The Sabbath began at sundown on Friday, and this one even more special as it was the beginning of Passover. Passover was celebrated by the Jews to recall the time the plague of death 'passed over' their homes as they were delivered from Egypt. To prevent having the first born males die, they were to take the blood of the sacrificed lamb and place it on the door frame of the house. (Exodus 12/complete text) But this particular Passover the Lamb of God had been sacrificed, Christ's blood shed for all.
Read John 19:38-42
And so, because it was the day of preparation before the Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
Just before sundown Friday, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, secret disciples of Jesus, asked Pilate for Jesus' body, quickly prepared the body and carefully placed Him in the tomb. Fearing the Jewish leaders, these members of the Jewish high council had kept their following of Jesus a secret until now. And Jesus' body lay in the tomb as Passover began.
There was little written about that Saturday - the Jewish Sabbath that fell between the crucifixion on Friday and the resurrection on Sunday. There would have been no work, only time for worship and rest. For those who mourned Jesus' death, there was much time for reflection of recent events, remembering of times shared, and recollections of countless miracles. They did not understand what had happened. They waited.
- What risks did Joseph and Nicodemus take?
- What thoughts might the disciples have had during this time?
- Does Jesus live within your heart? If yes, do you ever keep your faith a secret?
Lord ~ What happens when the world denies You, and I keep silent? What happens when the world mocks You, and I turn away? You must weep at my selfish response. What happens when You offer hope that is eternal, and I do not share this Good News? What happens when You love with amazing grace, and I do not share this forgiveness? You must weep at my casual faith. Forgive me when weakness wins the battle inside my soul. In these times of struggle, I call to You and always find You waiting for me. Amen. ~dho