Day of Preparation
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
This small paragraph is a very interesting section in Jesus crucifixion story. It begins with something of an irony. The paragraph specifically mentions that it was the Preparation Day. This meant it was Friday, a day to prepare oneself for the Sabbath. This usually entailed, bathing, cleaning the house, preparing food for the next day and also your heart for the Sabbath. When you look at the religious leaders however, all they are preparing is to foil God’s plans through Jesus. How far they had walked away from God. Even dead, they feared the power of Jesus. They had seen the miracles and heard the messages. Deep down they knew he was who he was saying. That didn’t keep them from trying to stop Jesus and God.
The other really interesting part in this paragraph is that it clearly shows they knew what Jesus was trying to say while still alive. Jesus was killed for claiming to want to destroy the Temple. That was the main argument used against his in his trial. Yet here we are clearly shown that they knew that Jesus was talking about himself and his body when he spoke about the Temple. They understood the message even while many of the non-educated masses did not. This shows that they rejected Jesus, not through ignorance, but with full knowledge of the truth. They simply didn’t like the truth that Jesus was offering.
How weak these men of power seem. They fear the disciples, who at this point are already hiding themselves. Their insecurity is clearly seen by there desperate attempt to control the situation. Everything that Satan gives is false. His power is false. His security is false. His joy is false. These leaders chose what was false instead of what was real.
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
Pilate with his own false power agrees with the leaders and sends guard. They surround the tomb. They place a heavy rock at the entrance and seal it. They do everything a human can. It isn’t enough when put up in front of God. Friday is setting and dark but Sunday is coming…
Pr. Steven Couto