Jesus had been crucified. He had been laid in a borrowed tomb. The disciples went away to grieve together. And the night passed.
Can you even imagine what they were feeling? Do you think they understood what had just taken place? What about Mary, who witnessed in horror the torture and death, the humiliation, the evilness, that had befallen her son? God had given her this child. And to her, even though she knew who He was, He was still the child she had conceived in purity, who she bore and raised to manhood. This was her flesh, her love, her life. This God-child, who was King of the World, was still her baby boy.
We do not really know what took place that next day. But the world had already been changed. Thunderstorms and earthquakes had taken place, the veil in the temple was torn, and the dead were raised up out of their graves and lived again. Yes, things had changed greatly. Events never before seen were talked of, were causing terror and dismay, and many were confused. Especially some of the soldiers who had been in attendance on that dark, miserable hill...
Those who had carried out the actual torture and crucifixion of our Jesus had been touched in some way by the event. Some still did not see the ramifications of, or the importance of, their actions from the day before. In fact, a few of them were most likely still bragging about money they had won in gambling, in sharing the spoils of the deaths that took place that day, including the seamless white robe that had been at the center of their games. That very special robe.
In contrast, I would think that the centurion who realized, at that last split second, who Jesus really was, had to be full of remorse, awe, and intense guilt. Many who seemed to weaken during His death process were likely feeling that way. For they had witnessed something never seen before, a man dying on the cross but forgiving those who had put Him there. He also suffered as no man had ever done, for a longer period of time, when any other man would not have been able to withstand it. But can you imagine remembering afterwards the piercing of the side, the blood, which they would have expected, but then the pure water that followed? You can bet that had never been seen before. Or since.
Even when terrible things are over, when tragedy rests its ugly head for a moment, when grief begins to truly settle in, events replay themselves over and over again in our heads. In our hearts. In our minds. Why? What if? What could I have done? Why didn't God intervene? This was, after all, His only begotten Son. Why would He not show that power that the thieves knew He had?
It was all because of Grace. God's will had to be realized, the prophecy fulfilled. Man would never have found salvation, in a more intimate, immediate, and perfect way, had Jesus not done what His Father had decreed. He was willing, but He was not looking forward to it. We know that by His prayer in the cemetery, shortly before He was arrested and taken away. But on that day, the day in between, those who were so close to the 'thing' had much to ponder, much to think about, much to marvel at. Because they witnessed the greatest event in the world to date. The beginning of the end...the opening act to the one to follow....the complete and eternal resurrection of Christ.
The In Between Day...we don't think much about it, and not much is known. These are merely my ideas of what was going on, how many were reacting and feeling, how that day would have been. We tend to jump right over that day, straight to Easter. The day of Christ's victory. But He had already known victory. Because on that in between day, He was working to do His Father's will. He was visiting hell, and taking complete control of it. He was doing a lot of things we will never know about until we are reunited with Him again. He had just experienced complete separation from the Father He so loved, but He knew He was loved beyond compare. This in between day was a day of great importance, a real day, but a forgotten day.
The important thing to take away from all of this is...there had to be an in between day before there could be a He Lives Again Day!