Christ was born. He was tempted, yet without sin. He suffered. He fulfilled all righteous requirements of God’s law by His perfect life. He died to pay the penalty for our sins. Holy Saturday is a singularly mysterious day in the sacred triduum of holy days preceding Easter Day. Maundy Thursday is scripted with the ever-blessed words swollen with heavenly pathos: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” “Love one another.” Good Friday is darkly solemn in its goodness to sinners who gaze upon that “old rugged cross.” “Father, forgive them …” “It is finished.” But Saturday is Sabbath. It is still. The tomb is sealed. Jesus “descended into hell,” that is, into “Sheol”(Gen 37:35, Ps 6:5), “Hades” (Luke 16:23); the destination of the transmigrated human soul at death.
Thus, Jesus our Lord, fully God and fully Man, and never a mingling of the two natures, knows the existential reality of death. A right theological appreciation of Holy Saturday is essential to more fully worshipping the glory and wonder of the resurrected God-Man of Nazareth. And to worship Jesus with increasing knowledge of His glory in our salvation is to walk farther down the beautiful pathway of gratitude.
Job 19:23-27 (ESV)
23 “Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!