The day after the darkest day in history was a day of quiet. Nothing much is known about what went on the day after Jesus died. The only reference to that day in Scripture is found in five verses in Matthew's gospel. In those verses, we learn that the chief priests and Pharisees went to see Pontius Pilate. They knew that Jesus had said that He would rise on the third day. Although they did not believe that Jesus would actually rise from the dead, they feared that His disciples would remove His body from the tomb and tell people that He had risen. So, the chief priests and Pharisees appealed to Pilate to seal the tomb and post a guard. Pilate granted their request. (Matthew 27:62-66)
But, what of the disciples? What of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the other women who had followed Jesus? What were they doing on that day? What were they thinking and feeling? These men and women had seen their Lord, Teacher, and friend arrested, beaten, mocked, and then crucified. Jesus was dead. The Son of God was lying in a cold, dark tomb. No doubt, the hearts of His followers were broken. They were devastated, afraid, and numb with shock. The feelings that gripped them must have been similar to those experienced by Americans on the day following the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks.
On 9/12/2001, a shocked and heartbroken nation watched in stunned silence at the aftermath of those attacks. We grieved and mourned the loss of friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. On the day after Jesus died, His followers had scattered and hid. They were stunned, confused, and grieving. Although they did not understand this on that day, they were sandwiched between grief and joy. But those of us who live on the other side of that joy know that the grief of Jesus' followers was to be short-lived. We know that, although those disciples and those women did not know it on that day, they would soon learn that Sunday is coming!