God in the Ground

“Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” (Matthew 27:59-60)

Today is Holy Saturday. It is a day when Christians around the world find themselves caught between remembering the crucifixion on Good Friday and celebrating the resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a day of mixed emotions. It is a day of waiting and anticipation.

It is good to remember that we are merely caught between the observances of these two days. On that first Holy Saturday, Jesus’ followers were caught between the actual events of Good Friday and Easter. They had to go through the full day with Jesus their Lord and Master crucifed, dead and buried. On Easter we celebrate the empty tomb. But on that holy and sacred day the tomb of Jesus was woefully full.

Jesus’ followers did not know that Easter was coming (although they should have!). We do, and that makes all the difference. We live on this side of the resurrection. On this Holy Saturday and every Holy Saturday we serve a risen Savior.

So let us rejoice in Christ who died and rose again. But let us also remember this day when Jesus’ body lay buried in the tomb. Let us feel for the disciples whose hope was buried along with him. And let us marvel at the incongruent wonder of God in the ground.

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