(The solemn death of Jesus Christ, Universal King and Sovereign Priest, is the New Testament mirror image of the Old Testament Sabbath of God’s rest on the seventh day from His handiwork of Creation. These cataclysmic events become the opening of our way into God’s Kingdom and the foundation for our new celebration of the Sacrifice of the Cross of Redemption. After Christ’s New Creation on the eighth day, it is our Introductory or Penitential Rite of the Mass of the Catechumens; our gateway to heaven afforded us by the Lord God of Sabaoth.)
Matthew 27:51-52. “And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose.”
“God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity, and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine “work,” concluded by the “rest” of the seventh day. On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation, permitting us to “recognize the inner nature, the value, and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God.” (CCC, 204-05).
“The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the sabbath: “The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD.” (Ex 31:15.) In speaking of the sabbath Scripture recalls creation: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Ex 20:11.)
“Scripture also reveals in the Lord’s day a memorial of Israel’s liberation from bondage in Egypt: “You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.” (Deut 5:15.) God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of irrevocable covenant. (Cf. Ex 31:16.) The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel.
“God’s action is the model for human action. If God “rested and was refreshed” on the seventh day, man too ought to “rest” and should let others, especially the poor, “be refreshed.” (Ex 31:17; cf. 23:12.) The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money. (Cf. Neh 13:15-22; 2 Chr 36:21.)
“The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day. (Cf. Mk 1:21; Jn 9:16.) He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” (Mk 2:27.) With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing. (Cf. Mk 3:4.) The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God. (Cf. Mt 12:5; Jn 7:23.) “The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath. (Mk 2:28.)” (CCC, 2168-73).
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys (contemplating the mystery), Glory Be and Fatima Prayer.
Excerpt from The Holy Family Rosary:
Holy Saturday is pronounced by the solemn death of Jesus as Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. It becomes our Penitential Rite in stunningly silenced awareness and awe-filled trepidation in recognition for our need of repentance and forgiveness from – and for – Jesus’ death for our sins. As the rending of the rocks warrants the rending of hearts awakened in an appropriate fear of the Lord, the opening of the graves and tearing of the second veil is our own miracle event after the violent tearing apart of our natural pride. We have been given an opening of our way to God through Jesus Christ by the unveiling of the Lord, God of Hosts.
“Introibo ad altare Dei – I will go to the altar of God” is our moment of truth when veiled spiritual pride is torn apart by our witness to the life and death of Jesus Christ as the raising of the dead from their graves removes any excuse from believing in God’s Holy Word as our means of salvation. The inner veil of the temple obscured what is, was, and ever shall be the Sacred Heart of God’s Will and the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, offered for the redemption of man in fulfillment of His promise that “whoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Historical records convincingly point to evidence that the central altar of the Holy of holies in the Jerusalem Temple was the very same unhewn altar “rock of Abraham” of the staid sacrifice of his son Isaac. Upon this rock was the Ark of the Testimony of Moses that the inner veil hid from view from within the outer veil of the sanctuary. The outer veil was torn before His death, the inner veil was torn afterwards. Accordingly, after Jesus’ death when the “rocks were rent”… is it possible that this Temple altar was broken or destroyed at that time, explaining the Ark of the Old Testament Covenant’s eventual disappearance and becoming forever hidden as foretold? Remembering the reactive groan of nature surrounding Christ’s death, the tabernacle of old was simultaneously being replaced by Jesus’ Divine Presence in His Church and new covenant tabernacles throughout the world.
Certainly there is no doubt that we commemorate these events during Holy Week.
In this way the sacrifice of the Son of Abraham, Son of Jacob, Son of Israel, Son of David, Son of God, and Son of Man becomes one in God’s double-edged sword of truth. “So also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; the second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him unto salvation.” This satisfaction of the sacrifice of Abraham as our Father of Faith by Jesus Christ is accomplished in expiation of Adam’s sin for men of good will. How beautiful to see in this light for such a time as this in our Church and historic truth for the world’s view of Christianity from the Jewish and Islamic faiths. In perfect continuation of the example of Christ’s faithfulness, we must accept and declare our obligation to this greatest mystery regarding God’s Holy Word: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” faithfully declaring that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate as the Son of Man.