It’s Saturday! — the Jewish Sabbath — a day like no other, and this Sabbath is a day like no other in the whole history of creation. It’s a wonder that the universe did not fall apart at the seams, for the Prince of Peace, the Son of God, He who witnessed the beginnings of creation, was dead and cold and laid in the tomb. Death was real and the body was lifeless, cold.
We can recognise that Jesus’ mother, Mary, Peter and other disciples, male and female, Jew or gentile would be weeping and speaking in half sentences, each experiencing their own private hell while shouldering each other’s despair. Temple activities would continue through that Sabbath, and words of old familiar prayers would be uttered.
I sometimes stop and ponder what was happening in the Kingdom of heaven during that time.
It is a day like no other. Jesus was dead. Our world devoid and desolate; and but for the glorious grace of God it might have remained that way forever.
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
That we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lived for us, our life; and who died our death,
that no aspect of our humanity might be excluded from the salvation that you graciously worked and holds out to all who would bless your holy name.
In the midst of darkness, you bring light.
In the depths of despair, you provide hope.
In the grief of humanity, you are the way through.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, ‘Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead”, and the last deception would be worse than the first.’ 65 Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.’ 66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.