No one who was present on that first Good Friday would have given it that name, not even the Pharisees and Sadducees who sought Jesus’ death. The earthquake and the veil of the Temple being torn in two probably put a damper on their celebration.
Dismal Saturday was, if possible, even worse for the disciples than the day before. It was a day without hope.
But hope was coming sooner than they knew.
Resurrection Day made the two previous days fade into the background. Startled by the Risen Christ, they now began to understand the significance of it all. The resurrection was the cornerstone. As the apostle Paul later put it:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. … If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
And then there is this promise:
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. … Then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
That is our hope. That is the victory. That is the significance of this Resurrection Day.