Dead and Buried

March 22nd, 2008 • Category: Lent, Holy Week, and Easter
by Keith Phillips

Today’s scripture: Luke 23:50-56 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Keith Phillips):

Dead and buried. That’s what we say when it’s all over, when there’s nothing more we can do, when there’s nothing more to be done.

The Saturday of Holy Week is such an odd day, stuck between Good Friday and Easter, two of the most holy of all days. Yet, Holy Saturday is the frequently overlooked kernel of the Gospel.

I like to think of myself as an activist, as one who cooperates with God, even as a co-creator with God. I always want to be taking an active and responsible role in working together with God to make this world a better place, and me a better person to live here. I agree with James who says that faith without good works is dead, useless.

I look at Jesus crucified on the cross, and I want to love my Lord like Jesus loves me, with a self-giving, sacrificial love. Good Friday is the act of divine love; and if God were to call me to be martyred for the Kingdom, so be it. Together, the Lord and I would walk through that valley.

But dead and buried. That’s another thing. Holy Saturday is the picture of a faith that’s very hard for me. Holy Saturday is the picture of a faith that is passive, not active; of a faith that patiently waits for God to act without my cooperation, because, although I would, I cannot cooperate. Having given all that I have and am, I’m unable to give anything more. Now it’s just the Lord, not the Lord and me.

Dead and buried means that it’s all in God’s hands, completely and absolutely. In a sense, I’m dead and buried. My confidence, my faith must be in the Lord; there’s nothing else, no one else. The only thing I can do is to trust God, and just maybe that’s all I need to do.

Holy Saturday is the Sabbath, a day of rest before Easter when God begins re-creating life again, life from death, life from the kind of faith that can let go of everything and let God.

Thought for the day: Why is it so hard for me to rest and to leave it all in God’s hands? God can be trusted to work, to bring forth life, even without me!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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