Holy Saturday

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28: 5-6)

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.
It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.
(Extract taken from the sermon ‘it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming’ by Tony Campolo) 

Today is Holy Saturday. A place of in-between. It is a place between death and new life, darkness and light, pain and joy, fear and hope.  Holy Saturday symbolises for us a time of waiting amidst uncertainty, not knowing what the future will bring.  

For many, Holy Saturday will speak to us in a new way this year, as we sit in our homes amidst the anxiety and uncertainty of this global pandemic, waiting in this period of in-between. 

We sit in this similar place of in-between when we think about the climate crisis. We are anxious and grieving the destruction of God’s creation that is happening all around us, waiting for governments and big businesses across the world to wake up and commit to extensive climate action. 

For Jesus’ followers, Holy Saturday would have been a time of extreme grief and confusion. They had just witnessed the death and burial of Jesus. They didn’t know that Sunday was coming. However, unlike Jesus’ followers on the first Holy Saturday, we know that Friday was not the end of the story.  We know that Sunday is coming and that Sunday brings hope and new life out of death. 

So as we sit at home in what may feel for many of us a time of darkness, we can have hope in Sunday. We can have hope in the truth that through Jesus’ death and resurrection he won the ultimate battle over sin, death, disease and the climate crisis. That Jesus has come to bring us new life, light, joy and hope.

This Sunday, as Churches remain closed and we cannot physically worship together, we may not feel the same enthusiasm and air of festivity as we celebrate the message of Easter. And that’s okay, because this is not a normal Easter Sunday. But, while everything around us may seem unfamiliar, the message of Easter has not changed. Christ is still risen and we can still rejoice in the resurrection, even if we cannot physically meet together.

Today’s reflection is written by Josie Horton. Josie Horton is the intern for the Joint Public Issues Team. This is her first living lent. She is committing to giving up single use plastics.