After the horrible experience, having seen how their beloved master had died on the stake, the apostles had retreated themselves. The women who had watched the impalement from some distance got the courage to see if they could not give their friend a proper burial before the high holy day.
“30 Therefore, when he had received the vinegar, Jesus said, “It has been accomplished!” And then his head fell and his last breath escaped.
31 Since it was Preparation, the Jews, so that the bodies might not remain upon the stake–for it was the day of a Great Sabbath–they requested that Pilate break their legs and take the bodies down.” (Joh 19:30-31 mhm)
“38 Now after these events Joseph of Arimathea–a secret disciple of Jesus out of fear of the Jews–asked Pilate that he might carry away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave his permission. So Joseph came and removed the body. 39 Also, Nicodemus–the person who approached Jesus at night originally–brought a roll of myrrh and aloes weighing a hundred pounds. 40 And so, they took the body of Jesus and bound it in bandages with the spices, according to the custom of the Jews in preparation for burial. 41 Now near the place where Jesus was impaled there was a garden, and in the garden a new memorial tomb in which no one had ever been placed. 42 It was there, then, because of the Preparation of the Jews, they placed Jesus.” (Joh 19:38-42 mhm)
They were aware many had a big laugh, now having seen that special man being killed as a criminal. For many, it looked like all the stories they heard about that Nazarene were just fake messages. How was this dead person going to save the world like he so many times had given the impression?
The day after Jesus had died, the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together to Pilate, remembering what Jesus had said over those few years when he was actively going around the region. For them, it was clear that Jesus was a nice talker and a deceiver who could please a lot of people. Now they were afraid some of his friends would do everything to have his predictions come true. Jesus had more than once said he would rise again after three days. For sure such a thing could and should not happen according to those leaders. Therefore, they asked the governor to command that the tomb be made secure at least until the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come and steal him away, and tell the people,
‘He is risen from the dead’;
so that the last deception will be worse than the first.
“62 On the next day–after Preparation–the religious hierarchy and Pharisees assembled together before Pilate, 63 saying, “Lord, we remember that plotter said when he was alive, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 64 So, command that the grave be secured until the third day so none of his disciples can come and steal his body and then claim to the people, ‘Jesus was raised up from the dead.’ Then the final plot will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them: “You have a custodial guard. Go and make the security as you know how.” 66 These went their way and secured the grave, sealing the stone with the custodial guards.” (Mt 27:62-66 mhm)
In the stillness of the night, soldiers kept guard in front of the tomb.
The close friends of Jesus were not at all interested to take away Jesus’ body. For them, it was more important to have their master teacher buried according to Jewish customs and to pay him honour by mourning for him.
Around those apostles and friends of Jesus it had become very quiet. That moment of silence is in Belgium remembered by several churches as “Stille Zaterdag” or “Silent Saturday”. Some churches also call it “Holy Saturday” or the “Great Sabbath”, “Easter Eve” or even “Black Saturday” according to the custom that people were clothed in black when in mourning and that we now had to mourn for the death of Jesus.
The followers of Christ were sad they had lost their master and could not understand how the one they thought was going to save them from the Roman oppression, was now impaled and could not do anything anymore, because he was under the dead. In the Jewish faith (as in our faith), dead people can do nothing anymore, because their corps disintegrates to become dust.
“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ec 9:5 NIV)
They did not forget Jesus so quickly, though the religious leaders would have loved to see that happen. Those religious leaders and their disgust for Jesus were enough to hide and to keep themselves quiet. Their fear of coming out in public was to stay like that until the day of the festival of Pentecost.
The apostles knew how Joseph from Arimathea had given his own prepared sepulchre so that Jesus could be buried there. Having received a place in that rich man’s grave Isaiah’s prophecy became fulfilled.
“He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isa 53:9 NIV)
“As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.” (Mt 27:57 NIV)
“So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.” (Mr 15:46 NIV)
“At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no-one had ever been laid.” (Joh 19:41 NIV)
The women had balsamed Jesus and wrapped him in a linen cloth before they laid him in the tomb which had been cut out of a rock for Jesus’ (secret) follower Joseph. They were fully aware that there was rolled a stone against the door of the tomb and that soldiers were guarding the sepulchre.
They could stay inside with confidence, with the assurance that their master would not be done about it now and that no one could steal his body.
The felt very sad because they had lost the one in whom they trusted so much. On him who they hung their very hope, their everything. They were so sure he was going to lead them to a new kingdom and be their king. Now they came to see those Romans still governing over the Jews.
Many of them forsook all to follow him. They left their trade and day by day they were with the man they believed to be the Messiah. But now all their hope seemed to have gone. There was no Messiah any more because their master was dead. Would the sayings of some be true, and had they all the time followed a con-man, a charlatan or defrauder?
How could an eternal Kingdom now be established?
Those who had seen how Jesus was hanged, wept and wondered how it would go with them and what would happen with their dreams and hope they so deeply felt.
They had heard so many stories from their master about him going to build a new temple and to restore God’s Kingdom and how we had to be patient and wait for God to intervene. How could this now fit the plan about which Jesus spoke so many times? Could it be true, that that man from Nazareth was just a good storyteller and was fooling so many?
For the close followers of Christ there was a lot of disappointment. For them this could not be the plan to see perfection torn to shreds, to bury a breathless body in forged out stone to fit the one they thought was the beloved son of God. They did not understand this way of God’s handling, letting His son be killed in such a manner. At that time they perhaps forgot how Jesus had spoken of the Lamb of God and the need for him to bring the sacrificial offering as a ransom for all.
“The next day John saw Jesus approaching, and he said: “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world of humankind!” (Joh 1:29 mhm)
For them it was a real sad Passover, them not seeing yet Christ was the new Passover lamb. Several days later they would come to understand ho Jesus was a very special lamb, his bloodshed being the part of whitewashing our sins.
“Purge out the old leaven that you may be a new mixture as you may become unleavened. For, surely, Christ our Passover was sacrificed!” (1Co 5:7 mhm)
“but rather with the precious blood of an unblemished and spotless Lamb –Christ’s.” (1Pe 1:19 mhm)
Many churches remember that day after Jesus death where the apostles were mourning with other friends and beloved ones of Christ. For some, it looked like the darkest of all nights because all their hope seemed to gone up in smoke.
“1 Now after six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John (the brother of James) and ascended with them to a very secluded place on a tall mountain. 2 And right before them Jesus was metamorphosed–his face illuminated like the sun and his cloak as white light. 3 And, look! they could see Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus.” (Mt 17:1-3 mhm)
“5 Yet while Peter was talking, look! a shining cloud rested over them, and, look! a Voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son whom I approve–listen to him.” 6 Now, hearing this the disciples were frightened and fell on their faces. 7 Jesus approached the disciples and touching them, he said, “Rise and do not be afraid.”8 But, when the disciples looked up they saw nothing but Jesus himself. 9 Now while descending the mountain Jesus charged the three disciples: “Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Humankind is raised from among those dead.” (Mt 17:5-9 mhm)
They remembered that Jesus spoke about him being raised from the dead, so they wondered, could that really happen? In the silence of the night, they waited for a miracle to happen and wondered how Jesus could have life in him and could give life to others, when he was now under the dead.
They kept believing Jesus was the sent one from God and believed also he was the beloved son of God. Today there are still lots of people who call themselves Christian, but do not believe that Jesus is that son of God who died for our sins. That is a shame, and that brings us also to mourn for those lost souls who do not want to believe in Jesus, him being able to bring us closer to his heavenly Father, the God of Israel and the God of Jesus and his disciples.
“I tell you this truth: The person who listens to my word and continues to believe in the One who sent me possesses endless Life. And so that person does not come into condemnation, but has crossed over from the Death unto the Life.” (Joh 5:24 mhm)
“For just as the Father has Life within Himself, so also He gave to the Son to have Life within himself.” (Joh 5:26 mhm)
“I know You always hear me. But, because of the crowd standing around I said this so that they should believe that You sent me forth.”” (Joh 11:42 mhm)
“Jesus said to Thomas: “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can approach the Father, if not through me.” (Joh 14:6 mhm)
We too when we remember Christ’s death can think about his ransom offering and how by his blood could come liberation to us. Like the apostles sometimes doubted, we do that as well. It is part of life and part of our imperfection and part of our not yet mature faith in Jesus and his God.
A pity that even when we live in the aftermath of the resurrection there are still so many who do not want to believe that it was the son of man and son of God who really died (remember God cannot die) and who was taken out of the dead. We know today that what we celebrate at Pascha and remember what happened on that third day after Jesus’ death, is the promise, bore witness to by the Spirit, that we who believe will one day be raised with him. And that is our consolation and Blessed Hope.
After several centuries there have come many false prophets and teachers, trying to bring people away from God and from His well beloved son. They have told people that they would not be able to understand the Scriptures on their own. And many believe that and prefer following the human doctrines instead of taking the words of the Bible for what they say and to go by the biblical doctrines.
Mankind now is in such darkness and silence as it was the days before Jesus his resurrection.
Three days after the death of Christ came a big change for the apostles, bringing not only disbelief and wonder but also a renewed hope. (That is for next chapters.)
- Biblical Yeshua/ Jesus or Another European Greco- Roman Jesus ??
- Jesus son of God
- Jesus son of God or God the son
- Jesus Christ, his Mission, Life and Work
- Spoken in the name of Jehovah God for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience
- Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
- Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
- A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
- The Last Supper was a Passover meal
- Inauguration of the New Covenant
- The New Covenant Victim and Mediator
- Not dragged unwillingly to death
- The day Jesus died
- Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
- Crucifixion for suffering
- A perfect life, obedient death, and glorious resurrection
- On god the son
- Beloved son
- Another Son of God? Pilate’s Tiberieum at Caesarea Maritima
- Why is Jesus called the “Son of God” in the Bible?
- Like a Lamb to the Slaughter
- The Passover Lamb
- Silent Saturday
- Silent Saturday – Many call today silent Saturday. “nothing” happens in the Biblical text between the Friday crucifixion and Sunday’s resurrection, and yet this silence encapsulates much of our lives today.
Silent Saturday – For the first time in decades, it seems like the world has gone quiet… no more major sporting events, concerts canceled, and Late Night T.V. hosts are home in their pajamas watching the television
- A Silenter Night
- Animating The Atonement (Where the Beams Meet)
- Jesus is Dead: What’s Next? Hopelessness or Hope?
- Sound of silence
- The Silence of Saturday
- Prayer for Holy Saturday
- Waiting for God
- Understanding the Passover and Good Friday
- 2020 Vision: Pacem
- Let’s Go TO and FROM Bethlehem: Preparing
- Breaking Bread in Our Homes… Passover 2020
- Pandemic 2020-vision: The Tomb