The Silence of Saturday

“Your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.”
John 16:22

An ancient church tradition held that all the earth was silent on this day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The Bible itself is almost completely silent on what happened on Saturday. The disciples are grieving, sorrowing on one of the darkest days of their lives, but they too are met only with silence.

The silence of Holy Saturday is the rest before the crescendo of Resurrection. It was the Selah pause between the two greatest expressions of God’s mind ever communicated in human form.

The Christian life is often lived in such times of silence. Silence can be comforting when we’re hoping for peace and solitude, but disquieting when we’re alone and seeking answers. Like the waiting disciples, in the time between God’s promise and fulfillment we are uncertain of God’s timing. We desire to escape current circumstances. We lack understanding of God’s plan.

And yet in silence, the Word is never silent. The reason for the silence of Saturday was the death on Friday, a reminder that God has chosen not to remove suffering from our existence. Instead He came into our existence to suffer with us and for us. By encountering Christ, it is in the silence we hear His voice the loudest.

It is in the silence that we remember His promise to His followers just hours before, “Now you have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice!” You may feel abandoned, but He is near. It may feel like darkness will never break, but dawn is coming. It may seem God is silent, but He’s speaking peace to you.


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