Day 48

Holy Saturday

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

BY Rachel Marie Kang

The scent of spices, a fragrant offering and aroma, lifted into the air. The women (who had come with Jesus from Galilee) came to the tomb carrying the gravity of their grief alongside their gifts (Luke 23:54-56). They are the ones with the perfumes, the ones ready to prepare the body of Christ.

They are the ones who, just hours before, were watching and waiting. Our Holy Saturday was simply their Sabbath—a day of rest, a time of waiting before returning to the work still needing to be done. Sundown to sundown, they wait. Then, on the first day of the week, like the sun lifting up from the dark of night into a new day, they rise. 

These women, friends of Jesus, make their way to stand before that borrowed boulder, only to find that it—along with the body of the Lord Jesus—is no longer there. This moment with this missing boulder and this missing body—is it awful, or is it awe-filled? What happened to His body, dead and deprived of breath? What about that stone, sealed and secure (Matthew 27:65–66)?

This is not the work of any person, no. This is the work of prophecy (Isaiah 53:9). It is prophecy which gives meaning to this moment, calling all who are watching—including the women who were with Jesus in Galilee and us—to wring awe out of this awful situation.

There is no stone that could have held strong that closed tomb. There is no linen that could have held down that laid body. There is no human hand that could have prepared enough to steal (Matthew 27:62-64) His buried body, broken for us. For, though His grave was foretold (Isaiah 53:9), so was His glory (Isaiah 53:12). His resurrection—and our redemption—held secure long before the Pharisees persuaded Pilate to set a seal on the stone of Jesus’s tomb.

Our salvation secure, our resurrection sure. Not by works, not by our wanting or willing, but by His power and His plan—in and through His faithful hand (Isaiah 53:10). His grave held death while all hearts held hope. Their Sabbath, now our Holy Saturday, is a waiting—a reckless retirement of our good works for a relentless relying on the Word.

And what, now, of our bodies, broken and burdened? What of this world, weary and war-torn, ever waiting for death to die, for light to come, and for Christ to rise?

In the gravity of our own grief, our own graves—our sin and sickness and seemingly powerless Saturdays—we look to the Christ who came, is coming, and will come—no stone too heavy for His nail-pierced hands to roll away.

Post Comments (31)

31 thoughts on "Holy Saturday"

  1. Kinesha Cox says:


  2. Sheila Atchley says:

    Just beautifully written, Rachel.

  3. Lehua K. says:


  4. Amy EB says:

    I don’t know if there are any Fixer Upper fans here, but I get the Magnolia Journal and Joanna Gaines wrote an article about patience and what she called “fake waiting.” When you tell yourself you’re waiting for something but you’re not actually being patient, you’re just keeping busy instead of sitting in that in between and learning from that time. I feel like if I’d been with the women who were waiting on the Sabbath to complete the work of tending to Jesus’ body, I would have fake waited. I would have kept busy and not dwelt on really probing my belief that Jesus would rise again like he said. I would have missed the opportunity to wait with expectation for the amazing things God would do. And I do the same thing now. I busy myself with my own agenda and my own plans and get disappointed when things don’t work out the way I want them to or thought they would. I get cynical and wait for the other shoe to drop instead of waiting to see what God is going to do. His plans are so much greater than what I can even comprehend, and I don’t want to keep myself so busy that I miss the chance to patiently wait for what he will reveal.

  5. Claire B says:


  6. Jennifer Anapol says:

    This devotional seems so fitting for today. A day when I am faced with disappointment over my own sin and the lack of control I have over my circumstances. Life can be so disappointing sometimes. I have to remember that the only thing in this life that will never let me down is Christ. Just like that Holy Saturday, we are waiting for that day when Jesus will come back again. He will come back to right all the wrongs and put everything in the order it should have been from the beginning. ❤️

  7. Alayna P. says:


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