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Holy Week: Looking at Traditional Readings — Holy Saturday

This week is Holy Week for Christians, the days that stretch between Palm Sunday and Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. This week we offer a look at the biblical passages dealing with traditional readings for Holy Week. Each day has up to four readings.

Today is Holy Saturday.

It must have been a very difficult day for Jesus’ followers. The teacher they had followed day after day, and whom they believed was their Messiah — a warrior deliverer — had been arrested, falsely accused and tried, beaten severely and executed by the Romans as a common criminal. They didn’t yet understand what he had meant by saying he would rise again after death — that he was the ultimate source of life.

They were grieving and suffering deep in their spirits. But they also wanted desperately to have hope.

Job 14:1-14 [or Lam. 3:1-9, 19-24]

“If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come” [Job 14:14].

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall … Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” [Lamentations 3:19, 21-23].

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge … Into your hands I commit my spirit” [verses 1, 5].

“Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love” [verse 16].

1 Peter 4:1-18

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you … If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” [verses 12, 14].

Matthew 27:57-66 [or John 19:38-42]

“So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard” [Matthew 27:66].

Sunday is Resurrection Sunday

Mark 16:6

“‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.’”

All passages have been reprinted from the New International Version of the Bible.