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The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that imposter said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.Matthew 27:62-66
Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust — there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults.
For the LORD will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.Lamentations 3:19-33
The gospel narratives tell us very little of the activity between Friday and Sunday. Only Matthew records anything, and it’s about the chief priests and Pharisees. While they succeeded in killing Jesus, they were afraid it wasn’t over yet. They were familiar with his predictions of a resurrection, and sought to prevent the disciples from stealing the body and claiming it came true. They did what they could by adding security to the tomb, and now they waited.
We can only speculate about the disciples, but they must have been exhausted, confused, disappointed, and (with good reason, likely hiding) in fear of the Jewish authorities. Their rabbi and friend was dead. All his talk of a new kingdom seemed for naught. Their hopes now lie in a borrowed tomb. So what could they do but wait? Try to make sense of the past few years, especially the last couple of days! Try to figure out where to go and what they would do next. Just wait.
On this Saturday filled with uncertainty, notice how the two groups wait differently. One trusts in their plan, and their ability to execute it; the other has nothing left but trust in the Lord. One doubles down in their pride; the other must’ve felt like giving up hope. One takes extra steps to retain their control; the other is helpless, and needs God to do what they can’t do on their own.