I think it's safe to say that the first Holy Saturday was the darkest moment in the lives of the disciples. They had given up everything to follow Jesus. They walked with Him, were taught by Him and witnessed His miracles firsthand. But they’d also witnessed the plot to take Him out (supported by one of their own). Now, as Jesus' body lay in a tomb, the disciples were in hiding: waiting, wondering, faith wavering. Holy Saturday is the place where faith and doubt collide.
Meanwhile, those who had plotted against Jesus in life were still plotting against Him in death.
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Matthew 27:62-66)
The chief priests and Pharisees, who had orchestrated Jesus' crucifixion, worried that his disciples would be equally manipulative. But in their attempt to "one up" the disciples, they inadvertently set the stage for Jesus’ greatest miracle of all!
Yes, Holy Saturday is the place where faith and doubt collide, a place of darkness and sadness. If we’re not careful, it’s a place where faith can die. But reading this passage gives me hope and brings a slight smile to my face. Dare I say that I even laughed? This passage tells me that even in the midst of our darkest hour, when the enemy is plotting against us, God is already poised to use it for our good and His glory.
Even in the darkness, there is hope. With Christ, there is always hope.