Holy Week Family Devotional: Saturday
Q: Have you ever been really sad about something? Maybe someone you love died or something happened to you or to someone you know. How did you handle your sadness?
READ: John 19:38–42
Q: Why do you think these two secret followers of Jesus now came forward to take care of His body in burial? What does that tell us about how many people loved Jesus?
Q: What do you think Jesus’s other followers were doing on this day?
Holy Saturday was a much quieter day than Good Friday had been. There was no trial, no mocking, no crowds shouting, “Crucify Him!” Just a few people who loved Jesus burying His body.
The Bible doesn’t even tell us what His disciples were doing. They could have been resting because it was the Sabbath. They could have been hiding out because they were afraid the same people who killed Jesus would kill them too. Maybe they were together, praying about what to do next, now that Jesus was gone. They probably had a lot of different feelings—confusion, anger, fear, worry. But most of all, they were sad. Because Jesus—their master, their teacher, their hero, and their friend—was gone. They didn’t know yet that Jesus would rise again. They just knew He had died, and they were sad.
Some people think it’s not okay to be sad, or at least that it’s not okay to show it. A lot of times grown-ups tell kids to “stop crying” or “suck it up” or “don’t be sad,” when what we really we need is time and space to just be sad. If we just push all our sadness down instead of letting it out, we’ll never really heal.
The Bible tells us that it is okay to be sad. It’s even good to let ourselves feel those emotions. The Bible even tells us the best thing we can do with our sadness is to pour it all out to God in prayer. God won’t ever tell us to stop crying or to suck it up and not be sad. He will comfort us like a loving father, like a good shepherd. The Bible calls that kind of prayer a “lament.” Over one-third of the psalms are songs of lament that the whole country of Israel would sing together to express their sorrow before God in worship.
The psalms teach us that we can tell God whatever it is we are feeling. We can be completely honest with Him, even about something that seems negative. God invites us to bring all our pain to Him—our frustrations, our sorrows, our sadness, our regrets, our hurts—everything. Don’t be afraid to Him exactly how you feel. He can handle it. But the psalms don’t end with our pain and sorrow. The ending of every one of the psalms of lament turns to trust and hope in God. Because no matter how sad we are feeling, God is our comfort, our refuge, and our strength. He can change our mourning to dancing and our sorrow to joy when we bring it to Him in prayer (Psalm 30:11–12).
(OPTIONAL) PARENT STORY: Describe a time when you were very sad and brought your sadness to God in prayer. How did He comfort you? What Bible verses do you go to when you are feeling sad and need comfort from God’s Word?
ACTIVITY: Have your kids draw a picture of how they are feeling right now or how they feel when they are sad or scared or worried. Art therapists say that often, if kids can’t express how they are feeling in words, drawing can really help. Then ask them to describe their drawing to you.
PRAY: Dear God, we are so sad that Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins, but we are so thankful that He did. Thank you for letting us bring our sadness to you in prayer and for comforting us always. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE: “Why my soul, are you so disturbed within me? . . . I will yet praise Him.” (Psalm 43:5, selected phrases)