Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday
by Alan E. Lewis
~ Greek Father Gregory of Nyssa has perceived much dogmatic significance in Holy Saturday, while Martin Luther daringly expressed the thought that after Good Friday God’s very self lay dead in the grave.
~The crucifixion deliberately timed to precede the Sabbath Day (which in John’s chronology was the Passover itself)
~Through a few hours of worship and many of ordinary life, they relive annually the growing tensions of the climactic week; the grieving farewells, shameful betrayal, guilty denial and agonizing fear of the night before the end; the long dark, deadly day of pain and forsakenness itself; and ecstatic daybreak of miracle and color, song and newborn life; and in between one eerie, restless day of burial and waiting perhaps for nothing; a say which forces us to speak of hell and to conceive how it might be that God’s own Son, and therefore God’s own self lay dead and cold in a sepulcher.
Chapter 1: The Easter Saturday Story
~In God’s kingdom there is a justice which sets free and makes joyful all who stand before it: the guilty are not condemned, the fallen are picked up; nobodies are promoted; the hungry are sated; and the lost are not permitted to remain abandoned. And all of this through a love which knows no sensible bounds and breaks every principle of decorum, prudence, and tradition.
~ Since it is the story of stories, there must be more reflection, more meditation, more theology about the events between Good Friday and Easter than of anything else in our Scriptures.
~ Consciously or unconsciously, the Church is aware that constant retelling and rehearing of the “old, old, story” is not redundant and counterproductive, but essential and effective.
Chapter 2: On The Boundary Between Yesterday and Tomorrow
~ Christ has sinlessly borne the sins of the world. In His innocence he has submitted first in the full waters of the Jordan and then in the bloody waters of the cross, to baptism for sin’s repentance becoming cursed for us in order to deliver us and save us from our sin.
~As at the first, bringing form out of chaos, calling existence out of nothing, so now the Lord is again self-justified as creative in barrenness, life giving in the midst of death (Gen. 1:1 ff., Rom. 4:17 ff.) and far from being abandoned, we, too, may be persuaded now that nothing in life or death shall finally separate us from God’s love (Rom. 8:39).
To be continued…