Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. – Matthew 27: 59-61
It’s the ‘day-in-between’ Good Friday and Easter. Some traditions call this day ‘Holy Saturday’ or ‘Black Saturday’ as it commemorates the cold dead body of Jesus being laid in the tomb.
It is an easy day to forget. Good Friday gives us a compelling and tragic death on a cross where we often take the opportunity to focus on what this death ‘did for us.’ Easter Sunday gives us eternal hope and joy in the resurrection which is a fun thing to talk about. Yet Holy Saturday, the ‘day-in-between’ is seemingly glossed over.
As I have done some digging on the ‘day-in-between’ I keep coming across a book by Alan Lewis called Between Cross and Resurrection : A Theology of Holy Saturday. Alan Lewis writes that Holy Saturday,
“appears to be a no-man’s-land, an anonymous, counterfeit moment in the gospel story, which can boast no identity for itself, claim no meaning, and reflect only what light it can borrow from its predecessor and its sequel”
The rotting corpse of Jesus was no doubt a reality that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary faced as they sat across from the tomb. Sure their must have been some sort of anticipation as he was the Son of God. But a dark element of humanity remained. The Son of God was dead. Lest we forget.