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Bible verses about Preparation Day
(From Forerunner Commentary)

All four gospel writers mention that Jesus was tried, convicted, crucified, and buried on a preparation day. Without any further clarification, one would assume that they meant a Friday, the weekly preparation day before the Sabbath. But can other days be considered preparation days as well?

Yes, indeed! God Himself gave the instructions about the use of the preparation day to the Israelites before they reached Mount Sinai (Exodus 16:23). The Jews later considered this to be so important that they made sure each of the holy days, which are also Sabbaths, was preceded by a preparation day. Since the holy days can fall on any day of the week, the preparation day can fall on any day of the week as well.

This is very relevant to the Passover. Not only is the Passover a festival in its own right, it also functions as the preparation day for a holy day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. According to the calculated Hebrew Calendar, Passover can fall on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Sabbath.

Clearly, our Savior was crucified on a Passover day (Matthew 26:2). Thus, it was on one of these days of the week that Jesus was killed and buried.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'After Three Days'


 

The Boy Scouts have as their motto, "Be Prepared." This principle has physically saved many lives over the years and is a good principle for us to keep in mind during our spiritual development for the Kingdom. Yet, more specifically, how does it apply to the Sabbath? Are we preparing for this day—or do we suddenly find ourselves in it, as if we have suddenly fallen through a trap door into another world?

It seems that many times we rush frantically to complete our work or our projects past the proper time, even though we know better. We fall into this habit mostly because we fail to plan ahead. If we take the time to plan, we can head down the exit ramp of our high-speed workweek into a calm, peaceful, productive twenty-four hours devoted to God and His way. Our minds will be clear and ready to be focused in the right direction.

William Gray
Sharpening Our Saws


 

The preparation day for the Sabbath is commanded just as surely as the Sabbath is. It does not have the same weight, as it were, because it is not part of "the big Ten" but it is certainly a valid attachment to the fourth commandment.

This is a particularly tricky concept for us, living in this time because it is possible for us to justify doing things on the Sabbath on the grounds that it is so easy now. Technology has come up with all kinds of automatic equipment to do things. We can flip a switch, and the machine is not "working." But what did God have in mind? Just remember that the Sabbath is the test Commandment! The test is to show whether we live by faith, that is, whether we believe God's Word.

God knows the end from the beginning, does He not? He surely knew that men would develop machines to cook and preserve food. Why did He establish the preparation principle? The issue is not merely the labor or the muscular energy expended. It is "the whole package" that God is concerned about. The bigger question is, "Why are we doing this?" What is our motivation and what purpose is being accomplished?

Why do we need this kind of training? God wants to train us so that we do not make bad judgments. He is preparing kings and priests for His Family (Revelation 5:10) for the World Tomorrow. Are we not prepared when Sabbath comes around because we have managed our week badly? Are we unprepared for the Sabbath because we are involved in things the other six days—and maybe especially on the preparation day—so that preparation is impossible? What kind of adjustments do we need to make?

It might be good to remember that the preparation day begins on Thursday night (as we look at it today), and it can provide time to prepare. God's intent is that we keep the Sabbath free from distractions that keep us from properly using it. The primary use of the day is to fellowship with Him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 5)


 

Exodus 16:4-5  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Clearly, God allows the people to gather manna on the first through sixth days of the week. However, on the sixth day He tells them to gather twice as much, as well as to prepare what they would eat on the seventh day. Historically, then, the day before a Sabbath (Friday) was a preparation day.

But is the preparation day only for weekly Sabbaths? No! From the example of the holy days (see the notes at Exodus 12:15-18), a preparation day can fall on any day except Saturday! The Passover itself occurs the day before the first day of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath, making it a preparation day.

Staff
Was Jesus Resurrected on Easter Sunday?


 

Exodus 16:23  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God has commanded that we do our heavy cooking—roasting, baking, boiling, broiling—on the day before the Sabbath. The command to do this is clear. It is interesting to think about how frequently men think that "what God says" does not really apply to them or that it does not matter. What they are doing is presuming to add or subtract from His Word.

God said that He was going to give Israel a test (Exodus 16:4). The test dealt with keeping the fourth commandment, the Sabbath. He wanted to see whether they would obey Him. He then commanded them to prepare for it, so that they could pass the test!

Does God mean what He says? He is serious enough about our keeping of the Sabbath that He added an additional commandment to make sure that we are prepared to keep it and thus pass the test. The test, then, is not whether we know about the Sabbath but how we keep it. To keep the Sabbath, we must prepare for it.

Whether or not we will live by God's Word depends upon our faith because, in reality, the test is of our faith. It tests whether we believe what God says. If we are depending only upon our eyes—our senses—we are quite limited. There are things we cannot see or hear that are very important to God. By appearance, the Sabbath is no different from any other day of the week. This means everybody is confronted by a test of faith in keeping it, and preparation is a key to keeping it properly.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 5)


 

Exodus 16:23  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Exodus 16 begins the miracle of the manna. Instructions were clearly given to Moses, which he in turn passed on to the children of Israel, about what they were supposed to do on Friday. They were to gather twice as much on Friday, because they were not to gather manna on the Sabbath day.

This principle is still in effect. We should not say that we do not have the time to prepare. If we lack the time to prepare, something is wrong with our use of the other six days of the week. Maybe our habits of organization and priorities need to be changed. The preparation day for the Sabbath begins at sunset on Thursday (since Friday is the preparation day, and the day begins at sunset). Meals can be prepared ahead of time, even including leafy salads. If they are prepared properly with fresh ingredients, they will be nice and crisp on the Sabbath day, twenty-four hours later. God says to prepare because He does not want ordinary weekday work done on the Sabbath day.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Sabbathkeeping (Part 4)


 

Leviticus 23:5  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

While the Passover is one of God's appointed times, it is not listed in Scripture as one of the annual Sabbaths. It is a regular day of work—in fact, it is the preparation day for the first day of Unleavened Bread—but the first few hours, the evening portion of the day, is a significant memorial of two great events in God's plan for mankind: the death of the firstborn in Egypt and the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The bulk of the instruction about the Passover is written in Exodus 12, and a great deal of it concerns the Old Testament ritual meal that was eaten on that evening. These details are types that were fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, so the New Testament church is no longer required to slay a lamb, since, as the apostle Paul writes, "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (I Corinthians 5:7).

The New Testament Passover is modeled after the events that occurred during what is commonly known as the Last Supper, the Passover meal that Jesus ate with His disciples just before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Jesus began His instruction that evening with a command to wash one another's feet: "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (see John 13:1-17), and so we do.

The apostle Paul summarizes what happens next:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (I Corinthians 11:23-25)

So, to commemorate His sacrifice—His broken body and His shed blood—by which He paid the penalty for human sin and consecrated the New Covenant (see Hebrews 9:11-28), Christians eat a little unleavened bread and drink a small amount of wine. In doing so, they acknowledge His sacrifice and rededicate themselves to their covenant with Him. It is clear from both the Old Testament and New Testament examples that only those who have made the covenant—Christ's disciples—are allowed to partake of the bread and wine, thus only baptized members should participate in this part of the service (see the principle in Exodus 12:43-49; also I Corinthians 11:27-29).

As Christ did after changing the Passover symbols, members of the church then listen to the words of Jesus' discourse to His disciples, which is found in John 13–17. Then, to close the service, they sing a hymn before concluding the solemn service (see Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
How Do We Keep God's Festivals?


 

Mark 15:42-46  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Several points stand out in this passage:

» Evening was beginning—at best Joseph had only about three hours before sunset, when the Sabbath would begin. The task of preparing and applying the spices for burial required work, which is expressly forbidden on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-10). Additionally, Deuteronomy 21:22-23 demands that an executed criminal be buried before nightfall, and the Jewish law of the time required all dead bodies to be buried before a Sabbath or a feast day (John 19:31).

» Before he could take the body down, Joseph had to go before Pilate and receive permission. At first Pilate did not believe Jesus had died so quickly, so he called the centurion of the crucifixion detail to verify it (Mark 15:44-45). This delay must have taken at least a half hour.

» After being granted the body, Joseph went to a local shop and bought several yards of fine linen in which to wrap Jesus. With the help of Nicodemus, he then took the body down, wrapped it in the linen—along with about a hundred pounds of spices—and placed it in the tomb (John 19:39-41).

With all this activity and work between the various locations, Joseph and Nicodemus must have had very little daylight left when they finally rolled the stone over the entrance to the tomb. On this point all the accounts again concur; sunset was very near (Matthew 27:57; Luke 23:54; John 19:31).

No one disputes that Jesus was laid "in the heart of the earth" at sunset. If, as we have shown, He was buried for exactly 72 hours, He was also resurrected at sunset—not at dawn!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'After Three Days'


 

Mark 15:42  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The name the Jews used for Friday, the sixth day of the week, was "Preparation Day." In the Greek language, this is true even today!

William Gray
Sharpening Our Saws


 

Luke 23:55-56  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

If we continue in Luke's account, we get the impression that the women hurried to a spice shop, bought the spices and oils, prepared them, and then rested on the Sabbath (verse 56). But we would be wrong!

We have to go to Mark 16:1 for some vital information: "Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him." Logistically, the sequence of events cannot be otherwise. If Joseph barely had time to bury Jesus' body before sundown, how much less time would the women have had to do all that they needed to do!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'After Three Days'


 

John 19:14  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The word "Passover" in this context requires some explanation. At some time before Christ's day, the Jews had begun calling the day of Passover and the following seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8) by the single name "Passover." This has caused great confusion for non-Jews, especially when they read the account of this particular Passover. But John 19:31 should clear up any confusion: "Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day) . . ."!

So, without a doubt, Jesus was crucified on a Passover day, Nisan 14, and the Sabbath that followed was the first day of Unleavened Bread, an annual holy day, a high day. This only makes sense, for the apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 5:7, "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us."

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'After Three Days'


 

Romans 13:11-14  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Paul is using the day/night metaphor here, but he switches them, and the night is far spent. The night is this period of time that we are living in—in the darkness of Satan's rule over the earth, under the governance of men, deceived by all the false religions, and so forth. But the teaching is exactly the same as John 9:4: that there is only so much time to get prepared for the Kingdom of God. We only have so much time to get prepared for the Sabbath. There is a powerful lesson here in regard to the preparation day.

It is reasonably clear that God has allotted six thousand-year days for man, and one thousand-year day for Himself. That time will be a rest for His Creation. We are near the end of the sixth thousand-year period, and the "day" is coming when no work can be done. For us, it will be, "That's all she wrote."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 5)


 

Find more Bible verses about Preparation day:
Preparation day {Nave's}
 




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