Text: Matthew 27:62-66
Today is Holy Saturday. It is a sad day, a somber day, a real day on the timeline to the resurrection. But it is not an unimportant day. Indeed, the opposite is true.
Holy Saturday is a part of God’s fulfillment of His promise to redeem and restore His people. Holy Saturday is not defeat; it is the quiet but confident prelude to victory.
So what happened on the Saturday of Holy Week? Again today, we “Shes” find our hearts encouraged by the words of our He Reads Truth brothers—these written by pastor and author Russ Ramsey. Russ answers the question this way:
“That Saturday is one of the most unique and overlooked days in the history of the world because it was the only full day where the body of the crucified Son of God lay dead and buried in a grave.
“Holy Saturday can be a forgotten day in the Easter story. But when we look at the few verses the Gospels give us accounting for it, we find this was by no means a forgotten day to the chief priests who had handed Jesus over to death.
“During His earthly ministry Jesus said many times that He would die in Jerusalem at the hands of the chief priests, but on the third day He would rise again (Matthew 12:40; Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:34). Of course, the chief priests scoffed at this. But they didn’t forget it. And on the Saturday of Holy Week, Jesus’ prediction occupied their thoughts in such a way that they couldn’t leave it alone.
“The chief priests couldn’t seem to dismiss out of hand the possibility that Jesus might have known something they didn’t. They went to Pontius Pilate and explained that while Jesus was clearly an imposter, His disciples might try to steal His body and fake a resurrection. In a moment of prophetic irony, Pilate said, ‘Here is a guard of soldiers. Make the tomb as secure as you can’ (Matthew 27:65).
“Jesus’ uncommon strength, coupled with the supernatural darkness that settled over the land during His crucifixion the day before, set His accusers on edge. So on Holy Saturday, the chief priests made the tomb as secure as they could. Why? Because a resurrection would only cause people to believe in Jesus more.
“But then, shouldn’t the resurrection of the dead have that effect?”
On Holy Saturday, the chief priests made the tomb as secure as they could. But no amount of earthly might would keep Jesus in the grave.
Today we remember that Christ’s death was a real part of the story, but it was not the end of the story. Sunday was coming.