I hate to wait. I hate waiting in line at the grocery store, especially when the person at the front of the line is counting out nickels and pennies or arguing over a 15 cent coupon. I hate waiting at an intersection when the person in front is waiting for traffic to clear in all directions as far as the eye can see before crossing. I don’t think I am an impatient person in general, but there are those times when I am convinced that the world is conspiring to piss me off by making me wait.

How much more awful to not have anything to wait for.

I have often thought of Saturday of Holy Week as the day of waiting. We know what happened in the New Testament account on Sunday, so we already have our clothes picked out for Easter Sunday. Parents have Easter baskets ready for the next day.

I easily forget that the disciples had nothing to wait for. As far as they were concerned, the show was over. No sequel. The person they had followed for three years, the person on whom they had pinned their hopes for their future was dead. Just dead. They had seen it with their own eyes. Nothing was going to change that.

They had no hopes of anything else, no sense that there was more to come. They had nothing to wait for or plan for. We can consider Saturday a day of waiting based on our understanding of the events of the day that followed. All the disciples had was their first Sabbath in three years without Jesus with them. Nothing beyond that.

If we are to truly understand Holy Week and the significance of those events, we have to embrace the absolute despair of that Saturday. We have to stare into the total darkness of the future when our fondest dreams have vaporized and our wildest hopes have been shattered. If we are busy whispering, “Yeah, but Easter is right around the corner,” we fail to grasp how monumental it is to hold onto hope when there appears to be nothing left to hold onto.