HOLY SATURDAY, MARCH 31
SCRIPTURE READING: MATTHEW 27.27-60
When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said,
“Truly this was the Son of God!”
On Holy Saturday we find Jesus on the cross, hanging there—His body mutilated and bloody, recognizable only by the crown of thorns on His head and the sign on His cross that read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” The mournful silence of the very few who came to be with Jesus in this moment was quickly disrupted by the insults of those who passed by and the sneering comments of the lofty religious upper echelon while they watched their years of planning come to fruition. Jesus the Son of God hung on the cross surrounded for the most part not by friends but by those we would call His enemies. For three hours He hung there. Then, all of a sudden around noon a deep darkness set over the whole earth and Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” ...followed by a loud cry as He gave up His spirit. The now complete sacrificial offering that took place on the cross that day restored connection and friendship with God in such a way that a full comprehension of what took place will be experienced and unpacked for all eternity.
Jesus our peace, laid His body on the table making Himself the meal in the presence of His enemies (Psalm 23). His sacrifice ended the turmoil, the enmity between God and man, restoring the friendly relationship between us as He reconciled us to God. The fruit of this now restored and fully accessible friendship immediately manifested in the earth as the cry of His completion pierced the darkness like the dawn—“It is finished.” The chasm between heaven and earth now bridged by the release of our Saviors blood in “the temple not made by human hands” (Heb. 9:23-26). The earth began to quake as a heavenly vibration tore the veil of religion from top to bottom, exposing the lies and limitations of a systematic approach to God. Rocks shook, cracking open, prophesying that the hard hearts of man would now be responsive to the restored relationship between heaven and humanity. Men who were once known as “holy” were resurrected from the dead and appeared to many signifying the relationship restored on the cross is not only for us but breathes new life into friendships that we thought may never happen giving us the ministry of reconciliation.
As we ponder that day on Golgotha, the Saturday Jesus was in the grave, let us be encouraged that immediately following His obedient death there was reconciliation not only in the manifestations previously mentioned, but to those who were His enemies—“the centurions and those who guarded His body...said, Truly this man was God’s Son.” Incredible! These men who oversaw His death, who gave the orders to pound the nails into His hands and feet, suddenly knew Jesus to be exactly who He claimed to be. O, how I pray that us, the Bride, would grasp the power of our obedience. Surely, in the same way that our Bridegroom’s obedience shook the earth and created peace for all, our obedience to Him can and will do the same in our lives and in the lives of others. In obedience, our oneness will be unveiled to our enemies that they might say, “Truly He is the Son of God.” Jesus our peace offering came as a man and offered Himself as the Lamb so that all might become who we are created to be—friends of God.
SPECIAL THANKS TO SUSAN THOMPSON, OUR EDITOR,
AND OUR CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:
Palm Sunday - Marcus Harris
Holy Monday - Joel Fernandez
Holy Tuesday - Gina Green
Holy Wednesday - Ps. Jason Peaks
Maundy Thursday - Susan Thompson
Good Friday - Betsy Herman
Holy Saturday - Ps. Jordan Shimon
Resurrection Sunday - Cathy Harris