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Read Matthew 27:62-66

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Go Deeper.

Matthew 27:62 begins with, “The next day…” We often read the story of the crucifixion noting Friday and Sunday. Rarely do we pause for the next day, the day after Friday. If the pain of Friday wasn’t enough, the grueling and agonizing waiting in the messy middle of Saturday feels too much. Yet, in God’s sovereign plan, He decided to wait through the next day for the miracle. Jesus could have been dead mere minutes, hours even. Yet, there was a wait. There was a pause. There was a long silence.

Here we are on Saturday. The day darkness tried to further their advance on the Light by ensuring there was no way a follower of Jesus could manufacture a miracle. The chief priests and Pharisees requested Pilate’s help to secure the tomb so that no one could break in and steal the body. It was one last ditch effort to rid the world of the hope and light for the world.

Scripture has much to say about grief and mourning. Jesus never shied away or shunned the deep emotions of grief and pain. He never told those who were hurting to “stop crying.” He often sought out the hurting and the grieving bringing them in closer rather than pushing them to the margins. He cried with his friends, Mary and Martha, when their brother, Lazarus, died.

Death is brutal. Not only physical death, but death of dreams, health, marriages, and innocence. Jesus could have come back to life five minutes after his death; but, perhaps there’s this messy waiting period in the middle of the resurrection story because God so deeply wants us to know He understands that grief takes time. To work through the labor pains of grief so that hope might be born. To skip over “the next day” is to run past the pain that gives birth to joy.

If in this season, we find ourselves grieving the loss of something or someone, know that He understands the pain. He understands our messy middle. In the darkness and disorientation of Saturday, hope was waking up. In God’s silence, He was still working. In our waiting, He’s still working. 

First the pain. Then the waiting. Then Sunday. Hope is waking up.

  1. Why do you think God allowed “a next day” before the resurrection on Sunday? 
  2. How have you seen God work in the waiting of your life?
  3. Where do you need to trust God more with your pain?
Keep Digging

Interested in learning more about this day known as “Holy Saturday”? Check out this brief article from GotQuestions.org.

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4 thoughts on “Holy Week: Saturday”

  1. Holy Saturday can be used as a day of soul searching. Are we truly following Christ? Are we playing “church ” so we look good to those around us? Do we have faith that God will or can do what His word says? This is the day (time in our life) of waiting. We have to believe that God knows our future and in these “moments” He still has us and we can celebrate because we have the book and know the end of the story for us that believe and are waiting It should be a day of celebration because of what Jesus did by conquering sin for us!! He made a way for us to be reconciled to God. We should never take this for granted. What a gift, what a sacrifice, that God so Loved!!!
    God I thank you for your Son and that He was willing to do Your will. Help me to be better at that. Thank you for my ears to hear Your voice and direction, to be Your hands and feet, to Love Your people, and for You to exalted out of all my words in Jesus name amen
    Woohoo!!!!!

  2. The religious leaders made sure Jesus did not get a fair trial, and now that he is dead, they remember his resurrection claims and take every measure to seal and guard the tomb. What they failed to understand was that nothing or no one would prevent the Son of God from rising again. Hours of total darkness in the middle of the day, the temple curtain being torn from top to bottom, and an earthquake must have rattled them more than they would admit. Fear took hold of them. They got what they wanted, seemingly they won, but why the doubt? Could it be that Jesus was the Son of God and everything he claimed to be? Time would surely tell.

  3. It’s going to be cloudy all day where I live. So the weather will set the mood for reflection and thanksgiving. I doubt the sun shown brightly on the Sabbath that day. Everyone was tired…probably no one slept the night before. Even the ones who crucified Jesus. By now I’m sure there was talk that He was indeed the King of the Jews.
    We also have our faithful Mary’s who spent all night making their anointing oils but had to wait until after the sabbath to apply them on Sunday.
    I’m sure everyone was still in shock and disbelief. The disciples—the ones who Jesus told all his secrets to about what was to come—we don’t hear from them even. Did they truly believe Jesus’ last words? Do we trust in silence? What do you do in the waiting?
    We have all experienced loss of a loved one and know intimately too well how the day after feels. But like the commentary states, ‘hope is coming’! 🙌🏻 Promises are fulfilled! Prophecies are revealed! God.Awlays.Wins.
    ***don’t forget to check out the Paschal Moon rise around 8:00 pm. You can’t complete Holy Week without the moon.

    1. Katie Christopher

      Hi Christi, I really like the question you mention — What do you do in the waiting? Where were the people then in the waiting? Where do we turn when we don’t know what God is doing in our lives? To him or to something else..
      There had to be complete discomfort over all. A day for reflection — what God knew we needed.

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