Reflections for Holy Week: Sabbath War

This reflection was originally published in the spring 2020 issue of STILLPOINT magazine: “Generation Gordon.”

By Harim Choi ’19 

Luke 23:56 | Matthew 27:62 

Very few volunteered to take this dead man. Some women followed them to the burial. With clenched teeth they could only quickly lay the bloody man down. It was Friday night.

Luke 23:56: “Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” 

How great the distress when the holy women of Galilee delayed their care for the dead Jesus? Must we still rest when Rabboni has been killed? Must we be still before injustice? Must we not rise to tend to the last needs of our Lord, our love?

Matthew 27:62: “The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.” 

Past the women’s silent weeping we see the lawless men and the heathen Pilate working hard on the day after preparation day. Recruiting all the armies of Satan to block, seal and guard this tomb; toiling so hard in rebellion against God on his holy day. “We will work against you,” they say. “We have defeated you, and we will put the seal on your loss. No promises fulfilled. No death overcome.”

What war raged on that Sabbath day! The wounded ones were still in their rooms while evil was rampant on the streets. The pride of the devil at its highest point, declaring, “I have overcome! I have overcome! I have overcome!” And Jesus laid still and alone in the tomb, forsaken by God and man.

It was Saturday night. But the story didn’t end there.