On Holy Saturday we witness the burial of Christ and His descent into Hades.
On Great Saturday our focus is on the Tomb of Christ.
This is no ordinary grave.
It is not a place of corruption, decay, and defeat. It is life-giving, a source of power, victory, and liberation.
Great Saturday is the day between Jesus’ death and His resurrection.
It is the day of watchful expectation, in which mourning is being transformed into joy. The day embodies in the fullest possible sense the meaning of xarmolipi – joyful sadness – which has dominated the celebrations of Great Week.
Great Saturday is the day of the pre-eminent rest.
Christ observes a Sabbath rest in the tomb. His rest, however, is not inactivity, but the fulfillment of the divine will and plan for the salvation of humankind and the cosmos. He who brought all things into being, makes all things new.
The re-creation of the world has been accomplished once and for all.
Through His incarnation, life, and death Christ has filled all things with Himself, He has opened a path for all flesh to the resurrection from the dead since it was not possible that the Author of life would be dominated by corruption.
Saint Paul tells us that: “God was in Jesus Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Hence, eternal life – real and self-generating – penetrated the depths of Hades. Christ who is the life of all destroyed death by His death. That is why the Church sings joyously: “Things now are filled with light, the heaven and the earth and all that is beneath the earth.” (Canon of Pascha)
Christ has broken the power of death.