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Commemorating Holy Week: Holy Saturday 2016

26 Mar

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Photo by edouardo on Morgue File.

Saturday: (Lk. 23.56b)

Context:

                The only mentioning of this day is in Luke 23.56b, on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Today is marked by silence. All the activity of yesterday has subsided into the nervous quiet of today. Jesus has died on the cross. He was buried and laid to rest. The disciples are huddled together in fear. They fear the religious leaders. They fear the mob. They fear the sound of approaching centurion sandals. Their whole world has been destroyed. The One in whom they trusted is now gone—he is dead.

Doubtless, for many of them, they are living with the pain and guilt of abandoning Jesus in his greatest hour of need. It was one of them, Judas, who had betrayed him. Why did they not see it coming? How could they have missed it? Even more, they all feel equally culpable. They all, in some way, betrayed Christ.

Saturday hangs heavy over their heads. There is a darkness that shrouds them. The air in the room is suffocating and nauseating. Their skin is wet with sweat and their minds are filled with doubts and regrets. Their hearts lie broken in the bottom of their chests.

Has there ever been a more black and bleak day? The Resurrection and the Life has been put to death and now lies still in a borrowed tomb. What is to become of the message he proclaimed? Where is the good news now? Where is the kingdom he pronounced? What has become of the hope and faith he instilled in his followers? Is this really how it all would end?

Application:

Where do you turn on those dark days of life? When you experience those long dark nights of the soul, where is your refuge? Do you find yourself, like the disciples, cowering in fear and dread? Does the darkness become too thick, too suffocating to fight against?

As you meditate on this day known as Holy Saturday, take time to allow the solemnity of the moment to capture your heart. Do not be too quick to dismiss the agony of this day. Do not be too quick to hurry through it . . . allow it to have its proper place. Allow it to remind you of the stillness and darkness, when it seems hope itself has been swallowed up by despair.

On this day, the darkness seems to vanquish the light. Death seems to have been crowned champion with life lifeless at his cold feet. Hell it seems has triumphed; it exults in its mastery, while heaven seems distant and silent.

Saturday must be felt if Easter is to fill us with joy. You must walk that road, and a lonely road it is. But often, the darkest night is right before the dawn.  As the psalmist beautifully said, for his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning (Ps. 30.5).

Saturday is long and quiet, restless and foreboding . . . but, the morning shall dawn.

Prayer:

O, Eternal God, today our hearts are still and quiet as we remember this solemn day. We feel the darkness enclosing all around us. The silence of this day is deafening and our souls cry out to you. As we journey through this week, as we linger in this day, help us with watchful and faithful hearts await the morning. Remind us, O Father, that even in the darkest night, your light cannot be quenched. As we anticipate the dawn, we pray, even so come Lord Jesus, in whose name we pray, Amen.

Here is another Holy Saturday post: https://meanderedwanderings.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/quiet-saturday/

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