If Friday represents the death of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and Sunday represents His glorious resurrection, then what does Easter Saturday represent?
I dislike using the term ‘Easter’ because it derives from Ishtar the pagan demon Queen of Heaven. However, almost all societies and churches call it by this name, so for the sake of simplicity and clarity, I will use the term ‘Easter’. I would prefer to call Good Friday ‘Crucifixion Friday’ or ‘Atonement Friday’. I would also prefer to call Easter Sunday ‘Resurrection Sunday’, but what then do I call the Saturday of the Passover weekend?
Traditional denominations usually call it ‘Holy Saturday’, the Coptic church calls it ‘The Saturday of light’, or ‘Joyous Saturday’, and the Philippine Roman Catholic church calls it ‘Black Saturday’ and commemorates it with a sort of funeral service. So, what then are we supposed to commemorate on the Saturday between Crucifixion Friday and Resurrection Sunday?
The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that Jesus descended into Hell where the devil tortured him until He had paid both physically and spiritually for the sins of humanity. The Word of Faith and some Pentecostal teachers have adopted this and added that Jesus was then ‘born again’ from spiritual death on the Sunday. This would make Easter Saturday a black Saturday indeed, but they base this erroneous understanding on several scriptures taken out of context (Acts 2:27 Romans 10:6-7 Ephesians 4:8-9, and 1 Peter 3:18-20) and a particular reading of the Apostles Creed that was written in AD 390.
On Earth, that Saturday must have been dark indeed. The dead body of Jesus lay partially embalmed in a cold tomb. The disciples had no idea that He would rise again the next day and they must have been terribly distressed and confused. Their Messiah was dead, hope was gone, and the Jewish leaders would surely be coming after them. Black Saturday, a funeral day to end all funeral days!
However, in Heaven, something glorious was happening! In Colossians 2:13(b)-15 Paul writes about Jesus Christ, ’having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross’. The language he used here is similar to that adopted in the military court’s marshal of his day. Here is the scene in Heaven as I deduce it to have been:
The Lord Jesus Christ ascends in spiritual form into Heaven where He presents himself before the throne of God the Father. The archangels sound out the trumpet call to gather all of heavens’ citizens before the throne. The Father dispatches one of the mighty angels, let’s say Michael, to enter Hell to summons Lucifer, the fallen archangel to present himself. Lucifer, (the devil, Satan) appears before the throne of God. A look of utter astonishment replaces the insolent sneer on his face when he sees Jesus at the right hand of the Most High. God the Father rises from His throne and addresses the Prince of Darkness: “Lucifer, I have already charged you with high treason but have till now allowed you freedom to come and go as you please. Now, your guilt has been established beyond all doubt in the life and death of Jesus Son of God. Therefore, I now pronounce your sentence; you are henceforth prohibited from entering Heaven and are restricted to the realms of Earth and Hell. Moreover, you will be bound to obey all commands issued rightfully in the authority of Jesus by any of His disciples of all generations. Any violation will result in your immediate and absolute incarceration.”
As the voice of The Ancient of Days thundered through the court of Heaven, the Lord Jesus stepped up to Lucifer and symbolically ripped from his clothing all symbols of authority. His voice was clear and commanding as He pronounced, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me!” (Matthew 28”18(a)). Then He added, “Now go!” As He made this pronouncement, the entire population of Heaven shouted out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments” (Revelation 19:1-2).
Black Saturday? No. Joyous Saturday of light? Yes