Holy Saturday …
Holy Saturday? Didn’t even know there was such a thing to be honest. Came across it while learning about Holy Friday. This should be interesting, as the logo says, “Always a Journey” and I love to be on them. Take me where you will Lord!
DO YOU KNOW … Why it’s called Holy Saturday? Well, it also called Holy and Great Saturday, or The Great Sabbath. It is the Saturday before Easter, the last day of Lent and is the day when Christ’s body lay in His Tomb. In the early church Holy Saturday was a day of fasting and preparation for the Easter Vigil.
DO YOU KNOW … That it is believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hades and raised up to Paradise those who had been held captive there. No idea what the Harrowing of Hades is? Well, if you’ve ever heard or said the Apostle’s Creed, you’ve spoken about it … yeah, I didn’t know that either. We said, “he descended into hell” and that’s what we were talking about. There isn’t a definitive biblical scripture that say that, although there are several that can allude to it. One of the strongest is found in 1 Peter 3:18-20:
18For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once [f]for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit, 19In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20[The souls of those] who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water.
DO YOU KNOW … that this was/is the Jewish Sabbath day? So I wanted to know what normally happens on a Sabbath day. Oh, just a reminder that this would be from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Anyway, what happens on a Jewish Sabbath day?
The word “Shabbat” comes from the root Shin-Beit-Tav, meaning to cease, to end, or to rest. There are two commandments for this day: to remember and to observe (Exodus 20:8 and Deuteronomy 5:12). Shabbat is primarily a day of rest and spiritual enrichment.
DO YOU KNOW … What happened to Jesus on this day? Again, we can turn to Matthew 26-27; Mark 14-15; Luke 22-23;John 13-14; John 18-19 to find out, here is a brief outline, (most of this happened on Friday):
“As evening had already come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, [the day] before the Sabbath, Joseph, he of Arimathea, noble and honorable in rank and a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin), who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, daring the consequences, took courage and ventured to go to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” ”
And Joseph bought a [fine] linen cloth [for swathing dead bodies], and, taking Him down from the cross, he rolled Him up in the [fine] linen cloth and placed Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock. Then he rolled a [very large] stone against the door of the tomb. And Mary Magdalene and Mary [the mother] of Joses were [attentively] observing where He was laid.” “Then they went back and made ready spices and ointments (perfumes). On the Sabbath day they rested in accordance with the commandment.”
So basically, Jesus … well, He … He rested, at least His body did.
DO YOU KNOW … What strikes me about this? When I was looking to see what a typical Jewish Sabbath would look like, my mind wandered back to the disciples. Here are a few things that I thought of:
They were just like Jesus’s body. They surely felt an overwhelming sense of the unknown, they were in the the dark. I’m sure they felt sick, weighted down, maybe even like they had been beaten and bruised inside. I’m sure they wondered if Jesus was really who He said He was, even though they knew what He had done, I’m sure a slight doubt had crept in on them at some point.
But here’s the thing, it was the Sabbath for them – well several of them. And what were they supposed to do on the Sabbath? Remember and observe. If they really took the time to obey the commandments given for the Sabbath, they would have remembered … remembered everything Jesus had done … remembered everything He had said … remember all that God had done … remembered that God had brought the Israelites out of bondage … remembered the original Passover … remembered! That was part of what the Sabbath day was all about. If there ever was a Sabbath day to do some remembering, it had to be THIS one.
If they had really took the time to obey the commandments given for the Sabbath, they would have observed … observed by keeping it holy by resting … observed that God had rested after His major piece of work in creating the world … observed that maybe Jesus was resting too! After all He said he would rise on the third day, so He was just observing and keeping the Sabbath day holy just like everyone else.
SO NOW YOU KNOW … About Holy Saturday. For many Christian religions, our Sabbath has been moved to Sunday. But it doesn’t change the purpose of the day. I think it would be a good practice to remember and observe. Keeping the day for thinking back on what God and Jesus have done for us. It sure would make the week ahead less stressful. God remembers, Jesus remembers, why don’t we?
And it would be a good idea to keep the day a day of resting. It sure would give us strength for the week ahead, more energy. God rested, Jesus rested, why don’t we?
So I challenge you, take time today to Remember and Observe who Jesus was, is, and forever will be.
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