Saturday, March 30

Three Days and a Harrowing

Holy Saturday is the day between the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross and His glorious resurrection. On Holy Saturday we celebrate the Harrowing of Hell--the mystery of Christ’s descent into Hades to lead the captives in a great parade of triumph (Ephesians 4:8-10). This is therefore a day of watchful expectation, in which mourning is being transformed into joy. He who brought all things into being in creation, now makes all things new in re-creation. Christ has broken the power of death and therefore has given us life eternal.

Some might object that a death on Friday afternoon and a resurrection on Sunday morning is hardly accounts for three days. According the the Jewish method of calendar reckoning, the "three days and three nights" Christ prophesied He would be “in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40) was in fact fulfilled--and the traditional accounting of Good Friday to Easter Sunday with the harrowing between on Saturday, is altogether Biblical. The Hebrews always reckoned any part of a 24-hour cycle as a full day and night: yom. Remember, they were not Moderns like us, driven by the mathematical and mechanical structures of reductionistic rationalism.

And so it was: "On the third day, He arose."

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