Holy Saturday

Tales from Peniel

Holy Saturday. God is dead. It is finished.

Holy Week draws to a close. Jesus has breathed his last and now lies in his tomb, deserted by all who had followed him this far (save the women, who were steadfastly by his side the whole way and who, we’re told, kept watch outside the tomb as he was buried). It is a cold, brutal reality that many are not willing to face. Often we hear the refrain, “Easters’s coming!” in an effort to ebb some of the pain and darkness of this day, to put some heat and light into this cold night. But there is no balm in Gilead, and there is no respite for the disciples. Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

In some traditions (particularly Eastern Orthodox), Holy Saturday is when the Harrowing of Hell occurs. This tradition holds that, while he is dead, Jesus descends into hell and “preaches…

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