Yesterday was Good Friday.
Tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday (Easter).
Today is Transition Saturday.
The day between the grief and the joy,
Between the sorrow and the rejoicing,
Between death and new life.
Many of us put great emphasis on Good Friday and on Easter (of course).
But what about Saturday?
Consider how Saturday must have felt.
They woke up that morning wondering if it was all a dream… hoping it was a dream… wishing it was a dream.
But their nightmare pressed on.
8am became 9am.
9am became 10am.
And Jesus was still dead.
Maybe you have experienced something similar.
Maybe you’ve had a death of a loved one,
Or some news that tore you apart,
Or something caused your whole world to crumble.
And then there was the next day,
And nothing changed.
And the next day,
Still nothing changed.
That’s what this Saturday felt like.
The realization setting in,
The stages of grief beginning,
As the rest of the world continued on around them.
The rest of the Jewish people were remembering how they had been delivered from Egypt through passover,
But the disciples were still processing the fact that their deliverer had just been murdered.
The Beauty of Transition Saturday
Consider this: Jesus didn’t need to stay dead on Saturday.
He could have risen on Saturday just as easily as Sunday.
But consider just some of the beauty and imagery He has given us by delaying His resurrection.
1. Transition Saturday is on the Sabbath: the day of rest
When God gave the command for Israel to rest on the Sabbath, He gave two different reasons.
One reason is that God gave them an example in that He created the universe in six days and then rested on the seventh (Exodus 20:8-11).
But the other reason reveals much more of His intention.
He tells the Children of Israel that they are resting to remind themselves that they were no longer slaves in Egypt and therefore, get days to rest (Deuteronomy 5:12-15).
Consider this: as Jesus laid in the tomb on Saturday, the disciples had the opportunity to remember why the Sabbath existed: to remind them of their deliverance – and the state they were now in: freedom.
In the same way, as we reflect on the new life and freedom we have through the cross and resurrection even in our transition periods and days.
Free from slavery of sin,
Free from shame and condemnation,
Free from death,
Free from fear.
Freedom in Christ. John 8:36.
May Transition Saturday remind you of your freedom in Christ.
But wait… there’s more.
2. Transition Saturday reminds us that we are to wait for Jesus’ return
One of the most popular reflections I’ve seen regarding Transition Saturday is that we, the Church, are in a transition much like the disciples were on Saturday.
Our sins are dead,
But we’re not in heaven yet.
Our salvation has come,
But the final culmination of God’s plan isn’t complete.
So, whenever you go through a trial, or suffer in any way
You can look to Transition Saturday,
And trust in the promise that just like Sunday came,
So too will Jesus return and make all things right.
3. Transition Saturday reminds us that God is working even when we don’t see it for a long time
Although our times of waiting are generally longer than a single day, this pause in the story reminds us that God is still working, even when He seems silent.
For the past 3 years, Jesus had been on the scene doing miracles and teaching.
In just one more day, Jesus will rise from the grave proving He is God and that the payment He made for us on Friday is true and sure.
But today, on Saturday, God seems absolutely still and even absent.
But rest assured: He was still working.
Because sometimes God chooses it best to wait before the next act in the story.
Maybe you’re waiting, and God feels distant, or absent.
Be rest assured, He is working, and what He has planned will come to pass.
Even in our waiting, God is still working behind the scenes.
4. Transition Saturday is at the end of the week, making completion for a new thing to begin on Sunday, the beginning of the next week
The Sabbath, as mentioned above, closes out the week and is meant to be a day of rest and pause.
But Sunday is the day of new beginnings.
By allowing for Transition Saturday, God reminds us to rest, but He also reminds us that new things are coming.
The Gospel is the Good News that God has provided new life to our dead ones,
And what better way to remember that than on the first day of the new week.
This is also why Christianity has classically met on Sundays, even though we stem from the Jewish practices and history which celebrated Saturday as holy.
Because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday,
Our new life was given to us on Sunday,
And that was made possible by the waiting that happened on Saturday.
I hope you take some extra time today to reflect on Transition Saturday.
I hope this post encourages you in whatever transition or waiting period you might be in right now.
And most of all, I hope it brings you nearer to the One Who made all of this possible.
Who paid our price,
Who died for our sins,
Who was buried,
Who rose again,
Who has given us new life,
Who continues to live alive and well today,
And Who desires to have you surrender your life wholly to His,
As that’s the relationship we were created for.