Lenten Devotional: Holy Saturday

Psalm 27; Psalm 88; Psalm 95;
Job 19:21-27a
; Hebrews 4:1-16;
Romans 8:1-11

For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Psalm 88:3-7

Today we are in the tomb. It’s cold and dark here; lonely, uncomfortable and troublesome. Christ’s lifeless body is here and yet it feels like we are those whom God remembers no more. We do not want to be here. Nonetheless, it’s where we are called to be today on Holy Saturday. We are called to wait here in the dark and discomfort until the light of Easter is kindled once more. As Christians we are rooted in the fact that we are a resurrection people, so it’s natural that we are ready for Easter morning.

First though we are called to wait and lie in this silent, troublesome tomb like those forsaken among the dead. On Holy Saturday we bear the pain and breathe the bitterness that comes with Christ’s death on the cross, allowing it to seep into our souls. For in this waiting inside the tomb we wait with all those who feel cut off from God’s hand. We wait with those who live in deprivation and those imprisoned by injustice and oppression; with those who feel like Easter morning will never come. We wait surrounded by the deafening silence so many of us hear when a loved one suffers, when we yearn for a pregnancy that just won’t come, when an unexpected tragedy appears in our life. These are the moments when we feel most abandoned by God, when we desperately wait for God’s divine intervention.

Holy Saturday presents this strange place between death and resurrection. It’s an in between time – in between death and life, in between what has been and what will be, in between being with and longing for God. The tomb is uncomfortable, nonetheless we lie in it today. Waiting.