When I was a boy the attendance of Church services on Sundays was very important to most of the families that I knew. It was common for people to use Saturday as a day to get ready for Sunday Church. I can remember one such Saturday when I was doing some work around a house in a small town. The house was a traditional one story, white frame, single family structure. On this particular day, as I was walking around the house I received a very special blessing. You have to picture this setting in your mind. As you face the house, there is an eight foot deep front porch that extends all the way from the left side wall to the right side wall. The front door was situated on the left side of the porch; windows were placed to the right side of the door, and were about eight feet high. A four foot window would roll up and down, with one on the top, and one on the bottom. The bottom window could be raised so high that a child could walk from the porch into a bedroom. Air conditioners were not always built into these homes, so the front windows were opened on this warm summer’s day. By the way, some of the paint on the wooden siding was peeling but, “who really cared?” I hope that some of you can remember such a house of your younger years. And, by the way, the house was built upon concrete block piers, and had about a three-foot space between the floor of the porch and the ground.
On this particular day, I was especially blessed by the sound of music that I heard coming from the inside of the house. A teenaged girl was playing a piano, and she and her mother were singing a song that they would be singing in Church the next day. These ladies, of which one was a little more “mature in age” than the other, were singing a very beautiful song, which has the title of, “He.” (Ladies, was that a kind description of “the mama?”) By the way, these two saints of God were wearing long and loose fitting flower print dresses. And, their hair was long, and was shaped into a bun. You might say that they resembled “the old time Pentecostal women;” may God richly bless them. The only bad thing about this experience was that when I finished my job, I had to leave this heavenly likeness and go to another house, and pray that I would receive a similar blessing.
In the scripture passage of this writing, we find the Jews preparing themselves for the coming of the Sabbath. The Day of Preparation began on Thursday evening at sunset, and continued until Friday at sunset, when the Sabbath would begin. The Sabbath would continue until Saturday at sunset, when the first day of the week would begin, or as we call it in Christian churches, “The Lord’s Day.” As we can see in John 19:14, it was about noon on Friday morning. Many Jews had spent much of the morning hours preparing for the arrival of the Sabbath. It was during this time, until the time of our Lord’s crucifixion, that there were other Jews who were conspiring with the Pilate, the Roman governor, to crucify Jesus … but it had to be done, with Jesus being buried before sundown, which would be at the time that the Lord’s Sabbath would arrive. The crucifixion took place, and Jesus hung on the cross from noon on Friday until three PM (Matthew 27:45-50), when He died. Then, Jesus was taken to a burial tomb, where His body was placed, and done so before Friday at sunset, which was the beginning of the Sabbath. (Matthew 27:51-62). Jesus’s body was “protected” from the disciples by guards, “until the third day” (Matthew 27:64). It was “after the Sabbath,” on the “First Day Of The Week”that the women found the tomb of Jesus to be empty (Matthew 28:1-8), as the angels announced that, “He is risen!”
This particular Day of Preparation was an emotional roller coaster ride. Not a lot of good things happened as the Lord’s Sabbath was waiting to arrive. But, let’s move on to our time in history, from the year of the crucifixion of Jesus (33 A.D.) to our present time day, and year. How have our Days of Preparation been? How have our Sabbath’s been, and our Lord’s Days, too? It is a practice of mine to try to put the cares of the world aside each Friday, as I prepare for our church’s Friday Evening Sabbath time of worship, praise, Bible study, teaching, preaching, and fellowship meal/remembrance of our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection. Last Friday was a horrible Day of Preparation for me; the horrors began on Tuesday. Satan had painted a large bulls eye on the back of my shirt, and it appeared that “arrows galore” had been aimed at me all day long. Of course, I can look back and see that I was very much of a “willing accomplice,” as I offended a special friend with a word that I shouldn’t have used. This week, an offense began on Wednesday. In both situations, I knew that serious repentance and asking of forgiveness was necessary to “clear the air” of distractions that could have placed a great wall ofseparation between very special and very close relationships. The clouding of the air can create serious divisions to friendships, and needs to be “taken care of” quickly.
Our church meets on Fridays at 7PM. We are now having summer hours. This week, we will be discussing sins, repentance, and forgiveness in our time of meeting. Our study will relate to Acts 2:38, Matthew 6:15, John 3:18, Romans 8:1, James 5:16, and 1 John 1:9. All of our times of Bible study are very comprehensive. People have mentioned how much they have learned from being present in our times of congregational study, which are designed to teach believers to teach other believers. It is my responsibility to teach everyone who attends our congregation to do everything that I do as the leader of our church; that includes women (Matthew 28:18-20). If you are in the local area, please stop by and try out our very effective way of teaching God’s Word to all of God’s people. Below, you will find the scripture text for this writing. it is followed by a Bible Dictionary explanation of the Day of Preparation. A song video will conclude the post.
English Standard Version (ESV)
14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour.[a] He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.[b] But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
The Death of Jesus
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus’ Side Is Pierced
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.
John 19:14 That is, about noon
John 19:23 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
Holman Bible Dictionary
Sixth day of week in which Jews prepared life’s necessities to avoid work on the sabbath (compare Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-14; John 9:14-16 ). Preparation of food, completing work, and spiritual purification were included. The Hebrew day began and ended at 6 p.m., so the day of preparation extended from 6 p.m. on Thursday until the beginning of the sabbath at 6 p.m. Friday.
The Feast of Passover was immediately followed by the holy convocation of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:1-7 ). No one worked on either of these holy days, so a day of preparation was set aside to prepare for the holiday period (John 19:14 ). John explicitly identified the day of preparation as the day of Jesus’ execution (John 19:14 ,John 19:14,19:31 ,John 19:31,19:42 ) and placed the Last Supper before Passover (John 13:1 ). The Synoptic Gospels, however, dated the Last Supper on the day of Passover (Matthew 26:1 : 17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7 ). This apparent contradiction in dating may depend on whether the gospel writers were referring to the preparation day for the sabbath or to the preparation day for the Passover.
He, Tammy Wynette
Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him …”