meditation for Holy Saturday

Finality. Burial seems to underscore finality. Burial was a two stage process, the corpse in one spot for around a year before the final resting place.

The disciples frankly hardly knew what had hit them. They believed in a general resurrection at the end of the age, and they had certainly saw for themselves people like Lazarus brought back from the dead to life. In the latter case those people would still age and die. They would await the final resurrection like everyone else. After death there was Paradise for the righteous. But to see someone experience the final resurrection in the present age even in their midst was a completely new and foreign thought evidently. So this Saturday, this Sabbath would be for them perhaps the longest day of their lives, mercifully only one day before their Lord would arise and begin to appear to them.

It is good to reflect on that first Holy Saturday, thinking what it meant for everyone at the time. As we pray that God will impact us with not only Jesus’ death and resurrection. But with his burial as well (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 6; Colossians 2:11-12). See this article for some reflections on this day.

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

John 19:38-42


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