Today is Easter Saturday 2010. In Latin America we call it "Sábado de Aleluia" which can be translated as Hallelujah Saturday. Growing up I always questioned why they called it Hallelujah Saturday. After all, if there was a sentiment that represented what Jesus' disciples were going through after the "raboni" was buried it would have to be despair. So, why not call it "Desperate Saturday"? That would go along better with what millions of Christians in Latin America have ritualized on this "Sábado de Aleluia": The lynching of Judas Iscariot.
It wasn't until recently that everything made sense to me. The three days spent on accomplished salvation set the pace for salvation applied. Meaning, everything that Jesus went through in those three days to secure salvation for us should represent everything what we must go through in order to experience his salvation in us and for us. Here's the pattern his passion sets for us. Suffer - die - rest - be glorified.
On Thursday the Gospels tell us that Jesus grasped the deep reality of sin and sacrifice which brought him to despair. He wept, and sweat, and bled over our sins and then confessed his desire to Father to abandon the job last minute. At that moment, Jesus was taking sin very seriously. So should we, if we are to receive the salvation God makes available to us in Jesus. Those to whom Jesus has secured salvation, will weep, and bleed, and experience despair over their hopeless condition. And most importantly, will confess their sins and see in Jesus the only possibility of rescue and absolution.
On Friday Jesus was crucified. He ascended the tree of Calvary to become the substitution for our sins. On the cross the Father's wrath brutally descended on the Son so that it would not descend on those to whom he was securing salvation for -- those he would latter call sons and daughters. As sun went down and the Son gave up his Spirit, we were justified and now able to be adopted into the family of the Trinity. Those to whom Jesus has secured salvation are called to look at the Cross and see their death vicariously lived out (or should I say died out) by Jesus. More importantly, they are called to die to self and to the sin that demanded their death.
Now we arrive on "Sábado de Alleluia". On Saturday there is silence in the text. In the soul there's despair and in the land there's rest. What an interesting tension huh? The disciples are observing the Shabbath while experiencing despair! Little did they know what "rabboni" had just done and was still doing for them. Jesus' body in the grave should represent REST for us. It should confront us with the anxieties that enslave us and the temptation that we have to still work for our absolution before God. Saturday is Hallelujah because it is a reminder that we can and should rest in Jesus. It's a reminder that there's nothing we can do. That is how we grow and are sanctified in the salvation he has accomplished for us. We are sanctified as we rest of our works (good ones) and as we stop looking for rest in other saviors.
Finally Sunday. The grave is empty and the master is walking in the garden beautiful and splendorous. He has defeated our last enemy and for the next 40 days he gives us a preview of what life in kingdom will look like when "the glory of the Lord covers the earth as the waters covers the seas". It's what enables us to make sense of all that he did for us and unless there was resurrection there would be no sense in believing and living out this salvation. His salvation is accomplished at last and it is applied with hope.
So, suffer, die, rest and hope, because your glorification is coming.
Happy "Sábado de Alleluia".