Holy Week: Holy Saturday (almost there)

We’ve taken a journey through Holy Week, with questions for family discussion. Ready for one more day? It’s Holy Saturday!

Three empty crosses looking forlorn

Time Out. Talk about…A speech bubble Jesus was dead, so what happened on Saturday of Holy Week?

We don’t know for sure but probably not much. Saturday for Jewish people, was the Sabbath; a day of rest. Jesus had been buried in a tomb (a place to put dead bodies; probably a cave) on Friday, before sunset – when the Sabbath started. Working on the Sabbath was forbidden. It was to be a day of downtime and prayer. There was probably a great deal of sadness and mourning among Jesus’ followers, who were afraid and hiding out.

Time Out. Talk about…A speech bubble If the disciples had gone into hiding, who buried Jesus’ body?

If you’re not sure about the answer to this one, how about a little look-it-up-in-the-Bible practice? Find the answer in all four Gospels but how about this one: Luke 23:50-54. (Or you can click on the Bible passage to read an on-line Bible. But don’t you want to show your adults how quickly you can find the Gospels?)

Time Out. Talk about…A speech bubble Wait a minute! The guy who buried Jesus… he was one of the council who had arrested Jesus; the ones who had convinced Pilate to condemn him to death?! What is that about?

That’s right, he was a part of the Sanhedrin. John’s Gospel tells us that another member of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus, joined in the burial process, both at great risk to their public identity.

Time Out. Talk about…A speech bubble How did only one or two people move the stone to close the tomb? Wasn’t it huge?

Right, this wasn’t your garden-sized stone! Estimates are that it weighed between one-and-one-half to two tons! But it was easy to close the tomb – gravity was employed. The circular stone was in a channel carved with a slight downward pitch towards the tomb’s entrance. (See the photo below.) To close the tomb one would have only had to remove a wedge that held the stone in place; it would then roll closed. Opening the tomb would have been another story!

A Jerusalem tomb showing how the stone would have been placed
Not Jesus' tomb, just an example. Note: the box is a step into the tomb. Notice the channel for the stone.

Time Out. Talk about…A speech bubble (No right or wrong answers here!)

  • Whom do you relate to: Joseph of Arimathea – willing to be a secret disciple, or the followers of Jesus in hiding?
  • Do you suppose the disciples in their grief wondered about the words of Jesus with regards to being killed and rising after three days? (For a couple of examples check out Mark 8:31, Mark 10:32-34, or John 2:19).

Thanks for joining us on our Holy Week series.


Photo credits:
Empty crosses offered by Max Pixel, in the CC0 1.0 Public Domain.
Tomb stone channel by James Emery, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Speech bubbles from public domain via WPClipart.com.