A Holy Saturday meditation

From 2012

I started wondering what the Apostles were doing during the weekend after Jesus died. We are told that John and Peter were together on Easter Sunday in a place that Mary Magdalen knew about, for she went to them to tell them that Jesus’ body was gone. So I am guessing that the Apostles, or most of them, had spent Saturday together, maybe even some time on Friday after Jesus died. I would not be surprised to learn that Peter and maybe some of the others had watched the Crucifixion from afar – just far enough away to not be caught, although John was there with Jesus mother Mary. Peter, especially after denying Jesus, though he might have spent some time in great distress, afterward would have pulled himself together and felt an obligation to his Master. So let us suppose that the Apostles were together at least part of Holy Saturday. What were they doing? Just as we would get together with friends and family after a death and speak of the loved one, so I think the Apostles would do – speaking about the times together, all that they had seen Jesus do, all that He had told them.

So now on Easter Sunday, Mary comes and finds John and Peter – together. And they both run to the tomb. Peter goes in first, then John. Then the Bible tells us John saw and believed. What did he believe? That Jesus had risen as he had said? They had witnessed the rising from the dead of Lazarus and perhaps others. If a man had the power to do that, would he have the power to rise himself? He had told him that He would rise again. But still, it was a stretch to believe it.

How old was Peter at the time? John? I am guessing that Peter was in his mid-thirties, perhaps a little older than Jesus. We are told Peter was martyred in 67 AD. He was about 70 years old, perhaps a little older. John lived at least until 90 AD when his gospel was written. He is always pictured younger than the others. So let us say that John is 18 – 26 or so. Peter is a fisherman with his own boat(s). He has a business and is married with at least a wife and mother in law to care for. Based on his age and life circumstances, Peter would not as quickly accept a conclusion that seems impossible, like rising from the dead. Young people, on the other hand, are filled with zeal; they seldom see themselves as not going to live forever; they are willing to take leaps in faith about ideas or causes. I can see John quickly coming to the conclusion that Jesus did in fact rise, just as He said He would. Peter would just wait and see.

The Bible just gives us the pertinent facts, everything we need to know to believe. But we always want more. So we have to fill in the blanks, the bits and pieces that bring one scene forward to the next. It is better this way than if the stories told us every little fact. Thank you heavenly Father for being so good to us!

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