Holy Saturday: A Day of Rest

I had to research why today is special. After all, it is the day after the crucifixion of our Lord and the day before He arose. So, why is Saturday special? I used to spend the Saturday before Easter at Easter egg hunts with my children or gathering the clothes together for everyone to get them ready for Easter Sunday. However, this article opened my eyes to the truth of the Scripture. Today is a day of rest. I will let the words from the article I found speak for themselves. It is enlightening for me to know that even in the death of the Lord, God continued His plan that He established in the beginning.

Article from: https://www.christianpost.com/news/why-saturday-before-easter-matters.html (Authors: John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris)

And so, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Jesus reminded them—and us—how to rest.

The gospels describe this time period in several ways: Jesus was “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” All four gospels report that His resurrection took place on “the first day of the week,” which for Jews was Sunday.

There’s some dispute on this, but the majority of scholars agree that Jesus died on a Friday—”the Day of Preparation.” This means that He was not in the tomb for 72 hours, no matter how you slice it. The only full day He spent behind the stone was Saturday—the Sabbath—the day on which God commanded the people of Israel to rest, just as He had rested after His work in Genesis 2.

Here’s where it can help to take off our Western glasses and think more like the authors of the New Testament. They didn’t divide days at midnight like we do, but at sundown. And in the first century Jewish mind, part of a day counted as a whole day. So, because Jesus was buried on Friday evening and rose on Sunday morning, He was in the tomb “three days and three nights” by Jewish reckoning. By modern reckoning He was in the tomb only one full day: Saturday, the Sabbath.

Here’s that worldview gem I promised: After God incarnate had declared His work on our behalf “finished,” He honored the Sabbath once more, just as He had at the beginning of creation. In the tomb, God rested.

G. K. Chesterton writes in “The Everlasting Man” that this Sabbath Jesus spent in the earth was the last Sabbath of the old creation, which was marred by Adam’s sin.

“What [the disciples] were looking at” on Sunday morning, writes Chesterton, “was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.”

When we rest on the Sabbath, we do so not in the old creation, but in the new—not in the world marred by Adam, but in the world being renewed in Christ. We trust not in politics or princes or earthly decrees, but in Him who became, Himself, our Sabbath rest.

Image from https://vicklea.files.wordpress.com/2023/04/d665f-remember-the-sabbath-day3.jpg

2 thoughts on “Holy Saturday: A Day of Rest

  1. A good reminder: Rest seems important to God. He addresses it also in Heb 4.8-13.
    8For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vickie, I appreciate your research and discussion. Saturday’s day of rest probably didn’t calm the hearts of Christ’s early believers. They were in mourning for their fallen King. Little did they know what awaited in the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

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