This is the sixth and final installment in a series of devotional guides, briefly introducing each day of Holy Week and the corresponding events in Jesus’s life and ministry.
Monday: The fig tree incident and Jesus’s cleansing of the temple courts
Tuesday: Conclusion to the fig tree incident, Jesus’s teaching in the temple courts, and the Olivet Discourse
Wednesday: Further teaching in the temple courts, continued scheming to arrest and kill Jesus
Thursday: Preparation for Passover, the Last Supper, the Farewell Discourse, betrayal and arrest at Gethsemane, and Jesus’s initial hearings
Friday: Jesus’s final hearings, sentence, crucifixion, and burial
Saturday: . . .
Holy Saturday is the third and final day of the great triduum, the three days of the paschal celebration. On this day, many High-Church traditions observe the so-called Paschal Vigil, a service that commemorates Christ’s death and awaits his return in glory.
Jesus, of course, lies dead in a Jewish tomb on Saturday. Accordingly, hardly anything is recorded about this day in the Gospels, except for a brief story in Matthew 27:62–66, which recounts how the chief priests and Pharisees devised a way to secure the tomb as securely as possible. We encourage you to read this passage in preparation for the astonishing turn of events that follow tomorrow. Other readings in the Revised Common Lectionary include Job 14:1–14 (or Lamentations 3:1–9, 19–14); Psalm 31:1–4, 15–16; and 1 Peter 4:1–8.
We conclude with a prayer from the Revised Common Lectionary Prayers:
Christ our God,
your love is poured out in death for our sakes.
Hold us in your embrace
as we wait for Easter’s dawn.
Comfort us with the promise that no power on earth, not even death itself,
can separate us from your love;
and strengthen us to wait
until you are revealed to us
in all your risen glory. Amen.