Holy Saturday: Sabbath Rest

"Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid."

John 19:38-42

April 8, 2023, Words By: Kris Rocke, Image By: unknown

Today is Holy Saturday. It remains the least understood of all the days and for good reason. According to the Jewish calendar, Saturday is the 7th day of the week – the day God enters his own sabbath rest. Today God’s power is perfected in weakness. God reclines in the midst of death. Herein lies the deepest mystery of God’s creative act, visible to no one but God alone. Creation, light, and life springs forth from here – from within the darkness and the void. Inside death itself, Life is at work.

Strangely, the text tells us, “There was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a tomb” (John 19:41). Death is fertile ground to God. God does in death what God always does, call forth life. Entering God’s sabbath rest on this day is to enter the void, where divine presence takes the form of utter absence. The only rest we find here is knowing that this nothingness is more than enough in the hands and heart of God. Rest inside God’s sabbath rest and discover the gift of your own powerlessness.

Holy Saturday
from Andy Anson’s self-published book Ahava’a Garde

You are a mystery to me 
And yet you are the most familiar of the week— 
The dark hours between The Night and The Morning 
When our souls whisper: “Where are you?” 
We’d grown used to seeing you walk in our midst 
And your words, though riddled with the unknown, brought with them a peace. 
Even your posture of pain is one we’ve grown to see as love— 
But now the wood is bare. 
The chapel is quiet, and I don’t know where to place you; 
And so, like every night, I wonder: 
“Do you hover just over my shoulder while I’m bent in prayer? 
“Is that you that stirs the dark air? 
“Or are you locked inside the cold chambers of the heart, waiting for me to roll the stone?”

Holy Week – Year A: Inside Creation

At first glance, these are reflections on the events of Holy Week. They are also glimpses inside the act of Creation itself. When we enter Holy Week we have a front-row seat to God’s creative process. We are watching a great artist at work. When God created the heavens and the earth no one was there to witness it. And when God created humanity it took thousands of years for humans to make sense of it. But Holy Week is different. We are not merely spectators bearing witness to something. We are participants who reveal God’s creative genius. When we undergo the paschal mystery we find ourselves on the inside of Creation, while it’s happening. In the end, we discover ourselves as co-creators in Christ, participating in the ongoing act of Creation.

About The Author

Kris Rocke

Tacoma, WA | U.S.