Holy Week: Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday.

This is another quiet day during Holy Week. It’s quiet in the Scriptural account because it was the Jewish Sabbath day. Jesus is dead. His body rests in the tomb. Everyone is resting at home. Nothing is happening.

And yet, the vanity of mankind is on display. Fearfully and disobediently, the chief priests and Pharisees are staying busy and still “working.” They’re working hard to keep Jesus dead and to make sure His movement is completely stamped out by making several final requests of Pilate. He obliges and the Jewish leaders go to seal the stone of the tomb and set a guard. I imagine they were pretty pleased with themselves at this point. They have covered their bases.

But if we know Jesus at all, we know that He is a man of surprise who is skilled at kindly, but abruptly exposing our independent pride and rebellion — our fundamental resistance to resting in Him and the insanity of our supposed self-sufficiency.

My friends, in the midst of a pandemic and stay-at-home orders [originally written in 2020], we see the vanity of our self-sufficiency in a fresh way, don’t we? Many of us have been hard at work (even on days of rest) to set a guard and to seal the tomb in order to keep the living Jesus from finding us in our desperation, pain, fear, rage, and grief. And yet, Jesus didn’t stay in the rest of death for long. We can’t keep Him there.

Resurrection life bursting forth interrupted the short pause of His rest in the tomb. And His resurrection life breaks forth in our own lives today!

My friends, who will we be today? Anxious and arrogant fools like the chief priests and Pharisees who in vain sought to bar the resurrected Christ from their lives? Or grieving, humble, and hopeful children of God like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who expectantly look for Jesus to joyfully surprise them once again?

Jesus desires you! Jesus desires to walk alongside you in your journey. He may yet surprise you with His abundant grace.

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.”

Matthew 28:5
The Final Days of Jesus — Holy Saturday

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