Lent 2018: See the Lord's Salvation: Day 48

Holy Saturday


Today's Text: Luke 23:54-56, Matthew 27:62-66, Isaiah 53:8-12

Scripture Reading: Luke 23:54-56, Matthew 27:62-66, Isaiah 53:8-12

Every time I visit my hometown, I stop by the grocery store to buy a bouquet of flowers. And just like any good tight-knit community, I usually run into someone I know—an old friend from high school or one of my parents’ coworkers. We’ll catch up on recent happenings and wish each other well, but recently, it’s occurred to me that no one has ever commented on my armful of fresh flowers. Maybe it’s because they don’t notice, but more likely, it’s because they already know what they’re for.

I had a lot of plans for my young adult life, but becoming familiar with a cemetery was not one of them. My brother was 20 years old when he passed away, which is why it will always seem more appropriate to pay my respects with something from his favorite football team instead of tulips or roses. Yet, I bring them anyway. Others do, too. In fact, the groundskeeper once told me that the hill where my brother is buried is one of the most frequented areas in the cemetery. It’s a strange compliment I never thought I’d have to accept.

Holy Saturday is the day we acknowledge that things are not as they should be. Sitting between Jesus’ death and resurrection, this is the one day we are absolutely unable to look away from the tension of faith: what has happened and what is to come. Theologians refer to this as the “already and the not yet.” But because we know Christ’s resurrection is coming tomorrow, it’s easy to overlook the sunrise and sunset that took place while He was dead and buried in a tomb.

While we already know this arrangement is temporary, the people of Jerusalem had no way to be sure. It was the day Jesus’ followers had to choose between putting His promises into practice or going back to doubting that He was really the Son of God. But even those who were not His followers were unable to return to business as usual on Holy Saturday. The chief priests who’d crucified Him the day before, certain He was no longer alive, warned Pilate that something strange may be going on with the tomb. “Go and make it as secure as you know how,” Pilate ordered (Matthew 27:65).

We cannot deny the significance of death in the gospel story. We usually see this in Jesus’ own experience and eventual defiance of it, but the in-between is important, too. All the pain and the unknown of death is real—so real, that Jesus faced it head-on to reverse its power over us.

Sometimes, it’s enough to know that He has gone before us, even in this. Because Christ lay in His own grave, we get to lay hope on ours. We can acknowledge that things are not as they should be, while still holding onto His promises of redemption.

Let us gather our grief and hope, disappointment and joy, and wait by His tomb together, for resurrection has been promised to us. Alleluia.

For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death,
we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.
—Romans 6:5


  • Hannah-Rose Ingham

    ‘A day to recognise things are not as they should be..’ that hits home.

  • Sabrina Michelle

    Awesome reading❤️❤️

  • I spend the day before every holiday preparing for the family meal the next day. I am tired and a bit weary. I realized today I just felt “off”. Reading this devotion I believe it is as she put it “things are just not right” we are in between. But joy, it will come in the morning.

  • Lauren Kilpatrick

    This is such an amazing devo day honestly. I’d never even though of what the day after Jesus was killed was like.. it’s amazing to put into perspective

  • Kerry Terry

    Let us wait upon the Lord and renew our strength. May we all have hope and keep our faith in our Redeemer.

  • Elizabeth Alyse

    Today I experienced the tension in my faith. I was in an accident where I was going the speed limit through a green light when someone stopped at a yield sign and pulled out in front of me. My wrangler has zero damage and the Audi in front of me had a hanging back bumper and a few pieces of its back corner were on the road.

    The lady driving the Audi gets out of her suv waving her hands calling me a psycho path while I sit in my car and call the police. After the police were dispatched I got out of the car and asked her if she was ok and if she needed anything. She responded“I’m not going to pull a whiplash on you but were you trying to kill me?” I said “no ma’am I saw you stop at he yield sign, hesitate and then pull out. As soon as you pulled out I slammed on my breaks and my horns and stopped as fast as my brakes would allow” she continued to accuse me of things so I told her this conversation was not productive and since she was ok and didn’t need anything I would wait in my car for the police to show up. I took my pictures while she continued to attack me I honestly don’t even remember what she said at this point because I was trying to block out her anger.

    After the police showed up and took the information and reports they decided because I didn’t t-bone her that it was my fault. I still to this moment do not understand how he came to that conclusion. But that’s not the point, right?

    My yogi instructors have been preaching very profound philosophy. “I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” “I have all I need to be all I can.” These two lessons have resonated with me through Holy Week and my reflection on God’s plans for me.

    Instead of focusing on (1) the police not writing a citation for me, (2) my car had no damage, (3) no one was injured, (4) things are not as they should be, (5) God has this in his plan for me, (6) my present and future is already planned, I wanted to be right and I wanted the lady with the awful attitude to be blamed.

    I wanted it not to be my fault. I still don’t think the accident is my fault but maybe being blamed is what it took to teach me this Holy Saturday lesson. To accept that things are not as they should be, that I am exactly where I need to be, and that I have all I need to be all I can. That’s the point, right?

    • Jane Berube

      Your story is so inspiring. It is so hard to accept the things that are not as they should be, especially when not at fault. If only everyone had such a positive outlook on situations and are able to see God in every situation, the world would be a much happier place. Your story is such a good lesson, and I hope that I can shift my thinking in the same way you did the next time I am in that kind of situation. God bless you, and thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you are ok.

    • Kerri Ash

      Thank you for this story, Elizabeth – it resonates with me in that Jesus too, was blamed for all kinds of things that were not true. And He was exactly where He was supposed to be. The Holy Spirit in us can really provide us with peace in those situations where things are not as they should be. I love your perspective and I am so grateful that you shared! Happy Easter!!

    • Melanie Brown

      Ugh I’m sorry you had to go through that!!! It’s sounds like you have a great perspective on it!!!

    • She Reads Truth

      So sorry to hear this Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing and we’re so grateful for you! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Morgan Caldwell

    Wow… the “already and the not yet”. I‘ve never been able to put that feeling into words, but here they are. How true. I often feel this in between feeling, this “Saturday” feeling… but oh, Sunday is coming. Hallelujah! Resting in that today and hoping to renew that thought everyday.

  • Morgan Caldwell

    Wow… the “already and the not yet”. I haven’t been able to put that feeling

  • It is awesome how God is always up to something, even when we feel like He is gone. But really, He was defeating death while we thought death had defeated Him. He was burying our sins and preparing to resurrect new life. The same resurrection power that raised Him from the grave is now in us. Wow. Thank you Lord, help me remember the life we have in Christ.

  • Allison Joy

    There’s one thing that has struck me with the Matthew passage. It seems that the Chief Priests and the Pharisees had more faith than the disciples. They knew something was up. They understood Jesus’ words better than the disciples. Did they really believe those words? Probably not. But they still knew something was going to happen. It should have been the disciples waiting at the grave, in glorious anticipation, not the guard sent by the chief priests and pharisees. Instead, the disciples went into hiding.

  • Marissa Burleson

    “Let is gatherer our grief and hope, disappointment and joy, and wait by His tomb together, for resurrection has been promised to us.”
    Wow, just letting this resonate in my heart today.

  • Emily Brown

    Dorothy, my family has had to deal with my aunt struggling with that as well. Praying for healing and peace in your family.

  • Stephanie Combs

    I was so struck by one little phrase in the scripture reading today, “ But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.”(‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:56‬ ‭NLT‬‬) The women fully intended to anoint His body for burial that day. Had they done that, they likely would not have visited the tomb on Sunday morning. God knew who He wanted to be the first witnesses of the resurrection of Christ and so, even down to the time it took to prepare the spices for Jesus’ body, God was directing and orchestrating His plan! Now we wait with holy anticipation knowing His timing is perfect.

  • Lizzieb85

    Isn’t Holy Saturday just where we are at as Christians? Our sin is dead, but we have not yet been glorified with our own resurrected bodies. Our time here on earth is the “already & not yet”. We are already redeemed & considered righteous, but perfect holiness for us is not until Jesus comes back.
    As I meditate on this, I am again humbled & excited by the hope this gives me. As short as Saturday is, is as short as this life on earth is compared to eternity. The hope of Sunday, Jesus conquering death, is the hope for us to.

  • Rachel Alcorn

    Easter and springtime were my Granny’s favorite time of year. She was really the spiritual leader of my family & my rock. She passed away last year & I have really grieved her the past few weeks. It’s so easy to think about her being gone & the loss. I forget about the what’s to come. This was one of those “I think they’re talking directly to me” times.

  • Peony Noirr

    “Already” and the “Not Yet”… this words touched me.

  • This past season has felt so like death in the life of my son, I am longing for resurrection. Jesus, remember us. Give him freedom and new life in you, Amen!

    • Pam

      I join you in prayer my sweet Sister. May it come quickly in the name of Jesus. Amen.

  • Maya Basquin

    My brother passed away recently and we are actually placing flowers on his grave today, so this was very special to read. Thank you for writing about the “already not yet.”

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Maya, we’re so sorry to hear this. We’re praying for you and your family during this time. We’re grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Some friends of mine just lost their 6-year-old little boy completely unexpectedly, and it has been devastatingly heartbreaking. I’m having trouble understanding why God chose to take him now, & my heart just aches for their loss. Thank you for this reminder that, while things are not as they should be, I can still have hope and cling to the Lord’s promises.

    • Dorothy

      LT I can relate to your friends’ loss I lost my oldest when he was 18-years old, yes my son was old, but it is always painful to lose a child before you die, especially unexpectedly. My prayers go out to the family and you. It’s a pain that will never go away but it will ease. The good thing is all of you will meet again in heaven and that is what I think about when I get down about my son.

  • Jessica Terpstra

    I have never really spent any time focusing on the day between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday! I am so thankful for this reflection today! I am also thankful that as we wait for the rest of the story, we know that Jesus triumphs and reigns victorious!

  • Natasha Pavez

    The already and the not yet is a beautiful way of reading this. Thank you, Jesus! ❤️

  • Penny McAuley

    Dorthy, praying for your sister and your family. Alcoholism has touched my life as well and is such a liar. It promises to calm my nerves, give me confidence, relieve my worries, but instead takes me to despair. Only God can release this demon’s grip, and I pray your sister will be able to see it for what it is and the God’s joy can and will fill these voids.

  • Naomi Meiburger

    The already and the not yet. I imagine we all have something in our lives of grief and sadness we reflect on as we wait in anticipation for the redemption. He is coming, He will return. And he will wipe away every tear on that day.

    • Deborah Craytor

      I have always heard and believed that Jesus will wipe away every tear on the day He returns to claim Him church. As I’ve gotten deeper into Bible study, however, I have started thinking more and more about the fate of unbelievers on that day. Both my daughter and my goddaughter have rejected God; how can I possibly not cry when I arrive in heaven to find them missing and to know that they are suffering eternally in the lake of fire?

      • Mari

        Praying for you Deborah. Praying that someone will come along side them and extend that invitation. Sometimes as close family members they don’t listen but they may listen to someone else. Meanwhile don’t give up hope keep praying for them.

      • Dorothy

        Deborah I too pray a similar prayer for my son, niece and nephew. Since my oldest son’s death they have stayed very far away. They were young when it happen and their faith was young. I pray daily that they return to God but as churchmouse put it they are in the Holy Saturday stage.

  • Sara Hill

    I pray she finds peace and strength through our Lord to fight this awful disease. My dad is a recovering alcoholic and I know it is a daily struggle. Bless you for standing by her. I know it can be hard. Easter Blessings to you all.

  • Churchmouse

    What to do with Holy Saturday? Good Friday is the day of unspeakable pain and sorrow – Easter Sunday is the day of unbelievable hope and joy. But Saturday…it is the in between day I’m not quite sure what to do with. I used to think it was just a day for waiting, nothing happening, just waiting for Sunday to come. I was wrong. Jesus is yet active on Saturday, in the tomb. He is there fulfilling prophecy, keeping His promise and it is no small thing. Even the chief priests and the Pharisees anticipated that He might do something, that He might actually deliver on His statement that He would be risen in three days. The countdown had begun and Jesus was in the tomb by His own choosing. He would stay in the tomb to the count of three to prove once again that His Word is true. He is the ultimate promise keeper. In my own times of waiting, when I think God is silent or has forgotten me, I do well to remember Holy Saturday. He is always up to something. I can count on it.

  • Natasha Reyes

    Dear Dorothy, I am praying for your sister, that she accepts your help, opens her heart to God, and takes the first step to recovery. I also pray for you and the rest of her family, that God gives you the strength and wisdom to walk with her through this difficult path.

  • After both Thursday’s and today’s readings I know that I need to copy them and pass them on to my sister. My sister struggles with alcoholism, which is a terrible disease, for the last two or three years she has been drinking off and on. Tuesday I continually tried to get a hold of her because she was supposed to print off some paperwork for me to start a new job. (I am between assignments as a traveling nurse and my previous assignment ended early.) On Wednesday, again, I tried to get a hold of her in the morning, I tried both calling her cell phone and texting and then I tried calling her home phone because she works from home, and again no answer. So I texted my niece, her daughter, and after my niece tried and got a hold of her father she received a message saying that every time he tried to go into their bedroom over the last three days she would yell at him to get out. So I went over on Wednesday evening to help her, as I walked into her bedroom it was dark and she was in bed with only her underwear on and rolled up in a blanket. I said her name and she told me to get out but I told her I wouldn’t then she asked me to lay down next to her and that I did.
    She and my niece go to church regularly. As I have been reading the reading over this Holy Week I have decided to print off many of them for her and share them with her. I especially thought of her when I read Thursday’s and today’s.
    I ask that you please pray not only for my sister but for my brother-in-law, niece and especially my nephew – he is having a very hard time dealing with it (still lives at with my sister and brother-in-law and niece doesn’t). I am trying to help as much as possible right now. We brothers and I and her children hope to talk her into going into rehab but it will have to be after April 17th because she is an accountant and needs to finish up her clients taxes.

    • Dana


    • Alisha Diggs

      Praying for your family during this time Dorothy. ❤️

    • charlie woodruff

      Praying ❤️

    • Churchmouse

      Oh the pain your sister must have, to try to numb it in this destructive way. I’m praying that she would be open to seeking counsel to uncover the root cause and that she might commit to the work of recovery. So grateful that you and the family are willing to help her see the need for rehab. I’m encouraged in that she goes to church – I’m praying she hears life – affirming words there and that she comes to know she can do all things through Christ. I’m praying she holds on to Him with both hands, her heart and her mind. And I’m praying for you to rest in the knowledge that God is more than able to intervene in this situation. Amen.

    • Chris Gruhlke

      I know the demon of addiction all to well, as both my husband and son suffer from its grip. I will remember your sister in my prayers and pray for God’s healing in your family.

    • Michelle

      I too know the disease of addiction and will pray for your sister bi would like to suggest that the family goes to Al-anon it will help them tremendously.

    • Mari

      I’m am praying for you Dorothy. Thank God she has you. I will be praying for wisdom as you take on this task ( for lack of better words) to help your sister. May you gain strength for all of us here at SRT that will be praying for you. I’m not here to tell you what to do but wanted to mention Celebrate Recovery has done wonders for many. It’s a faith based 12 step recovery. You can look up testimonies on YouTube just by typing in celebrate recovery or just Google it

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re praying for you and your family during this time Dorothy. So sorry to hear this and asking the Lord to bring your family comfort and peace in this difficult time. So grateful for you! -Margot, The SRT Team

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