Saturday, April 23, 2011
Holy Saturday: A Devotional Commentary
1 Peter 3:17-22 For it is better, if it is God’s will, that you suffer for doing well than for doing evil. Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison, who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you—not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.
Matthew 27:57-66 When evening had come, a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph, who himself was also Jesus’ disciple came. This man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given up. Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock, and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb. Now on the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come at night and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead;’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone.
Today, Jesus lay in a tomb for you. Jesus kept the Sabbath rest perfectly for you. But while He lay in the grave keeping that sabbath-rest He was not inactive. Today, Christ descended into hell. As Martin Luther put it, "Our Lord Jesus Christ did descend into hell, battered hell open, overcame the devil, and delivered those who were held captive by the devil." The prophecy of the Devil's defeat was first given to the Devil. While Jesus' disciples mourn for the death of Jesus and Jesus looks to be completely defeated, Jesus proclaims His victory over sin, death, and the Devil. Today, all human reason would tell us that Jesus has been defeated but His victory has already been proclaimed and we await the resurrection.
Posted by Chuck Wiese at 12:01 AM