Holy Saturday……Silence.

A Reflection.

Anne Lastman

Holy Saturday a day of silence.  A day when all of creation both human and non-human stood still. A day when all of creation stood stunned at the death of their Creator.

Holy Saturday, a day when the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom in echo of its creator and his suffering.  The veil suffered.

Holy Saturday the day when the Lord enters the temple through the torn veil and no longer needs to be hidden because he has now come and his coming no longer needs explanation.  The word of the prophets has been fulfilled. He who appears no longer human, his appearance so disfigured that he could barely be recognised, (Is:52:14) has come and accomplished and finished the work promised by the Creator God. 

Holy Saturday, the day of silence, the day which is one of waiting, expectation, solemn, the day in which creation looks in silence and weeps because their creator had been crucified. The day where even the sun stood still, like the time of His ancestors “On the day God gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel “Oh sun stand still over Gibeon, O moon over the valley of Aijalon” And so the sun stood still and the moon stopped. (Joshua10:12-13).  The unseen moment when the enemy had been defeated and salvation from the curses of that first sin had been completed.

A day when birds refused to sing, the sun withdrew its light and rays, the breeze withdrew its coolness, the rustle of leaves stopped for the creator sleeps.

Holy Saturday the day that the Lord and Creator, the Word made flesh, through whom all things were made, so that as the Perfect Man he could rescue all and sum up all things in himself, beginning as he descends to the realm of the dead to gather righteous who have gone before him and had waited patiently for His coming, for the reparation from sin and death had begun and reconciliation and holiness had returned.  Their time to follow their lord had arrived.  The day that he said to them “come forth follow me “and beginning with Adam they came forth from the place which held them bound but in which they awaited with confidence. The new begotten “Adam” reclaimed the first created “Adam” and his righteous descendants from the death which held them captive.

Holy Saturday, the day in which he proclaimed “come ye blessed of my Father” to the place prepared for you from all time and with great joy they followed they one whom they had believed in without seeing and longed to see.

Holy Saturday, a day to remember the transfiguration where Moses and Elijah (long dead) came to speak with their Lord, the one they had not seen but believed.  They came to witness to a small group of the Lords army (Peter James and John) that they are witnesses to life eternal for those who love the Lord.  A time to remember that what they (apostles) would witness was not the end but the beginning.  A day of reassurance that all he had said and promised was accomplished when he finally uttered those blessed words “It is finished”.  Today is the time of rest (the New Sabbath?) after the work of salvation accomplished.

Holy Saturday the day before the glory shone.  The day sun and the moon began to move again. The day just before death was defeated.  The fear caused by this alien condition banished.  “Death where is your victory?” The sting of death ended for the creation and the creator meet again face to face and live.  “You cannot see My face, for no one shall see my face and live. (Ex 33:20)  

At the moment of the glorious resurrection “man” again will be able to see the face of God and live.

The Risen Lord has opened the doors to His Father’s house. The flaming swords were extinguished.

But for this day, Holy Saturday, it’s the waiting, for that time. The anticipation.  And so, with the mother we wait in silence and keep him company in the darkness of the tomb.  She sits on the ground alone in sadness.  Thinking. Thinking of the journey which led her to this moment.  A moment of grief, a moment of remembering, a moment mourning and waiting for him to come to her. Mourning for the one her husband had called “Jesus” “Emmanuel” “God is with us.”  And has been with us and will be with us eternally.

On this Holy Saturday the mother remembers those words which seemed so long ago.  How quickly the time passed. The promises of the Angel echo within her being “He will save his people” had been accomplished and now for a little while he sleeps and visits the ancients, the patriarchs, the righteous and all those going back to Adam.

Holy Saturday, the mother remembers her baby, her little boy, her young son, her strong son anxious to begin his father’s work. And so, he has.  In this dark moment the mother remembers “life” and remembers meeting His eyes as they walk together to that final place.  Their eyes meet and both understood. That ancient curse “if you eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil you shall surely die (Gen2:17) and death came and now that accursed tree would give new fruit, life, because of her son. He defeated that tree. He hung on that accursed tree.  Blessed Saturday.

Holy Saturday, as the mother sits on the cold stone floor (she does not want comfort) she remembers.

She wants no company, no comforting.    On this night she wants to be alone as alone as he, as He lay on that cold stone …alone. So too she needed to be alone in union with Him.  Her heart speaking with His heart. Soul touching soul, Spirit speaking with spirit about events just past.  Holy Saturday, mother just wanted to be alone with her Son. 

Holy Saturday, unseen, strange, unexplainable silence over the land which left even his closest friends confused.

“Have I been with you so long and yet you have not known Philip?” Holy Saturday and they still did not understand.

They were afraid, regretful, lost.  Their shepherd had appeared gone and sheep confused and lost?

But he did not leave them for long, because the Good Shepherd always goes looking for the confused and lost sheep “you foolish people, don’t you remember what was said about the sufferings that the Messiah must endure and then re-enter into His glory?  Don’t you remember the words of the prophets who spoke to you and told you? And they understood.

Holy Saturday from morning till midnight a day of reflection.  A day of the strictest Shabbat. Not a movement because at the end of this Shabbat with the lighting of the candles the glorious light will return. The darkness vanquished.

Holy Saturday, a prelude to joy because the enemy was defeated by one like the other created one, like a son of man and he restored the divine relationship as it was meant from all time.

Holy Saturday a day of silence, waiting, remembering and then……He is Risen! Hallelujah!!!