Jesus had been crucified, hung on a cross to die.  That evening, in the time of Preparation before the Sabbath Day, a righteous man named Joseph, from Arirmathea, received permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus for a proper burial.  In that day, families who were financially able to do so, purchased “tombs” that had been hewn in rocks to bury their own.  Joseph from Arimathea generously offered a space in his tomb for the body of Jesus.  He removed Jesus’ body from the cross.  Nicodemus came with a generous amount of myrrh and aloes.  Strips of linen were dipped in the spices, wrapped around Jesus’ body, and then they laid Him in the tomb.   (Luke 23:50-54 and John 19:38-42).  

It was important that these things be done quickly before the end of the time of Preparation.  That was the time preceding the start of the Sabbath, at which time all Jews observed a day of rest.  No work was to be done.  Had the preparation of Jesus’ body not been complete before the start of Sabbath (sundown on what is now called Friday evening), the men would have been in violation of the Sabbath. 

Consequently, the Sabbath Day took place on what we now call Saturday.  Can you imagine what a difficult day this must have been for  those who loved and followed Jesus?  Especially those closest to Him?  On this day of rest, they had only their grief to keep them company. 

Did Mary (Jesus’ mother) know what was happening and what it all meant?  Had the Holy Spirit given her special knowledge and understanding of the sacrifice her precious Son had made?  Or was she as bewildered as everyone else? 

What were the disciples thinking?  Were they having second thoughts about following a man who was put to death like a criminal instead of leading the Jews as the valiant King they had anticipated?  Or were they recalling the events of the night before saying “if only” we had done this or that, perhaps we could have saved Jesus?   Perhaps they were remembering all they had witnessed and learned from Jesus, replaying conversations in their head, and starting to make sense of it all.  Did they remember that He had foretold of His death?  In retrospect, were they gaining deeper insights into who this man Jesus really was? 

And what about the crowd who witnessed Jesus’ death?  Some became believers after He died.  What were they now thinking? 

We don’t know the answers to these questions, but one thing that seems safe to assume is that most were left in a state of grief, mourning and sadness.  The Son of God, King of Jews, the fulfillment of the Savior, Messiah, was dead.  What would happen now? 

 

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