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Saturday, April 7, 2012

What is Holy Saturday?

Holy Saturday is the name given to the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Some Christians recognize this day as the seventh day of Holy Week, the day on which Jesus “rested” from His work of providing salvation for the world. Holy Saturday is the day Jesus remained in the tomb where He had been buried following His crucifixion (Matthew 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53-54; John 19:39-42). If a church body celebrates Holy Saturday, it is traditionally done by observing a day of somber reflection, contemplating the world of darkness that would exist without the hope of Christ’s resurrection.

The only biblical reference to what happened on the Saturday in between Jesus’ death and resurrection is found in Matthew 27:62-66. After sundown on Saturday—the end of the Sabbath—the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pontius Pilate and asked that a guard be placed at Jesus’ tomb to prevent His disciples from removing the body. They remembered Jesus saying that He would rise again in three days (John 2:19-21) and wanted to do everything they could to prevent that. We know from the succeeding accounts that the Roman guards were inadequate to prevent the resurrection and those who returned to the tomb Sunday morning found it empty. The Lord had risen.

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