Lenten Devotional: Holy Saturday | Matthew 27:57-66

Holy Saturday, April 16, 2022 | Matthew 27:57-66

The Rev. Dr. Wesley Hill

Several years ago, as he was dying of cancer, a theologian named Alan Lewis wrote a book about Holy Saturday. In the book’s introductory pages, he said this: “that day between the days” — that Saturday between Good Friday when Jesus died and Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead — “speaks solely neither of the cross nor of the resurrection but simultaneously remembers the one and awaits the other, and guarantees that neither will be heard, or thought about, or lived, without the other.”

Sometimes we do try to think about or live one without the other: we live in the gloom of Good Friday, fearful that Easter will never come; or we bask in the joy of Easter and ignore all the pain that still exists in the world. But Holy Saturday asks us to hold Good Friday and Easter Sunday together, to know even in pain that joy comes in the morning, and to trust, while we rejoice, that pain doesn’t have to be ignored.

Lord Jesus, on this day when you were in the grave, please help us to rejoice even as we lament and to weep for the pain that remains in our lives even as we look forward to Easter morning joy.

The Rev. Dr. Wesley Hill is an assisting priest at Trinity Cathedral and an associate professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He is the author most recently of The Lord’s Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father (Lexham Press, 2019).