July 21, 2019

The 3 Days — Holy Saturday 2019

The Grave of the Black Sheep. Photo by Hartwig HKD at Flickr

Holy Saturday 2019
God’s Godness in the grave of godlessness

There is a “faith” which has forgotten what it is to doubt; a way of hearing which no longer listens to the silence; a certainty that God is close which dares not look into eyes still haunted by divine remoteness; a hope for some glory other than a crown of thorns.

Such supposed but cowardly and inauthentic faith and hope has failed to wrestle with the conundrum of the grave, evading the possibility that God is God among the suffering and the dying, and that the King who rules the world is only a wounded lamb that has been slain. Whereas our three-day story — that “word of the cross” to which our faith and hope should be conformed — does indeed portray a God who prevails only by allowing place and recognition to the hostile opposition, saying “Yes” to the guilty and the doubting and the dying. That is divine affirmation of the very persons and realities which embody the world’s great “No” to God, the living expressions of its ugliness, destructiveness, and sin. But because God acknowledges all this negativity and lets it be, because the word God says is Yes not No, positive not negative, for life not against it, grace surpasses its antithesis, proving more creative than evil can be destructive. Thus, in its very affirmation, death is defeated; and thus the Son of God who lay in death among the godless of the earth rises to new life, and brings them with him: witnesses to God’s even greater presence within the absence of that presence, which was great enough.

• Alan E. Lewis, Between Cross and Resurrection

Comments

  1. He is dead!

    He is dead indeed!

  2. anonymous says

    ” thus the Son of God who lay in death among the godless of the earth rises to new life, and brings them with him”

    “What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

    Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son.

    The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

    ‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

    ‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

  3. Christiane says

    An Eastern Orthodox prayer

    “When You did descend to death, O Life Immortal, You did slay hell with the splendor of Your Godhead,
    And when from the depths You did raise the dead, All the Powers of Heaven cried out,
    “O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory to You!”

  4. Burro (Mule) says

    It looks as though Rachel Held Evans is seriously ill. Her husband requests our prayers.