Clerical Articles

The Great and Holy Saturday

  • May 3, 2017

The 40 days of the Great Lent surpass the other days. And the Great Week is the most important. And the great week culminates with the great and holy Saturday. It is called great week not because its days would be longer or would have more hours, but because during this week were performed the great miracles and done the extraordinary deeds of the Savior. Because as it was on the first Creation of the world when God, after completing His works, on the sixth day created the man, the most important among all His creatures and on the seventh day He rested and sanctified that day calling it Sabbath, which means rest, thus at the creation of the spiritual world, fulfilling everything in the best way, on the sixth day He recreated again the corrupt man and renewing him by the life giving cross, rested once more completely from all of His life giving and saving work.

The Word of God stayed with His body in the tomb and with His pure divine soul He even descended to heaven. The soul was separated by death of its body and given in the hands of the Father. He also gave to His father His own blood, without being asked for that. And His blood was the ransom for us. The soul of the Lord was not kept in hell like the souls of the other saints. How could He be kept there when He had nothing from the ancestral sin, like the other righteous men. But our enemy, the devil did not take the blood by means of which we were redeemed, although we were in his domination. How could he take the blood coming from God himself? How could the wicked devil take even God Himself?

Our Lord Jesus Christ stayed with His body in the tomb and in the same time with the divinity that was deeply united with His body. He was in heaven with the thief but He was also in hell, as it was told, with His divine soul. In a supernatural way Christ the Lord, the boundless one, was with His Father reigning together with the Holy Spirit. He was everywhere. The Divinity suffered nothing in the tomb, as it had not suffered anything on the Cross. The body of the Lord suffered a damage, meaning the separation of the soul from the body, but by no means a decay of the body or a destruction of His limbs. And Joseph taking down from the Cross the holy body of the Lord, buried Him in a new tomb, sealing its entrance with a stone.

The Jews went on Friday to Pilate and told him:

 «…We remembered that that deceiver while He was alive said ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order that the tomb be secured until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come and steal Him away and tell the people He has risen from the dead. And this last deception would be worse than the first.

But if he were a deceiver why you Jews listened His words with zeal while He was living ? And when did Christ say that He shall be Risen? Maybe the Jews took this from the parable with Jonas. They are indeed unwise when they ask to be guarded the tomb so that the body might not be stolen. Oh, how unwise they are!  They had no idea that what they did in defending themselves they did against themselves! Pilate gave the order and they went with a band of soldiers and sealed again the tomb and ensured it was guarded.And this was done for not doubting the Resurrection of the Lord, since the guards and the seal were foreign. But all of a sudden the hell quakes when it feels the great power of the Lord and after a while Christ, the hard rock from the head of the angle, is Risen and takes out all those kept in hell for centuries.

With Your extraordinary descent, Christ our Lord, have mercy on us. Amen.