Now & Not Yet: The Hope of Holy Saturday

The now:

Holy Saturday. 
Finality hangs in the air like a heavy fog. 
There is a tinge of wonder, perhaps even doubt. 

Will He keep His promise? 

Jesus, wholly man and wholly God–holy man and Holy God–gave Himself up for the whole of our sins. To fill in the hole that had left us aching and breaking and sinking deeper and deeper into darkness. 
He entered the grave meant for us that we—the broken—might be put together. 
That our wounds might be bound up—all the parts of us that were never meant to be broken before sin broke in to the Garden of Eden. 

Oh, the ache that must have spread so rapidly across the face of the earth in that moment. The shame, the hatred, the pain that must have overwhelmed an otherwise perfect creation. The ache that must have filled the Father’s heart to watch His creation fracture, to watch sin turn it sickly, and to know the price that would have to be paid in order to bring His children back to Him. 

All it took was one lie and one, split second of doubt. The enemy poked a single hole in the promise of God, and that tiny hole, that seemingly small, not-too-big-a-deal moment when Eve took God’s words and let a pinprick of doubt in, tore the togetherness between God and man. A single hole cracked the foundations of the world and left a gaping, festering wound in its place. And those whose souls were to follow in the footsteps of the fall would seemingly forever labor to fill the void that resulted from that pinprick of doubt. 

But then, Jesus. 
The promise fulfilled. 

And in another garden, He laid bare His soul to His Father–knowing the agony that awaited Him, the crushing weight that would come with taking on the sins of God’s people. 
And then all that happened in-between. 
A prayer. 
Lord, take this cup.
This cup of aching, bitter, sorrowful death. 
A beating. 
The heart-stopping, splintering clang of hammer against nail against skin against wood. 

I imagine Holy Saturday didn’t feel very holy. I’m sure it felt like the world was out of orbit and everything was going wrong, falling apart, dying. 
And I imagine there was numbness. 
Disbelief that He could truly be gone; disbelief that He’d truly come back. After all: there He laid, body wrapped, stone secured. Broken and beaten and dead. 
Is there anything more final than death?

I think that we spend a lot of time in the now and not yet. What lies around us in the now is dead, gone, hopeless. And though we may believe in deliverance, the resurrection to come, it can be hard to shake the heaviness of the here and now. 

Holy Saturday gives us hope that though our now is filled with mourning and grief, there is hope to cling to in the not yet. In the almost–the soon to come. 
Because Sunday is coming. 
Resurrection is coming. 
Jesus is coming.

No matter the hurt, the hole, the broken body, the broken heart–no matter the now, we know that He is faithful to fulfill His promises. 
We know this because He came back.

I watch the clock tick past midnight. 
It’s Sunday.

The woe of Holy Saturday would soon fade as the Light of the world broke through what should have been final. It doesn’t matter the doubt or the sorrow felt the night before because what was once not yet is now here: every promise of God has found its yes in Him. 
To death our sins were placed. 
New life in us through grace. 
He kept His promise.

To the heart that is heavy with grief, the one burdened with shame, the soul weary of the unrelenting brokenness of this world: there is no tomb He cannot break. There is no dead soul He cannot raise. 
The now may be agonizing and painful, and the not yet may feel so very far away. And sometimes that space in between feels like holding your breath till your lungs give out. Yet we have hope. 
Sunday is here. 
Easter is dawning. 
The stone has rolled away, and the living has left where only the dead should be. 

He is risen. 
He is alive. 
And that changes everything.

2 thoughts on “Now & Not Yet: The Hope of Holy Saturday

  1. I love your writing and that your faith in the Lord is so strong. Never change and always remember that Maw-Maw and I love you very much.


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