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Holy Saturday 2024 – Genesis 2:3

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Paschal Trilogy – 2024: Holy Saturday

Genesis 2:3, ‘So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it, God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.’

In context, these words refer to YHWH’s creation of the cosmos in six days and His ‘rest’ on the seventh. However, read in their Christological fullness, we may see here an allusion to the mystery and uniquely desolate holiness of this Saturday.

On this day we remember the entombed silence of our God…we remember the Holy One laid in the grave of our death…we remember the Lord of Glory and Song of Heaven, ‘asleep’—lifeless and cold—in the stone and stillness of the earth.

This is the true Sabbath…this is the true holy Seventh Day…Here, in truth, does God Almighty take His solemn rest ‘from all His work that He had done in creation.’ Yes, because—for all else they are—the agonies of the cross are also the birth pangs of the New Creation, borne in the flesh of her God…The New Heavens, the New Earth, and the New and True Humanity, these are brought forth on Calvary, not—as with the first creation—by a word spoken from the throne, but by The Word (indeed, that same Word from the beginning) enfleshed upon the cross. And, having called the New Cosmos into existence in, through, and by His resurrection-securing death, our Lord and God is laid in the barren womb of our tomb, there to take His ‘rest’ until the Third—which is also the First and the Eighth—day should dawn, and with it, all things be made new.

In this image, Jesus’ left hand—cold with the vicariously borne death of His Beloved—lies limp, at ‘rest,’ in the depths of the grave. Yet, in His wound is an image of that New Creation achieved through His agonies. The jewel of this New Cosmos, the New Jerusalem (the Bride of Christ and People of God), shines into the depths of Sheol, proleptically declaring the the victory of the Risen Christ into the heart of Death. Adam and Eve (representing all those who have died in hope) open long-closed eyes to look upon their Lord, descended with them into this sepulchral darkness, and see in His radiant wounds the Morning Star of their own sure Resurrection Dawn in Him.