• Saturday:  Read Psalm 22.  Place a cloth or blanket over your Holy Week basket.

  • Sunday:  Read Matthew 28:1-10.  Remove the cloth and add Easter lilies or other fresh flowers to the basket. 


            Let’s review.

            On Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem in a parade.

On Monday, Jesus confronted fruitless faith in the temple.

On Tuesday, Jesus sealed his fate with the religious leaders.

On Wednesday, Jesus remained out of sight while Judas arranged to betray him.

On Thursday, Jesus memorably connected the old and new covenants.

On Friday, Jesus died.

Saturday of Holy Week gets lost in almost every Christian tradition.  Some emphasize Good Friday and everyone celebrates Easter Sunday.  But how many Christians give much thought to Holy Saturday?

On Saturday, Jesus lay lifeless in a borrowed tomb.  The burial of Christ was significant enough to be included in early church preaching (Acts 13:29), in the most primitive summary of Christian faith known to us (1 Corinthians 15:4), and in the Apostles’ Creed.  The Heidelberg Catechism (Question 41) asks, “Why was he buried?”  The simple answer is, “To confirm the fact that he was really dead.” 

The committal service I use at a graveside includes this prayer:  “Almighty God, by the death of Jesus Christ you have taken away the sting of death, and by his time in the tomb you have sanctified the graves of the saints.”  Paul, in emphasizing our complete identification with Christ in baptism, says that we were “buried with him” (Romans 6:3).

Because we share vicariously in his burial, we share in the benefits of his death for our sins and in his resurrection that gives us life.  This is a great encouragement as we ponder our own mortality and as we look on a coffin or urn with the remains of our loved ones.  Jesus, too, was buried – but his burial was temporary.  The grave has no power over the believer.  The next event is a resurrection.



            Lord, may the silence and solemnity of this day prepare us for the wonder and joy of the day that lies ahead, through Jesus Christ, with whom we died, were buried, and rose again.  Amen.

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