APRIL 3. HOLY SATURDAY. - CHRIST'S FOLLOWERS IN DESPAIR. - MT. 27. 62-66
Updated: Aug 29
The next day, which was the Preparation Day, (Saturday, before the Sabbath) the chief priests and the Pharisees met with Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive, he said, ‘I will be raised to life three days later’
Give orders, then, for his tomb to be faithfully guarded until the third day, so that his disciples will not be able to go and steal the body, and then tell the people that he was raised from the dead. This last lie would be even worse than the first one!”
“Take a guard,” Pilate told them, “go and make the tomb as secure as you can”
So they left and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone, and leaving the guard on watch”
The Church has no readings or Liturgy today! It is a day of despair for Christ’s Apostles, disciples and believers! They had nothing except despair in their hearts! The one who had come and given them hope of a new Kingdom was dead! Easter Saturday was a day of mourning as their Saviour was dead and buried in a tomb.
One can only imagine the despair in the hearts of Christ’s followers, and how the Apostles were probably huddled in a room somewhere, together, talking about ‘what might have been’ had Christ not been crucified; - and his promised Kingdom had eventuated.
I suspect though that there were a couple of people who were by themselves at this time, namely Mary, Christ’s Mother, and John, the beloved disciple, whom Christ had asked, from the Cross, John to look after. I believe they would have been comforting each other.
And it is here, I suspect Mary would have been encouraging John “to have Faith” and telling him that “something is going to happen shortly, and you will see my Son again!”
It is inconceivable Jesus had not prepared his Mother for what was to come after living with her for thirty-three years. Towards the end of his life, he would have begun to prepare her for what was to come, telling her things she must have been pondering in her heart for several years.
At the centre of what Jesus would have told her would have been the need to have Faith; - Faith in God, and Faith in her Son; - the same message Christ had been giving his Apostles now for a couple of years; - but Mary’s preparation would have been for her alone!
She would have been told, in clear and unequivocal language, that her Son would have to die, but that he would rise again from the dead; - but that would have been something she would have struggled with; - as such a thing was unheard of.
But now that she had been through the Passion and Death of her Son, so much of what Christ had told her would have given her hope, and I am confident she would have been preparing John, for Christ’s return from the dead; - an event that was to take place the very next day; - and on which the Faith of the Church is totally dependent!
“If Christ has not been raised, our Faith is futile, and you are still in your sins!”
Epistle Romans 6:3-11 ·
Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again
When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.
If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a Christian dies, of course, he has finished with sin.
But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more. When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.