Easter is full of mystery. As we reflect on the eternity-shifting and mind-bending events of the sacrifice of Jesus, it’s no surprise that we would be struck by wonder. However, lately I’ve found myself thinking about a different aspect of that first Easter… why the day in between?
Every Easter, we remember the horror of Good Friday and celebrate with jubilation the triumph of Easter Sunday. By what is the purpose of the Saturday in between? Why was there a pause – where all of creation held its breath, pondering if it was all over? What value is there in a pause?
This last question is not confined to the events of Easter alone.
In the gospels we see Jesus, fully aware of what the culmination of His time on earth would look like and in total understanding of its relatively fleeting nature. Yet, littered throughout the stories of His brilliant teaching, breathtaking miracles, and powerful deliverances we consistently find Jesus pausing.
Pausing to pray, pausing to eat, pausing to sleep.
The gospels authors all leave out plenty of details about Jesus, yet they also choose to include these accounts of Jesus pausing. While He never stops His mission from moving in a forward direction, neither does He exhaust each and every moment of each and every day with activity.
It is these moments that we can easily see the humanity of Jesus. Like us, He needs to stop to rest and refresh His earthly body. Less clear, perhaps, is the divinity of Jesus in resting. But think of the seventh day of creation, God paused. He rested.
For us who seek to follow after Jesus, we can often treat rest or intentional pausing as a concession to our humanity – we need to stop to sleep and eat in order to maintain our bodies and minds. But what if, over these next 7 days, we sought to view this act of pausing as more than a necessary concession? What if we saw it as an act of faith and thankfulness… acknowledging that, in doing so, we likewise follow a God who in creation, in the incarnation, and even in the resurrection, also pauses.
Perhaps it’s a new consideration or discipline for you to slow down. Perhaps it will be stretching or even feel somewhat uncomfortable to try this new way of connecting with God. But my prayer is that we too can be brave enough to pause and pray… and see what movements God will make in our own lives as we do.