Holy Saturday: Jesus in the Tomb


Matthew Matthew 27: 62-66


Holy Saturday, or as some call it, Black Saturday, is the day in-between the passing of Jesus Christ and his burial in the tomb, and his resurrection day. There remains a lot of debate about where Jesus’s soul was on Saturday, this is a topic that has led to great division amongst Christians for years, but for this discussion, I want to avoid controversies which distract from the some of the key takeaways we can find in this story. After all, originally, this day was a complex part of Holy Week.

Some 2,000+ years ago, Jesus follower’s could be found “holding their breath” and wrestling with deep issues of faith. They had just seen their Lord and promised deliverer be murdered, and they had not yet seen Him risen, and while Old Testament prophecies had spoken of this, given their previous expectations of what they thought fulfillment of the promises would look like, they were likely not all aware of what they could expect the next day. As far as they could tell with their physical eyes, He had failed them and left the world with unfulfilled promises to be their Savior.

I see exploring Holy Saturday as an invitation for us to get uncomfortable, ask the why questions, and reflect on how God is indeed faithful to fulfill His promises, even if it is not as fast or in the same way we would have imagined. We as humans can easily despair when we lose sight of Jesus and His plan, but Holy Saturday reminds us there are battles being fought for us, even when we do not see them. It also gives us permission to feel deeply the emotions of unfulfilled expectations and to sit in the discomfort of faith when it is tested. We see that expressed over and over in the Psalms by David. He had confidence in God, but that did not mean he did not get uncomfortable and cry out for answers, and God repeatedly came through. Just as with Jesus’s death. The story does not end at the cross, and it did not end in the grave, for Sunday was coming…even when no one could see how it was possible.


  1. Jesus’s followers had heard prophecies their whole lives which could have pointed them to have faith in what was happening on Holy Saturday. In light of that, what feels dead within you in this season, and what have you heard or seen God do previously that to reflect on it, may fill you with faith as you wait for a day of resurrection for those hopes and dreams?
  2. When you receive bad news or have no tangible reason to have hope, do you feel safe crying out to the Lord with the depths of your feelings or do you feel He only wants you to come to Him when you are full of hope and faith? Psalm 34:18 – “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” I encourage you to take whatever you are struggling with today to the Lord in prayer. He is not afraid of your rawness or vulnerability, and will “save those who are crushed in spirit.”

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