We don’t talk much about Easter Sabbath. The Gospels say very little. Easter Sabbath is “the day after” or “the day before.”
Easter Sabbath was a time of waiting. A time of no action. No drama. Nothing much to report so it gets edited out of the story.
But it is a mistake to think that nothing was happening. A great deal was going on, not least in the hearts and minds of the disciples.
They were waiting and wondering how long it would be before they could go outside and show their faces.
They were waiting and frightened, not knowing if the enemy was going to come knocking at their door.
They were waiting and ignorant. They did not know what was going on beyond their place of retreat.
They were waiting and wondering how their scattered fellows and friends were faring.
They were waiting and wondering how many more would be eliminated by the occupying scourge.
They were waiting and confined, just lying low, arguing perhaps and irritable, and hoping the whole thing would just eventually pass over.
They were waiting and wondering “How long?”
They were waiting and weeping over the shock of all that had happened.
They were waiting and disappointed that things had not gone according to plan.
They were waiting and seriously rethinking what their discipleship now meant.
They were waiting and desiring things which could not now happen.
In the face of an enemy no less hostile than the Romans, we also are waiting.
And we are not so different in our reactions from those first disciples.
When the waiting is over, can we go back to normal?
No. The new normal is resurrection. We shall burst with joy!
Michael Pearson is a retired ethicist living in the UK. He and his wife, Helen, lead a Sabbath School class at Newbold where this essay was first presented. It is reprinted here with permission. They also run the website Pearsons’ Perspectives, where this and similar articles can be found.
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