Holy Saturday is a day of waiting for our Lord to be raised. Many times, he predicted this. Yet, the disciples cowered and hid, not sure of what was going to happen. Their teacher was disgraced. Did they believe a lie?
They certainly didn’t believe the predictions, or else they had no idea what the predictions meant at the time Jesus was making them.
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (Jn 2:18-22)
They only realized later what Jesus meant. Jesus predicted his death and Resurrection at other times:
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Mt 12:38-42)
On the final trek to Jerusalem, Jesus predicted his death and Resurrection three times:
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Mt 16:21-23)
As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men,and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. (Mt 17:22-23)
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” (Mt 20:17-19)
The disciples didn’t believe a lie. They just failed to understand the necessity of a suffering and dying Messiah. Tomorrow is when we will get a full handle on what is going on this Holy Week.