The Defeating of Death
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Holy Saturday commemorates the day that our Lord Jesus Christ was in the tomb. Jesus in his life lived every aspect of our existence and now in his death; he indeed experiences the same separation of soul and body that we will experience upon our passing. Many theologians believe that on this day, Jesus enters into Hell and defeats the forces of darkness. He conquers its grip upon our lives.
Today is the time of waiting for the victory of God to be manifested to the world. Holy Saturday is to be celebrated in quiet and meditation.
The burial of our Lord was another part of his ignominy. Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere even to be buried. So Joseph of Arimathea provided a tomb fit for a king. While Jesus was entombed he was silent. Finished were the cries and taunts of the cross but it was not yet time for the triumphal declaration: “He is risen.”
Today is a day of silence, and yet the work of salvation, of deliverance from the curse and its effects, continues. We can see the work of salvation on the cross and we see it in the empty tomb, but neither of those means anything without the three days in the belly of the whale, in the womb of death, from which he must emerge.
Today, God is, as it were, silent but he is not asleep. The tomb is ugly, but it is also sanctus. Today is the in-between time. The first act is finished but the curtain, though torn, is not closed.
R. Scott Clark, The Heidelblog