a blasphemer. He had been executed by the Roman occupiers as a traitor. By all the standard expectations of a successful Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth would have comprehensively failed.

And yet - on the day and hour of His death, the sky had grown dark. The earth had shaken. There were reports of the dead rising in Jerusalem and walking about the city. Something had happened - but what? A centurion had said at the foot of the Cross, "Truly, this man was the Son of God." But what did that mean, a Roman pagan speaking such things? Pilate had set a guard around the tomb - but what did that matter? The Master, the Rabbi could raise the dead. But now He Himself had died.

And so we wait with those disciples of the first century, hoping for Easter, praying for God to be with us, to strengthen us for the long wait ahead. We gather together with Mary, the Mother of God, praying and watching in the upper room, pondering what we've seen, what we've endured, and looking for Christ to come again.

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