The Forgotten Final Day of Holy Week: Holy Saturday.

400px-Jerusalem_Holy_Sepulchre_BW_7 As we make our final preparations for Easter let us take a moment to reflect on this Holy Day.

In the  beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, and God’s spirit hovered over the water.  God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.  God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness.  God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night’.  Evening came and morning came: the first day. (Gen: 1: 1-5)

In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him.  All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower. (John: 1: 1-5)

Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their array.  On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing.  He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing.  God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he had rested after all his work of creating. (Gen: 2: 1-3)

Than a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous man named Joseph.   He had not consented to what the others had planned and carried out.  He came from Arimathaea, a Jewish town, and he lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God.  This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put him in a tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid.  It was Preparation Day and the sabbath was imminent.  Meanwhile the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus were following behind.  They took note of the tomb and of the position of the body.  Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.  And on the sabbath day they rested, as the Law required. (Luke: 23: 50-56)

And so after completing the work of redeeming His creation Jesus rested.  He took on the sleep of death so that we who are baptized into that death may rise with him into everlasting life.  On this quiet day of waiting the dead have already heard the Good News and have begun to sing Alleluia!!  We wait in sorrow but with the hope of Christ that we will join them in song as we enter into new life on the third day.

I leave you with a prayer for Holy Saturday.

Fresco at St. Savior in Chora Church, Istanbul

Fresco at St. Savior in Chora Church, Istanbul

Christ trampled down death by death.

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