Page 29 - A True Gospel Chronology from the Crucifixion to the Resurrection
P. 29

 "they be not obliged to go before any judge on the sabbath day, nor on the day of preparation to it, after the ninth hour." (Josephus, XVI, 6.2)
From this, we can see that preparation not only referred generally to the whole day before Sabbath, but specifically meant according to Jewish reckoning, from the ninth hour to sunset.
It should also be noted that every occurrence of the word preparation in the NT, where it refers to the time before a sabbath, is used in connection with this period of burying the body of Jesus. It is never used in connection with an obvious reference to the weekly Sabbath, but only this sabbath of the Fifteenth.
The burial of Jesus' body. At this time of year (early April), sunset is around 7 p.m. The burial team had at most three hours to take the body down from the cross,12 prepare it for burial and place it in the tomb. The women who followed Jesus accompanied the burial team to the gravesite.
While they were preparing the body, "a Sabbath was commencing." They likely had just placed the body in the tomb, as the sun sank below the horizon, beginning the Sabbath of the Fifteenth of Abib. (Lk. 23:54)
The Women
After placing the body in the tomb, and putting the stone in place, the burial team departed, except for the women. They remained at the tomb, while a sabbath had already begun. This is very important in the scheme of things.
(Mt. 27:60-61)
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
12 allowing for the time it would have taken for Joseph to deal with the red-tape of Roman bureaucracy, in requesting Jesus' body

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