Holy Saturday - Hope Silent

“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps’ the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh...God has died in the flesh and the underworld has trembled.”

I was reading this blog: http://holdthisspace.org.au/ when I came across this poem and it got me thinking…

They call this day Holy Saturday

when hope has died

when God is dead and buried.

They call this day holy

because we finally understand

what it is to be human

and what it is to be divine.

They call this day holy

because today we can finally believe

that God knows


and in the very depth of God’s being,

the world’s



and fear.

It struck me that there is nothing that we go through here on earth that cannot be comforted by God. Jesus descended to the depths – so that we may have the opportunity to enjoy the delights of heaven. It sounds stupid, but perhaps it’s not unusual to forget about Saturday a bit, it certainly isn’t the focus of church. Maybe that is because it become consumed by the grief of Friday and resurrection joy of Sunday.

Possibly it is because it isn’t mentioned in scripture.

It is often like this in the rest of life I think. We often remember the most dramatic of days, the happiest – but how often do we remember the days of silence, when everything is wrong but nothing can be done. I don’t know whether it is a good thing that we forget days like these in our own lives – but I think it would be good if we spent a little more time remembering Holy Saturday.

It goes beyond the agony of the cross, even. The day when it was finished – when Jesus was dead – because of our sins. It is a day of silence, it seems. An ancient homily for Holy Saturday puts it like this:

What happened today on earth?

There is a great silence

A great silence, and stillness,

A great silence because the King sleeps.

Is that really true? Does the King sleep? Or is it just that He remains silent – maybe even in His own grief? God does not always speak. Sometimes the silence of God says it all. As I write, I am reminded of Job. Job who lost everything and everyone that mattered to him. Job whose friends were less that useless. Job to whom, God remained silent waiting to speak.

It strikes me that the silence of God is more often that not followed by a presence of God that is so awesome, so mighty that we can do nothing but bow in praise and awe.

A season like this Holy Saturday can seem endless. Long, painful and filled with fear. Can I encourage you to fix your eyes, however tentatively, on the hope of Easter Sunday. When the silence has ended and death is beaten. It does come, perhaps not quickly, not easily. But it comes. Just as God came to Job in glorious revelation. It comes. And we can be sure of this, because Jesus came.

This blog first appeared as a part of ThinkTwice's Easter Series. www.thinktwiceinfo.org

Rachael Newham, 26/03/2016