Holy Week 2021 — Black Saturday, April 3

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5, 12-20

I think that Saturday’s title in Holy Week is quite misleading. “Black Saturday” sounds so terrible. But only one Saturday in the last nearly 2,000 years could be called “Black Saturday” – the one when Jesus was actually in the tomb, when the Savior of the world was dead in the grave.

The good news for us is that no Saturday – or any day for that matter – has been the same since! As we read earlier in the week, the borrowed tomb has been returned! Jesus is the only person in history to walk out of His own tomb, and, since He did, death, hell, and Satan have been defeated.

So, today, I want you to contemplate the resurrection. Tomorrow will be busy and exciting – the first Easter for a gathering of the church since 2019.  As sad as it is to say, we could miss Jesus – the resurrected King of kings – in all of the hullabaloo of the holiday. May it not be so for us!

Let us use today’s verses to meditate on King Jesus and the power of His resurrection:

  • (v. 3) The gospel – good news – of Jesus’ death burial and resurrection is supposed to be of “first importance” in our lives.
  • (vv. 3-4) Everything that Jesus went through was “in accordance with the Scriptures”. It all happened exactly as God had planned it from before the beginning.
  • (v. 14) Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the basis for our faith.
  • (v. 15) Belief in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a non-negotiable belief for Christians. Not believing in the resurrection means not believing in Christ.
  • (vv. 16-18) If Jesus stayed in the tomb, our salvation would be in there with Him. Every other religion has faith in a dead man. Our resurrected Savior continues to save and redeem!
  • (v. 19) Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we have a hope that endures and lives. Hope is more than an idea or a belief; hope is a Person, and He is alive!

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