I have often thought about what it was like in those hours and the day after the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ. The Bible is silent about this day. It was the Sabbath day, and Mark and Matthew simply say at the beginning of the resurrection narrative, "After the Sabbath..."(Mark 16, Matthew 28) Luke says, "But they rested on the Sabbath, in obedience to the commandment." (Luke 23:56b NIV).
The fact that it was the sabbath day tells us something about how the disciples and their allies spent the day. As observant Jews, they did not work. They didn't fish, farm or collect taxes. They didn't build or repair anything. They rested, as best they could after the events of the previous day. They had some food. They may have had a time of worship, some Scripture, sang the psalms. They may have been fearful, now that Jesus was dead, and uncertain about their future. They may have worried that they were next to die. They may not have spent the sabbath day at home due to that fear, in fact, the group was gathered together when those who went to Jesus' tomb returned with their reports of what they saw.
Even now, 2000 plus years later, I feel this "in between-ness". The pause in the action makes you think. Even though we know the "rest of the story", there still a sense of suspension--of waiting, anticipating and maybe a little anxiety. What do we do with ourselves today? Traditionally, in the modern world, this day is not a sabbath day. In the cafe I'm in people are visiting, studying, reading, watching stuff on the 'Net. Somehow these things seem right in step with the spirit of the day. In many ways, that sabbath day was just like any other, and today is just like any other Saturday. However, not everything fits in. I have found that some blog topics under consideration just don't seem appropriate to the day, and even though timeliness may suffer, they will wait until next week. Preparation seems appropriate however. In Jesus' time, the preparation was on Friday. We are preparing today. The final decorations and food. The rehearsing. Sermon and Bible teaching. Shopping for the new outfit, if one can. Plans for the celebration. Tomorrow is Easter--Jesus Christ has risen.
In about one hour, the first of eight, if I counted right, Easter services will start at the church I currently attend. I will be part of the choir, singing about His Resurrection. I will return to the church tomorrow morning to be part of the volunteers that will serve the needs of the people that gather there at that time. We will, like Christians have for over 2000 years, celebrate the fact that Jesus was not and is not in the tomb.
Happy Easter to everyone.