““Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.””
Matthew 27:63-65 NIV
The day after, a day like today, The disciples were in mourning. Unlike them, today I am not in mourning for the death of Christ. It is like he warned at the Last supper; “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.””John 13:7 NIV. Today we understand why he went through what he went through. Today we understand how much he loved us. Today we understand he paid the price so we can have eternal life. So today I don’t mourn, I rejoice in his words and honor the traditions of the passover by not just talking of the events that led the Hebrew our Egypt like what is usually done, but I rejoice in talking about the events that happened on the Holy Week, for those events saved us all. Today is day of somber reflection as we contemplate the world of darkness that would exist without the hope of Christ’s resurrection. I am sure back then today was a day they too reflected.
Back then the disciples were mourning. While they mourned at the palace something interesting was being discussed.
“The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”
Matthew 27:62-66 NIV
A guard was posted to stand watch at the tomb where Jesus was laid to rest. A guard was posted to ensure that the disciples don’t steal his body or that anything would happen. What I find interestingly enough is that the chief priests and the pharisees paid more attention to what Jesus said than we realize. Jesus warned he would return on the 3rd day.
Remember to that upon the arrest of Jesus the disciples fled. The left, many went into hiding. Scared of the unknown and their fate. “Then everyone deserted him and fled.”
Mark 14:50 NIV.
The day between Christ’s crucifixion and His resurrection would have been a time of grief and shock as the stunned disciples tried to understand the murder of Jesus, the betrayal of Judas, and the dashing of their hopes. Their faith, little did they know was being tested during this pivotal moment. We can’t judge them for that. We are Human, we are flawed. How many times do we face trials and it’s not until we have finished facing them that we realize our faith was being tested. They were going experiencing just that.
Let us rejoice that today, we don’t doubt or question the Holy Saturday for we know that our redeemer lives. Those of us whom live in countries where we don’t need to hide our faith like other christians do can rejoice and celebrate without fears of condemnation or being arrested. Let us all take this moment to pray for our brothers and sisters living in countries where even today in 2021 where being a christian, for praising God, for following his teaching they are subject to persecution. For they understand way more than we do, what the disciples were experiencing on this day. Let us pray God gives them strength to carry on their mission on those lands.
When Jesus arrived to Jerusalem he went to the temple a few days prior to his crucifixion. When he saw that they made a mockery of the house of God he was mad, flipped tables, and told everyone to get out.
“The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”
John 2:18-22 NIV
The disciples forgot what Jesus said. Yet the priests and the pharisees did not. They took to heart what he said though they didn’t believe he was who everyone said he was. They didn’t believe he had the authority of God. They didn’t believe.
While the disciples worried over their fate…. they were laying low, hidden, out of sight out mind until all the hysteria dies down. Let this pass and settle then I will be lucky and be able to get out of Jerusalem alive, unnoticed. For the record this is my opinion of what I think they were thinking.
this same time, the priests and pharisees were concerned of this man coming back like he said. They did witness him perform miracles though they questioned him and doubted him every step of the way. They were concerned…. yet they couldn’t do much… it was the Sabbath after all. So like mentioned earlier the went over to Pilate for him to assign a guard to be on watch.
Yet what did Jesus do?
Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and most mainline Protestant churches teach that Jesus descended to the realm of the dead on Holy Saturday to save righteous souls, such as the Hebrew patriarchs, who died before his crucifixion.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the descent “the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission,” during which he “opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.”
An ancient homily included in the Catholic readings for Holy Saturday says a “great silence” stilled the earth while Jesus searched for Adam, “our first father, as for a lost sheep.”
Often called “the harrowing of hell,” the dramatic image of Jesus breaking down the doors of Hades has proved almost irresistible to artists, from the painter Hieronymus Bosch to the poet Dante to countless Eastern Orthodox iconographers.
First-century Jews generally believed that all souls went to a dreary and silent underworld called Sheol after death. To emphasize that Jesus had truly died, and his resurrection was no trick of the tomb, the apostles likely would have insisted that he, too, had sojourned in Sheol, said Robert Krieg, a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame.
“It helps bring home the point that Jesus’ resurrection was not a resuscitation,” Krieg said.
But the Bible divulges little about the interlude between Jesus’ death and resurrection. Churches that teach he descended to the realm of the dead most often cite 1 Peter 3:18-20.
Yet I will add a few more verses.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”. 1 Peter 3:18-22 NIV
Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit,” Peter writes. “And it was by the Spirit that he went to preach to the spirits in prison.” The incarcerated souls, Peter cryptically adds, were those who were “disobedient” during the time of Noah, the ark-maker.
What could this possibly mean? How could Jesus “descend into hell?” And what did He do while He was there?
Traditionally, the church has understood this to mean that after His death on the cross, Jesus went into the underworld and proclaimed the message of salvation to those who had died before His birth. This belief has been called “the harrowing of hell.”
There are a couple of Scriptures that may allude to such a harrowing, both in the first letter of Peter: which I just cited.
Peter goes on to tell us that “the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the Spirit as God does” (1 Peter 4:6).
While these verses can be interpreted in a number of ways, they seem to say that in some way, Jesus offered redemption to people beyond the grave. He has all the power and authority to even do such a thing.
“The Son of God was revealed for this purpose,” John tells us, “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). And the main “work” of the devil is precisely this – creating alienation between people and God, and between one person and another.
This is how Jesus destroyed the work of the devil – by allowing Satan to crush Him spiritually!
Just as Jesus absorbed all the evil on his physical body, taking on our sins and by dying on the cross, He also absorbed all of the spiritual evil by “descending into hell.” But neither death nor hell could hold Him, and in this we rejoice.
Let me say this again: Neither Death Nor Hell could Hold Him Down!!!
Furthermore, the harrowing of hell isn’t a one-time deal. Jesus continues to go into whatever hells He finds, drawing people out of them.
“It was not once long ago that He did it,” C.S. Lewis writes of the harrowing of hell. “Time does not work that way once ye have left the Earth. All moments that have been or shall be were, or are, present in the moment of His descending. There is no spirit in prison to Whom He did not preach” (The Great Divorce, 139-140).
This is great news indeed! If Jesus has preached to all the spirits in prison, this means that everyone will hear the gospel and have the chance to respond to it.
Find comfort in knowing that whatever hells we may find ourselves in, Jesus is there waiting for us – and He has the power to pull us out.
Yes He loves us, He made sacrifices for us, he continues to show Mercy & Love to us whom are not worthy of this.
So today let us not spend this day in mourning Let is rejoice, because come tomorrow, We shall Celebrate the greatness of his resurrection Power!!