Today is a day so often forgotten. We mark and commemorate Good Friday and then commemorate and celebrate Easter Sunday, but what about the day in-between? What happened on Saturday?
Biblically, there’s not much going on between Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, the Sabbath day. The disciples were, most likely, in hiding (John 20.19). They had believed in Jesus: who He was, what He said, and now He was dead. Their world was falling apart, and quickly. He wasn’t just quietly killed in secret by a ruling regime either. He was publicly and shamefully executed as a criminal and they were His known associates. Maybe they were next?
Jewish religious leaders had a guard placed at the tomb of Jesus (Matthew 27.62-66). They insist that the guard should be there until the third day because Jesus had said ‘After three days I will rise again’. They were running scared that His words would come true. Perhaps the temple curtain being torn, or the unusual darkness, or the earthquake, or the disturbance at the cemetery had played on their minds and they wondered whether it was all connected to Jesus’ death…Either way, they were concerned and asked for a guard which was granted to them. Whoever this guard is made up of, whether Romans or Jews or a mix ¹, they’re now there and waiting and wondering…will He rise?
¹ –The original language in Matthew 27.65 can be read as either “you have a guard” or “have a guard.”