“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. 39 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.[e] 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 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. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.“ John 19.38-42
Good Friday 2020 has come and gone. Good Friday where Jesus suffered, was persecuted and died. Good Friday where heaven shook and earth rumbled as the Son of Man was scarified upon the cross.
We are nearing the end of Holy Week and now sit at Holy Saturday, The day around the world celebrated by Christians as the day Jesus lay in the tomb, one day before he rose from the dead. It’s an odd day, one in which we know what’s coming, but mourn at what has been.
Holy Saturday isn’t quite as mourned as Good Friday or as celebrated as Easter. It’s one of those days where we’ve settled in to what has happened and pray for what is coming. We know Easter is coming, we are gearing up for the resurrection, but to place ourselves in the context of the early followers, Messiah has just been killed and now is in a tomb borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea.
Holy Saturday feels like our self-isolation, social-distancing pattern occurring now with the global pandemic that is attacking our nation. It’s been bad, and could get worse, but hope is coming. Resurrection is coming. But today, on this Holy Saturday, we are quarantined, stuck at home, waiting with anticipation for the day for our world to return to normal.
Our world is in shutdown mode. Even some Christians who have recently tried to hold “drive in” services where they stay in cars are being fined (see Louisville, KY). Church buildings are shut, thousands of sanctuaries that would see their largest attendance this coming Sunday, will remain empty.
And it feels like Holy Saturday — a day that quite frankly is a little gloomy.
But Sunday is coming. And with it we will witness the greatest miracle of all as Jesus rises from the grave. Are you prepared? Are you willing? Are you eager to see what happens next? God is coming to your home this Easter. Are you ready to receive him there?
“O Lord, it might just be me but this particular Holy Saturday feels a lot like what the disciples experienced 2000 years ago. Stuck at home. Isolated. Fearing that God had abandoned them. But as we know, you have not! You are here and you are near. You are waiting and willing to reveal yourself to al who will see. To all who will come to the cross and acknowledge you as Savior. Come, Holy Spirit, inspire your church. Help us be the people you want us to be. We celebrate you. We praise your name, for you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen