Good Friday. Strange name, but in reality so true, yes? Easter Sunday. We all know what that day is too. But what about "Holy Saturday"? An article I read describes all the days of Easter Holy Week pretty well, looking at it from both Protestant and Catholic angles. In summary, "However it is observed, Holy Saturday has traditionally been a time of reflection and waiting, the time of weeping that lasts for the night while awaiting the joy that comes in the morning." (http://www.crivoice.org/cyholyweek.html)
Where am I going with this? You see,I hang out in the Old Testament a lot. Is it because I like stories? Possibly. Is it because the amazing histories crack me up sometimes and let my imagination run wild at other times? Maybe. Is it because a God of justice and ferocity makes more sense to my legalistic mind than a God who loves a goomba like me and saved me...with nothing I can do to earn it? Probably. Grace is something God is constantly trying to get through my thick skull. Good Friday (even though it should be celebrated on Wednesday- but that's another rant. :) makes sense to me. Mourn your own stupidity, your own sin. Wallow in your grief over killing the One True God. Spend Saturday reflecting on what an epic failure you are, and look towards Sunday- when it all makes sense and you are supposedly FREE! Reborn! Made Alive with Christ! Not what God intended I know, but all things many of us do, or feel.
But this week I heard someone say something so clearly...In a discussion about the Holy Days of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, this preacher said "Most Christians are stuck living in between. They live in Holy Saturday their whole Christian lives...somewhere after they confessed their sins and were saved (Good Friday) but never reaching Sunday- and all that resurrection and LIFE means." Did I ever think of it that way? That I live in the "Saturday"...reflecting and mourning the losses and WAITING for the new life Jesus gives every single one of us? Living like a dead person waiting for heaven, instead of realizing I am resurrected already? I can't explain it right, but WOW. God has been so amazingly good to me this year. He has been loving me gently, and pushing me to stop trying to EARN my life back. For the first time in my Christian life, I haven't felt total regret and sorrow when I look at Easter. When I cry over Good Friday, and remember my Lord and all that He did for me, for the first time- it is with tears of repentance and JOY. I don't feel like wasting my Saturday being all forlorn over my sins- they've been FORGIVEN. I am choosing...now and ever more... to live in the CELEBRATION of Easter. The day Jesus did all the rest to get me to. Oh, Hallelujah for that!
Am I still a goomba? Yes, unfortunately. I will always mess up and forget the things I most hold dear. But I can confess it and MOVE FORWARD. God has given me a complete picture of Himself through His Word, through Jesus...and every time I hold that treasure in my hands and dig into His nature, I can be sure that He doesn't want me "living in between". He doesn't want me hanging out in Good Friday or Holy Saturday. He wants me free to run, dance, and LIVE with Him in Resurrection Sunday. That was the whole point. And what a fantastic point He made, yes?
Happy Holy Saturday, friends. Father, help us to remember to live like You want us to. I am so praying that you have been "living in between" sometimes too, that today is the day you move forward. God bless you with more of Himself! xoxox
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time...Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:3-9
(We took a trip to Seaside for Spring Break, had to share a photo of my sweeties at Fort Stevens. I pray these guys learn about grace and understand it a lot faster than I am. :)