By Pastor Keith Chandler, Journey Christian Church
Many of us may feel disappointed with life. Maybe you think, “I’ve got more days behind me than I do before me. I’ve not fulfilled all the dreams I once had for my life.”
You may feel a bit like the chocolate Easter bunny – hollow inside. It happened when you began to feel like life wasn’t turning out the way you hoped it would. All of us feel hopeless at times. I want to call that Saturday.
That may seem strange because typically Saturday is a great day. But when it comes to Easter,
Saturday was not a good day. Because in the Easter story, Saturday is the day that hope is dead.
The Easter story is a three-day story. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Death, Burial, Resurrection.
Trouble, Silence, Deliverance. Beginning, Middle, and End.
We celebrate Good Friday, the day Jesus died for us, and we know about Easter Sunday. That’s the Sunday we all celebrate because it’s the day Jesus came back from the dead, but we often forget about Saturday. This was a DEVASTATING day. Good Friday brought shock, but Saturday brought hopelessness.
They had followed him for three years watching him perform miracles. So when he was arrested on Thursday night, they thought, “This won’t last long. Jesus will stand up and everyone will fall down.”
But he didn’t.
Then he’s brought before Pilate. “Everyone will bow before him and suddenly he will overthrow Rome and we will be in charge.”
But he didn’t.
Then he’s sentenced to be flogged, dragged out onto the city streets suspended on a pole, and whipped. All of his disciples thought, “Surely at some point he’s going to stop this.”
But he didn’t.
And then when he’s sentenced to die and forced to carry his cross through the city streets of Jerusalem and nailed to this cross everybody has to be thinking, “What’s going on? This is not supposed to happen. The Son of God does not die.”
But then he did.
For us, crucifixion is so sanitized. We have tattoos of the cross and gold cross earrings, but for people back then it was horrific. As Saturday approaches, hope is over.
The followers of Jesus must have thought, “We’ve fallen for the biggest hoax of all time.” Because Jesus was dead.
They had to be thinking, “God, where are you in all of this? Why are you silent?”
All of us have something that robs our hope and makes us feel hollow inside.
The reason Easter Sunday is so great is because Saturday was so bad. As far as we know, Saturday was the only day in the last 2,000 years that there were no followers of Jesus because they all thought he was dead.
Nobody was planning for him to return the next day. John’s not saying to Peter, “What are you going to say to Jesus when you see him?” Mary Magdalene isn’t thinking, “What shall I wear for Easter Sunday, are hats still in?” Hope is dead. This is Saturday and God is silent.
What do you do when you have no more hope? Because all of us are hopers. This is why people go out on first dates, because maybe this could be the one. All of us are irrepressible hopers. Saturday was a realization that hope was dead. The word hope is used 71 times in the New Testament about Jesus and the church – 70 times after the Resurrection and only once before the resurrection.
The message of Easter is that God does his best work in hopeless Saturday situations. The story of Easter is that setbacks are setups for a comeback.
The story of Easter is a three-day story.
The problem with three-day stories is, you don’t always know it’s a three-day story until the third day.
When it’s Friday or Saturday it’s as bad as it can get. Is it possible the hopelessness you feel right now is that you’re only in day two? What if God is working behind the scenes to bring about your third day?
Until next month,
7708 Van Dyke Rd, Odessa
Services Sunday at 10:00