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Holy Week Holy Saturday: Meditation 7

In Koine Greek, indeed in all early Greek, there is no punctuation. No mark to signify a break.

Indeed in the ancient manuscripts no verse numbering or chapters.

Just text.

So in Mark’s Gospel:

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid. When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. (Mk 15:47-16:1)

There is no break, no space. Just the text.

But in between those words where there is no break there is a world going on.

Because that is what happens in our grief. It is a world that feels like an eternity. We can’t see why people are laughing and carrying on life as normal. Why is the sun shining? Why cannot people see that life is at an end?

For the disciples and followers of Jesus it must have felt like all their hopes and dreams were shattered.

We see some of this with the walk to Emmaus

We had hoped

But hope is at an end.

The destruction of dreams for the renewal of all things. Hopes for the future at an end. Devastating.

The world can never be the same again.

Yet not so much as a comma.

But in the same time. In the same place where there is no break. There is another action taking place.

In the Apostle’s Creed we say that Jesus

was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell….

The Christian belief since early times was that it wasn’t enough that Jesus was tortured and dies a vile death on the cross.

It is that he descended into the depths of hell.

Total alienation.

Total separation.

The total victory by all the forces of evil appears complete.

God written out of history.

Not a beat is missed.

Jesus sharing our every pain.
Jesus taking all our burdens.
Jesus taking all our wrongdoing.
Jesus taking all our sins of commission and omission.

All of it.

And allows himself to be crushed.

Holy Week: Meditation 1

Holy Week: Meditation 2

Holy Week: Meditation 3

Holy Week: Meditation 4

Holy Week: Meditation 5

Good Friday Holy Week: Meditation 6

Holy Week 2012 Meditation series

Harvey has also done a Good Saturday meditation for Springfield Salt magazine called Walking in Darkness – reflections on Holy Saturday

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4 comments on “Holy Week Holy Saturday: Meditation 7

  1. Esther Somerson
    April 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    We thought that Jesus ‘got lucky’ the inference at my service, because of being crucified on a Friday, rather than at the beginning of the week, then were informed ( which probably most of us did not know) that the cloth on crucifixes and art work is to show dignity and respect for Christ’s human form – but in fact when people were crucified they were absolutely naked and the soldiers daubed honey on the genitalia to attract stinging insects – more to feel sick about – how disgusting.

  2. Jean
    April 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    So Jesus was separated from God twice? Once on the cross, “My God why have you forsaken me?” and then again after being buried? “He decended into hell…..”

    I think the Creed must be chronologically wrong, or are you suggesting he was separated from God from when he first said those words UNTIL the resurrection?

    Never have so many of my longheld beliefs been shaken as with this week’s meditations! Thankfully, it’s the detail that has been shaken and not my belief in Christ as Saviour.

    Roll on tomorrow when we can celebrate His victory!

  3. Will Cookson
    April 24, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Esther,
    I knew about the nakedness but I hadn’t heard the honey daubing part. It was the most awful torture.

    Jean,
    I don’t think that we believe that he was separated twice. I think that rather on the cross he is separated and stays separated. Don’t think that any of this should shake your faith. I hope it enriches it – well that’s the aim!

  4. Esther Somerson
    April 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    I think he will be right as he is a very academic man and seems to know his research and ancient history. ( He just gets a bit on our nerves when he says that all this religion is getting in his way and it’s too much all at one go ??????! He was tired out by Palm Sunday.) He says he has the Dali painting on his room wall – your choices of art to embelish your points v. thought provoking too.

    No not twice – just the once I believe as well. He had to become sin for us so he must have had to descend as well as ascend.

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