I’m not sure why, but I’ve never put much thought into what happened the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Both days are such heavy hitters that it makes sense a day of rest should occur between them.
This year, however, I’ve been studying the events of each day of the Holy Week and it seemed fitting to do the same for Saturday. I didn’t find a whole lot, but what I did find was rather intriguing.
One thing I tend to forget is that unlike God, Satan is not omniscient. Although he is a spiritual being, he is not an equal counterpart to God. He doesn’t know the end of the story before it plays out. And Jesus’ death on the cross was no different.
When Christ died, Satan considered himself a victor and why wouldn’t he? He had successfully coerced the Pharisees to put Jesus to death by crucifixion, seemingly ruining God’s plan for salvation. Jesus had even given up His spirit, allowing death to overcome Him. Hadn’t Satan won the ultimate battle with God?
Satan’s confidence was short-lived as doubt started creeping in.
What if the 60 ft high and 4 inches thick curtain that was split from top to bottom lying on the floor of the Temple really meant something? What if God truly had made a way to atone the sin of mankind, eternally extinguishing the separation Satan had once worked so hard to accomplish in the Garden of Eden?
Perhaps there was something more that could be done to seal Jesus’ fate. Satan breathed his fear and doubt into the minds of the Pharisees and they went to Pilate:
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’
Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Isn’t that just like Satan’s relationship with man? He convinces us to do something, to take matters into our own hands in hopes of preventing unwanted things from happening. We proceed with false confidence that we have done enough, that human power is enough to control a supernatural situation.
The Pharisees thought that if they could just have the tomb sealed and the strongest Roman soldiers standing guard, then they wouldn’t be proven wrong – that this man of miracles claiming to be the son of God was in fact the fraud they made him out to be.
And then they waited. In the dark, lonely, what-if place between wondering what will happen and it happening.
But the Father of Fear had his greatest fear come to fruition – He was defeated once and for all. His victory was short-lived as Jesus re-inhabited the physical body brutally broken just two days prior. Jesus proved that He and God can be trusted. Everything prophesied about Jesus’ birth, life, and death had been fulfilled. No more hovering in the gap of the unknown – we know the end of the story!
God’s faithfulness is evident to this day. Satan continues to plant seeds of fear and doubt in the hearts and minds of those who follow Jesus, attempting to belittle the integrity of the Cross. But the freedom Christ offers is unrelenting – it will not stop no matter what we face. There will never come a day that Jesus hasn’t risen from the grave; there will never be a time our biggest fears are greater than His sacrifice.
I’ve included a powerful song about the crucifixion and resurrection by Bethel Musics that I’ve had on repeat the past few weeks. Check out the lyrics or click on the link below for the youtube video. May Jesus’ sacrifice be more personal, more meaningful, and more life-altering than ever before.
All Hail King Jesus
Written by Ran Jackson, Peter Mattis, Jeremy Riddle, and Steffany Gretzinger
There was a moment when the lights went out
When death had claimed its victory
The King of Love had given up His life
The darkest day in history
There on a cross they made for sinners
For every curse His blood atoned
One final breath and it was finished
But not the end we could have known
For the earth began to shake
And the veil was torn
What sacrifice was made
As the heavens roared
All hail King Jesus
All hail the Lord of Heaven and earth
All hail King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world
There was a moment when the sky lit up
A flash of light breaking through
When all was lost He crossed eternity
The King of life was on the move
For in a dark, cold tomb
Where our Lord was laid
One miraculous breath
And we’re forever changed
Let every knee, come bow before the King of Kings
Let every tongue, confess that He is Lord
Lift up your shout, let us join with all of Heaven
Singing Holy, Singing Holy
Cry out Holy, Cry out Holy