This week has been a series on the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, known as Holy Week or Passion Week. Yesterday was Good Friday, which commemorates the day of His crucifixion.
The chief priests knew Jesus had predicted He would die then rise on the third day. They appealed to Pilate to post guards at the tomb, so that Jesus’ disciples couldn’t come steal His body and make everyone believe He had risen. Pilate agreed, and Roman soldiers stood guard. These were well-trained, strong, disciplined men. There was no way the disciples could have overtaken them, and no danger of the guards neglecting their duties. To fall asleep on the job would have been a very serious offense, possibly punished by execution. Jesus’ body was safe.
Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. Beginning at sundown on Friday, there were very strict regulations on what could and couldn’t be done. Normally, the body would be prepared for burial with spices before being laid in the tomb. However, it was almost sundown. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee had gathered the spices necessary to prepare His body, but there was no time. They would have to return after the Sabbath to finish the ritual. Just another significant part of God’s ultimate plan.
Do you ever think of the details that seem small, but are so important? For years, I didn’t realize that the women coming back to the tomb on another day was unusual. If they had been able to properly prepare Jesus’ body on Friday, there would have been no reason for them to show up on Sunday to find the empty tomb. God’s ways are amazing!
Have a blessed & beautiful day!