Holy Saturday – April 4, 2015

Today’s Reading: Matthew 27:57-66

“So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.” – Matthew 27:66

“We now commit the body of our (brother/sister) to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” (LSB Agenda). We have all stood at the grave of a loved one. Our hearts break. The goodbye seems so final, the separation so permanent—if not for the resurrection.

What must the disciples and the faithful women have been thinking and feeling? “O sorrow dread! Our God is dead…” (LSB 448:2). “I will come again and will take you to myself …” (John 14:3). “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me” (John 16:16). Oh, Jesus, will we see You again? When?!

On that Friday we call “good,” when for our sins Jesus died the death we deserved, His body was taken from the cross and placed in the newly-hewn tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. The great stone rolled across the entrance was secured by the governor’s seal. No one was getting in or out. It appeared that the door to God was closed! The two Marys sat and watched and waited and wondered.

Death does not have the final word! The goodbye is not final nor the separation permanent. The coming dawn will prove to all that the grave could not hold Him and neither will it hold us!

Prayer: O darkest woe! Ye tears, forth flow! Has earth so sad a wonder? God the Father’s only Son Now is buried yonder. O Jesus Christ, Who sacrificed Thy life for lifeless mortals: Be my life in death and bring Me to heaven’s portals! (O Darkest Woe, LSB 448:1, 7)

This devotion was written by Rev. David Renfro, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, IA.

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