Good Friday and Holy Saturday: Waiting for the Resurrection

Saturday in Holy Week – in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, it seems like just a placeholder. Why then does the Church call it Holy?

On the Friday we call Good, our Lord laid down his life for us; went to the Cross in love, and there took on all the weight of the world’s sin, and death too, all for us. He died. His heart was pierced by the centurion’s spear, and blood and water poured out. His lifeless body was taken down, covered in blood and sweat, cradled in his mother’s arms, and then, hastily, wrapped up and placed in the tomb.

And there in the tomb he lay: in  utter passivity, in the complete helplessness of death, resting with absolute and complete trust in his Father who would raise him on the third day.

And so, let us not rush ahead to Resurrection Sunday. Our Christian life is full of waiting on God, and trusting in His timing, but waiting is difficult. Let us wait with our Lord.

The Christian life is also, very often, difficult. Let us wait with our Lord, and remember that there is no place that he cannot find us: no pain too intense, no depression too dark, no weakness too complete. I do not need to reach up to him (I may not have the strength). I may not even have strength enough to hope or wish for him to come to help me. But there is no depth of weakness too deep for him. 

The unshakeable fact is that our Lord has gone before us, and opens up the way to lead us through. Not around, but through.

He knows what it is to be helpless, for he lay helpless in the tomb, that Holy Saturday. He knows what it is to trust entirely and absolutely to another, for so he trusted himself to the Father. He has been there; he knows the way.


Dr. Holly Ordway is a poet, academic, and Christian apologist. She is the chair of the Department of Apologetics and director of the MA in Cultural Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, and the author of Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith. Her work focuses on imaginative and literary apologetics, with special attention to C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams.

3 responses

  1. Thank you. This point needs to be made more often, as magisterial and triumphant strands of Christianity have obscured this time. And while there are other, varied resurrection stories in the history of world religions, there is only one Good Friday. Only here does the Divine person sacrifice for His creation and people. So, as days go… I would argue this is the most set-apart day we could observe.

  2. Pingback: Between Cross and Resurrection – Alan E. Lewis (Holy Saturday) | The Meenister's Log

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