Even Resurrection Pauses For Sabbath Rest

by Christine Sine
Photo by Monette Chilson

Photo by Monette Chilson

It is Holy Saturday, that day between death and resurrection when most of us pause to draw breath. What did not occur to me until I read these words Even resurrection pauses for Sabbath rest, in the Episcopal Relief and Development Lenten guide this morning, that today, for the Jews is indeed the sabbath day. This full day of Jesus time in the grave is the day into which all their hope and longing for the future is poured. A day to look forward with anticipation to the day when God does indeed make all things news.

The last words that Jesus cried before his death are It is finished. The work that God has sent me to do is done. It is indeed time to pause for rest, but what is God’s sabbath rest all about? Sabbath rest is not a rest of exhaustion, a pause before we get going with the next busy thing. Sabbath rest is a rest of fulfillment, of satisfaction for a job well done and as I sit here this morning I can well imagine God resting in the satisfaction of the amazing job that Jesus had just completed.

For the Jews Sabbath also carries with it a sense of longing and promise. It is the culmination of their week, that day on which they hoped to glimpse God’s eternal world and on this Sabbath rest 2,000 years ago they did glimpse it, though they did not know it. As Jesus entered Hades and released those who had died, the first signs of God’s resurrection world emerged in expectation of the fullness of God coming into the world on Easter morning.

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6 comments

belgianbiblestudents April 1, 2013 - 10:20 am

Jesus was not one day in the grave, but three.

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Christine Sine April 1, 2013 - 10:23 am

Now that is a somewhat controversial point. Jesus was crucified on a Friday and resurrected on a Sunday. Only one full day in the grave. You might like to check out this post which explains that. https://godspace-msa.com/2009/04/09/did-jesus-really-spend-three-days-in-the-tomb/

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belgianbiblestudents April 3, 2013 - 1:32 am

It are part of certain Christian denominations who take it that Jesus died on a Friday, but for sure we know he had his last supper at the beginning of 14 Nisan (or habib), which is at night (a Wednesday on Thursday in contemporary timing). The next morning (which would still be the same day 14Nisan) he was condemned to die on a wooden stake. At three o’clock that day (a Thursday according our Western timing) he died at the same time the lambs would have been slaughtered in the temples in preparation for 15 Nisan the Feast of Unleavened Bread Pesach seder, which would be a day of rest or a holy Sabbath (or special Sabbath).
{There are also options that say Jesus died on the Wednesday, but lots of researchers and historians agree it was not on Friday}

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belgianbiblestudents April 3, 2013 - 4:30 am

Like you birthday falling every year on a different day, this is also with the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Christ.
He died on the 14th of Nisan and was resurrected from the dead by his Father on Nisan 17.

For 2013 this would mean the Memorial meal would be at the beginning of 14 Nisan, Tuesday 26 March, Jesus death on 14 Nisan Wednesday 27 March and his resurrection being remembered on 17 Nisan in the morning of Saturday the 30th of March.

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Christine Sine April 3, 2013 - 9:18 am

This is very interesting thanks for sharing. I often have people asking about the different views on whether or not Jesus spent 3 full days in the tomb

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Holy Saturday around the Blogosphere 2015 | Lent & Beyond April 4, 2015 - 5:15 am

[…] Godspace:  Even Resurrection Pauses For Sabbath Rest […]

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