Saturday of Holy Week

Saturday of Holy Week

Scripture for today: Matthew 27:62-66 and Luke 23:54-56.
Matthew 27:62–66 (NASB95)
62 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate,
63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’
64 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.”
66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

Luke 23:54–56 (NASB95)
54 It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.
56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.
And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

This was the Jewish Sabbath day, the day of rest. But the chief priest and the Pharisees were busy taking care of their own business. They went to Pontius Pilate to ask him to make the tomb of Jesus secure. It seems that they had listened to and remembered the teachings of Jesus when His own disciples had not. Jesus had plainly spoken of His coming death and resurrection (Matthew 20:18,19).

The Jewish leaders wanted to keep the disciples from stealing the body and claiming that Jesus had resurrected. The disciples were in no condition to pull off such a feat, they were disappointed and frightened. However, the guard was posted, with Pilate’s permission, and the tomb was made secure. It was certain there would be no human disturbance of the tomb of Jesus.

The women had followed the body of Jesus as it had been laid in the tomb the previous afternoon. They had gone home to prepare the spices until the beginning of the Sabbath on Friday evening. They planned to finish the burial of Jesus on the first day of the week (Sunday), see Luke 23:55,56. But on this day they rested according to God’s commandment. It was the mournful rest of those whose dreams had been shattered.

Even early that first Easter morning the day dawned without hope. The women were going to a sealed tomb to embalm a corpse. Their friend was dead, the One who they had hoped would be their Messiah had died on a rough and bloody cross with common criminals. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus summed up the feelings of all the disciples when they said, “We had hoped that He was the One who has going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). The hopes of the followers of Jesus were buried in a cold, dark tomb.

The Sabbath day ended, but there was a new and radiant day coming to greet the dawn. The most pivotal day in all of history. On that day, the emptiness of the disciples hearts would be replaced by the glorious emptiness of their Savior’s tomb.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you that we can place all of our hopes and dreams in you. You are the only One in whom we can place our faith. Thank you for filling our emptiness. Amen.