The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week
Most Christian-professing people are aware that the sixth day of the week (“Friday” is the equivalent on the Roman calendar) is the “preparation” day for the Sabbath (which was just as much Christian in ancient “Old Testament” times as it is today; see Appearances Of The LORD God and The First Christian Church). That was specifically stated at the time when the LORD began providing manna to the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai (notice also, here in Exodus 16, that the Sabbath was already commanded to be observed beforethey arrived at Mount Sinai, in Exodus 19 – another reason that the Commandment says “remember” the Sabbath Day, and that God’s Eternal Law did not begin or end at Mount Sinai):
“16:22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread [see Manna In The Wilderness], two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation [see also What Did The Elders Of Israel Do?] came and told Moses. 16:23And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
16:24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade [see also Moses Of Midian]: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 16:26Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.” (Exodus 16:22-30 KJV)
It was from that Preparation for the weekly Sabbath that many people incorrectly assume that the Preparation Day for the Passover, as stated here in Mark (“the Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath”), was also a Friday, and that therefore the Messiah was Crucified on the sixth day of the week.
15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom [see Why Was It Torn?]. 15:39And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome [see also Aunt Mary]; 15:41(Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.” (Mark 15:37-43 KJV)
So too in Luke, “that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on”:
“23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour [the sixth hour of daylight, which is about noon, while the ninth hour is about 3pm; see Hours Of The Day]. 23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 23:46And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
23:47Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
23:48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 23:49And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
23:50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just [see also The Passed Over Pharisees]: 23:51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 23:52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 23:53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.” (Luke 23:44-54 KJV)
But notice carefully that the Sabbath that was about to begin when Christ died was “an high day” – Passover, not the regular weekly Sabbath.
“19:30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross [see also The Cross Of Christ, Or The Cross Of Men?] on the sabbath day, for that sabbath day was an high day, besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” (John 19:30-31 KJV)
Further to that stated above, and even more plainly – the “high” Sabbath that was to begin at the end of the day when the Messiah was killed was the annual Holy Day/Sabbath of Passover, not the weekly Sabbath:
“18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas [see Annas And Caiaphas] unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.” (John 18:28 KJV)
The Messiah (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah) was sacrificed at the same time that the Passover lambs were sacrificed – on the Preparation day of the “high day” Sabbath – an annual Sabbath, or Holy Day, known as the first Day of Passover, or First Day of Unleavened Bread. There were two Preparation days that week, for the twoSabbaths – the annual Sabbath on Nisan 15, and the regular weekly seventh-day Sabbath.
The actual series of events, as stated in the Holy Bible, for the two preparation days for the two Sabbaths that particular Passover week (the names of Roman calendar days are also included to assist in understanding, keeping in mind that Biblical calendar days begin and end at sunset):
Sunset Monday to sunset Tuesday (Nisan 13)
- Preparation of the room where the Messiah would observe “this Passover” with the apostles, Tuesday afternoon (see also The Ascent From Bethany). Matthew 26:18-19, Mark 14:13-16, Luke 22:9-13
Sunset Tuesday to sunset Wednesday (Nisan 14)
- The Messiah observed His Passover preparation (also known as “The Last Supper”) with the apostles, Tuesday evening just after sunset (see Setting The Stages Of Passover). Matthew 26:20-29, Mark 14:17-25, Luke 22:14-38, John chapters 13-17
- At about 10 p.m. Tuesday evening, they went out and entered the Garden of Gethsemane where the Messiah prayed and was then arrested by the mob, led by the traitor Judas Iscariot (see The Traitor In History And Prophecy). Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-52, Luke 22:39-53, John 18:1-11
- The Messiah was taken to the house of the Caiaphas, the high priest, and was held there from about 11 p.m. Tuesday to dawn Wednesday. Throughout the night, Jesus was brutalized and mocked by the religious council and their thugs (see Who Was Their Messiah?). Matthew 26:57-75, Mark 14:53-72, Luke 22:54-65, John 18:12-27
- At daybreak Wednesday, Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate who declared Him innocent of any wrongdoing. Pilate then sent Jesus to Herod Antipas, who happened to be in Jerusalem at the time (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Herodian Dynasty). During that same time, Judas tried to return his thirty silver coins to the Sanhedrin and then hung himself. Luke 22:66-71, Luke 23:1-7, Matthew 27:1-10
- Herod Antipas, after listening to the accusations, also declared Jesus an innocent man, having done nothing deserving death. He then sent Him back to Pilate. Luke 23:6-15
- Pilate again tried to have Jesus released, but eventually gave in to the frenzied mob. He released the murderer Barabbas, and handed Jesus over to be crucified, knowing full well that Jesus of Nazareth was an innocent man, just as they all knew that He was innocent (see Innocent Blood). Luke 23:13-25
- The Roman military (see Legions Of Men And Angels) then took charge of Jesus; they sadistically tortured and beat Him nearly to death through the morning on Wednesday and then took Him out of the city for the Crucifixion (see Crossing The T). Matthew 27:27-56, Mark 15:16-41, Luke 23:26-43, John 19:16-27
- The death of the Lamb of God, about 3 p.m. Wednesday. His burial in the tomb was just before sunset on Wednesday afternoon (see The Jonah Prophecies). Matthew 27:45-61, Mark 15:33-47, Luke 23:44-56, John 19:28-42
Sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday (Nisan 15, First Day Of Unleavened Bread)
- Christ in the tomb night and day 1 (see The Unleavened Days Of Passover)
- On the First Day of Passover/Unleavened Bread, the annual Sabbath that many mistakenly believe refers to the weekly Sabbath because it is also a “day after Preparation Day,” Pilate had guards posted at the tomb (see The Tomb Watchers). Matthew 27:62-66
Sunset Thursday to sunset Friday (Nisan 16, Second Day of Unleavened Bread)
- Christ in the tomb night and day 2 (see God Alone). Matthew 12:40
Sunset Friday to sunset Saturday (Nisan 17, Third Day of Unleavened Bread)
- Christ in the tomb night and day 3; The Resurrection was just before sunset on Saturday afternoon, exactly three days and three nights after He died (see Why Observe The True Sabbath? and the Fact Finder question below). Matthew 12:40
Sunset Saturday to sunset Sunday (Nisan 18, Fourth Day of Unleavened Bread)
- The empty (for nearly twelve hours, since just before sunset on Saturday) tomb was discovered by the women and the apostles long before sunrise on “Sunday” morning; the risen Christ spoke to Mary of Magdala (again, see Why Observe The True Sabbath? and the Fact Finder question below). Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18
Fact Finder: How did the Roman “Sun Day” come to be the counterfeit day of worship for millions of Roman Catholics and “Protestants”? What Roman Emperor declared that the Roman “Sun Day” was to be the official day of worship in his Kingdom? See Why Observe The True Sabbath? and Constantine’s Crusades In History And Prophecy; also The Cross Of Christ, Or The Cross Of Men?