Day 40 - Holy Saturday
In the traditional Jewish calendar, Saturday is a day of rest – it is the Sabbath. During the Holy Week, it is the day after the crucifixion of Jesus. While Saturday is a day of rest, this Saturday is a day of waiting. For the disciples it also must have been a day of confusion or unknowing, despite Jesus teaching them "that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8: 31). On Friday evening, a few women, including Mary the mother of Jesus: “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” (Luke 23: 55-56). They rested on the Sabbath, and they waited.
Today, we also remain in a place of waiting. According to the Holy Scriptures, Jesus told us that He will come another time and gather His believers to be with Him (Matthew 24). But what do we do in the waiting? Look at the parable of the ten virgins: “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matthew 25: 1-13).
Since today is a day of waiting, reflect on the disciples and what their waiting must have been like. Also, think upon your own waiting for the Lord. How are you preparing for His return? Do you have enough oil in your lamp? And we look forward to tomorrow as we proclaim “He is risen! He is risen, indeed.”
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Amy Fleming, MA, LPC