Holy Week: Saturday

In Holy Weekby Stuart Owens

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I store up anxious concerns[a] within me,
agony in my mind every day?
How long will my enemy dominate me?

Consider me and answer, Lord my God.
Restore brightness to my eyes;
otherwise, I will sleep in death.
My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,”
and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your faithful love;
my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord
because he has treated me generously.

Psalm 13, CSB

Have you ever wondered what the followers must have felt on Saturday? Jesus was killed and buried, and they were experiencing the grief of losing a friend, brother, son, and leader. There were no more teachings, no more conversations, no more travels… just silence.

In Psalm 13, we see David struggling with the same issue of silence. He is questioning why God refuses to answer Him. He is distraught and wondering if God has abandoned Him.

I think the disciples would have been feeling very similar to how David felt. Their teacher for three years was gone. The man who healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead was laid to rest in a tomb. They were probably wondering if any of it was worth it and were fearful of being persecuted themselves. Many of them even went back to their old jobs.

Silence is not something that just David felt or something that only the followers of Jesus felt on that Saturday just over two thousand years ago. Silence is something that every one of us has felt.

“I read my Bible but I feel like I am not learning or being changed by it right now”

“I have been praying for this person or this job or this situation, but it hasn’t helped”

“I don’t want to struggle with this sin, but I can’t help it”

“I feel alone and wonder if God really cares for me”

Don’t mistake silence in your life for God’s absence. Often times when we feel silence we think that it means absence, but that is not the case. I think of Mark chapter 4, the disciples are on a boat experiencing a terrible storm. They are panicking and wake Jesus up to save them. What is most interesting to me about this story is that even in the storm and chaos, Jesus is on the boat the entire time. They were afraid because he was sleeping.

If you have believed and trusted in Christ, you have the assurance that God is always with you. He has given you His Holy Spirit as the seal of your salvation. You may feel alone, you may feel neglected, you may feel like your prayers are going unanswered. God is with you. God hears you. God loves you.

David knows that this is true of the silence that he is facing because he ends this Psalm reminding himself of salvation and the goodness of God.

Today reflect on the reality that Jesus was actually killed and buried. Think about the silence that the disciples must have been feeling. Is there an area of your life that you are feeling silence from God? In this season, do you feel near to God or distant from Him? Have you been praying the same prayer over and over without seeing an answer?

Just as David did, remind yourself that God is good and is with you. His silence does not mean He is absent. Keep seeking Him, keep petitioning Him, and keep praising Him. Leaning into the silence you may be feeling makes the victory of Sunday that much greater.