We commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday, marveling at His willing sacrifice on our behalf. Then on Easter Sunday, we celebrate our risen Lord and the empty grave He victoriously left behind.
But what about the second day, the day tucked between His death and resurrection, when Hope itself lay dead in the tomb? What was happening in the heavenly places? Were the angels dejected and discouraged over humanity’s blindness and cruelty? Were they begging the Father to hurry and rescue Christ from that place of death? Were they rehearsing their hallelujah and holy, holy, holy choruses reserved from eternity past just for the resurrection moment, that moment upon which all life and hope would hinge?
Furthermore, what had happened to the hearts of His followers, those who had given up their own lives to follow Him? Were all their hopes crushed and their lives thrown into confusion when everything they could see with their eyes screamed it’s over? When the One they thought was their Messiah had died like a common criminal on a cruel Roman cross?
Had the enemy really won?
Praise God, His story didn’t stop the instant Jesus drew His last breath on that cross. Nor did it stop the second day when His perfect, sinless, beaten, and crucified body lay lifeless in the grave. Sealed, guarded, dead.
God Most High did not wring His hands in worry, agonizing over a “Plan B.” He never once anxiously thought, “That did not go as I planned.” From the foundation of the world, He knew. He knew exactly how it would all transpire, and it all happened just as He determined. The third day came and Jesus needed grave clothes no more. The grave kept Him only as long as was ordained by the King of all creation, and not a second longer. A body that lives has no need for a grave! He had risen!
So when it seems there is no hope, yes, remember the crucifixion and the resurrection. But also remember the second day. The day of waiting, that day in between when no one understood what was happening, was as much a part of His plan–His victory–as the first and third days.
When God has a plan–and He always does–hope is coming. When we have a Savior who is alive, there is always hope, always power, always a way.
Even on our “second days.”
May your Easter celebrations be more than they have ever been before as you revel in the Hope that only a living Savior can bring!
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:25
Janice Powell 2013