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    “Your hour and the power of darkness.”
                FRIDAY                  SATURDAY                       SUNDAY        
          1st of the 3 days.           2nd of the 3 days.               3rd of the 3 days. 
    ==========         =========              ==========
     NIGHT.           DAY.          NIGHT.           DAY.       NIGHT.              DAY.
    ==========                      =========                    ==========  
    | 6th Day of Week.                | 7th Day of Week.           | 1st Day of Week.          |  

    EXPLANATION. - First, The figure “1” marks the betrayal, near the beginning of the sixth day of the week. Second, The figure “2” marks the trial, to the third hour of the daylight part of the same day. Third, The figure “3” marks the crucifixion, from the third to the ninth hour of the sixth day. Fourth, The figure “4” marks the burial, between the ninth hour and the close of the day. Fifth, The figure “5” marks the rest in the tomb during the night and day of the seventh day, and the night of the first day. Sixth, The figure “6” marks the resurrection, early the first day of the week. Mark 16:9.DCRC 14.1

    When Christ said to the chief priests and captains of the temple, who had come out to take him, “This is your hour and the power of Darkness” (Luke 22:52, 53), he set apart a peculiar period in his experience during which he was in the hands of men. This was the time when he was “in the heart of the earth.” It began with his betrayal, at the beginning of the sixth day, and ended with the resurrection on the morning of the first day of the week. Thus it will be seen that all was in strict accordance with the Jewish manner of reckoning time, as in Genesis 42:17, 18; 2 Chronicles 10:5, 12; Esther 4:16; 5:1; and with the manner in which both Christ and Paul reckoned the third day (Luke 13:31, 32; Acts 27:18, 19); and with Christ’s repeated declarations that on the third day after his betrayal into the hands of men, followed by his suffering and death, he would rise again.DCRC 14.2

    It has now been shown, in opposition to the seventy-two-hour theory, that the expression “three days and three nights,” does not necessarily mean seventy-two hours, and that the expression, “the heart of the earth,” does not mean the grave. The principal proof text, therefore (Matthew 12:40), which is relied upon to prove that Christ was crucified Wednesday and rose on the Sabbath, utterly fails, in every way, to sustain that proposition.DCRC 15.1

    It has also been shown that as the expression, “the heart of the earth,” is used in that text in a figurative sense, the most natural application is to consider it as simply denoting the dominion of wicked men, to which Christ was for a time subjected, beginning with his betrayal, Thursday evening, and ending with that auspicious hour when the guards who were watching him in the tomb, were struck to the earth as dead men by the power of his resurrection, on the morning of the first day of the week.DCRC 15.2

    The time covered by this application reaches to the middle of the third day (using the word “day” here in its broadest sense) from the time these things began to transpire; or, dividing the time into its dark and light parts, it gives us two full days and three full nights, to the growing dawn of the third day, answering completely to the manner in which the Hebrews reckoned time, according to the examples given us in the Scriptures. See again the foregoing diagram.DCRC 15.3

    It now remains to look at the direct testimony of the evangelists upon these points.DCRC 15.4

    It is claimed that Matthew 28:1 positively affirms that Christ rose on the Sabbath. The common version reads: “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” The Greek reads, “Opse de sabbaton te epiphoskouse eis mian sabbaton.” The Revised Version reads, “Now late on the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” The subsequent narrative states that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, coming at this time to the sepulcher, found that the Lord had arisen; and if this visit was made before the close of the Sabbath, of course the resurrection of Christ occurred upon that day.DCRC 15.5

    The argument on this point is made to turn on the little Greek word “opse.” This, it is claimed, always means “late,” and never, “after,” hence the passage cannot mean “after the Sabbath.” Thus Mr. Wardner, in his tract to which reference has been made, p. 7, says: -DCRC 16.1

    Matthew 28:1, says, ‘Late on the Sabbath day, he was risen.’ Here the Greek ‘opse’ is used to represent the closing moments of the Sabbath. It literally means ‘late,’ and when used with ‘hemera’ (day), means late in the day. See Liddell and Scott. ‘Opse’ is invariably used in Scripture, to represent ‘evening,’ and ‘proi’ to represent ‘morning’ and they are never used interchangeably.”DCRC 16.2

    He then refers, in proof of this last statement, to Mark 11:19, 20; 13:35; and to the Septuagint of Genesis 24:11; Exodus 30:7, 8; and Isaiah 5:11. But in these references he seems to have overlooked the fact that in all these instances the construction in which the word is used is not like that in Matthew 28:1; and he has thus attempted the unscholarly feat of determining the meaning of “opse,” in one construction, by its definition in another and altogether different construction. Matthew 28:1 is peculiar; the word is there used with the genitive case; and no other instance of the kind occurs in the New Testament. Mr. W. notices this, and says: “‘opse,’ with a substantive in the genitive case, as in Matthew 28:1, always means late in the period spoken of, and never means ‘after’!”DCRC 16.3

    For so sweeping a statement, this is very positive, and ought to have been backed up by competent evidence, other than the bare assertion of the affirmant. Let us see what others have to say upon this point.DCRC 16.4

    Robinson, in his Greek lexicon of the New Testament, gives the following as the definition of the word “opse” when used with a genitive: -DCRC 16.5

    “2. With a genitive, i.q., at the end of, at the close of, after. Matthew 28:1, opse de sabbaton, ... at the end of the Sabbath, i.e., after the Sabbath, the Sabbath being now ended, i.q., Mark 16:1, diagenomenou tou sabbaton. For the genitive, see Buttm., 132, 5. b.”DCRC 17.1

    In his note on Matthew 28:1, Dr. Clarke says: -DCRC 17.2

    “[In the end of the Sabbath] opse de sabbatōn. After the end of the week; this is the translation given by several eminent critics; and in this way the word “opse” is used by the most eminent Greek writers. Thucydides, lib. iv., chap. 93, tēs hēmeras opse ēn — the day was ended. Plutarch, opse tōn basileōs chronōnafter the times of the kings. Philostratus, opse tōn Troikōnafter the Trojan war. See Rosenmuller.”DCRC 17.3

    Bloomfield’s Greek Testament, on Matthew 28:1, says: -DCRC 17.4

    “[Opse de Sabb.] This must, with Krebs, Wahl., Tittm., Kuin., and Fritz, be explained, ‘after the Sabbath,’ i.e., as Mark more clearly expresses it, diagenomenou tou sabbaton [the Sabbath being past] which must determine the sense here. Of this signification the commentators adduce examples from Philostratus, Plutarch, Aelian, and Xenophon.”DCRC 17.5

    Olshausen on Matthew 28:1 says: -DCRC 17.6

    “As respects first the fixing of the dates, the expression ‘diagenomenou tou sabbaton’ in Mark 16:1 serves to explain the opse sabbatōn in Matthew. For instance, sabbaton = [Heb.] shabbath, also in the plural (ta sabbata), was used for the one day of Sabbath. (Compare the Septuagint version of Exodus 20:10, and Leviticus 23:32.) ‘opse’ is, however, used in the sense of ‘after.’ It occurs, indeed, in the New Testament only here; but it occurs also in this signification in profane writers. (Compare Philostratus, Vit. Apoll. iv. 18, opse musteriōnafter the mysteries.’ Thucyd. iv. 93. AElian V. H. ii. 23.”DCRC 17.7

    These authorities all speak particularly of the use of “opse” with a genitive, as in Matthew 28:1; and they say that in such constructions it has the meaning of “at the close of, after;” and they refer to the works of old standard Greek writers, as Philostratus, Plutarch, AElian, and Xenophon, as evidence that the word can be used in such a sense. In view of these facts, what becomes of Mr. W. ’s assertion that “opse,” with a substantive in the genitive case, as in Matthew 28:1, always means late in the period spoken of, and never means “after”? Does he know better how the Greek language should be used than did Plutarch or Xenophon?DCRC 17.8

    But it may be said that Liddell and Scott do not give this definition to the word; and we may add, neither do the lexicons of Donnegan and Parkhurst. But they do not say that it cannot have this meaning; and the only inference is that in giving their definitions, they did not make them broad enough to cover all the uses of the word as it actually appears in Greek writers. Greenfield and Bagster both define “ ‘opse sabbaton,’ after the close of the Sabbath. Matthew 28:1.”DCRC 17.9

    Another word in the sentence confirms the view that it applies to a time when the Sabbath was past. That word is “epiphōskousē,” from “epiphōskō,” translated, “as it began to dawn.” The root of this word is “phōs,” which means “light.” The light of the sun and the light of the day, is, of course, the leading idea contained in the word. The verb epiphōskō,” signifies the transition from darkness to daylight. It applies, primarily, therefore, to the morning. Liddell and Scott give it this one definition, “to grow toward daylight.” Other lexicographers, in addition to this, give it a tropical meaning, signifying the “commencement” of the day, at whatever time that might be reckoned. The Jews reckoned the day as beginning at sunset. Hence the word is once applied to the day so beginning, as in Luke 23:54: “The Sabbath drew on.” And this text and Matthew 28:1, are the only instances where the word is used in the New Testament.DCRC 18.1

    Its use in Luke 23:54, to denote the coming on of the Sabbath, which began at sunset, is easily accounted for. As the word “day” is ordinarily applied to the light part of the twenty-four hours, and as the word “epiphōskō” signifies the commencement, or opening of that part, it would naturally come to be used, under a figurative meaning, of the commencement of the day in its broader sense, whether that day began at sunset, as with the Jews, or at midnight, as with the Romans. But of course the primary sense should be given it wherever possible. The seventy-two-hour theorists think they have a straight reading when they render “opse” “late,” and read it, “Late on the Sabbath, as the first day drew on.” But we take our stand a few hours later, translate “opse” “after,” as it means when used, as here, with the genitive, and give “epiphōskousē” its primary signification; and then we have, “After the Sabbath, as it began to grow toward daylight on the first day of the week.” This is a less forced reading than the other, and agrees with Greek usage and with the records of the other evangelists, as we shall see.DCRC 18.2

    The reader did not fail to notice the testimony of Robinson, Bloomfield, and Olshausen; that the testimony of Mark 16:1 is parallel with that of Matthew 28:1; and that the explicit and definite statement given by Mark must determine the sense of the passage in Matthew. But Mark says directly: -DCRC 19.1

    “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.”DCRC 19.2

    Our friends endeavor to get over this passage by claiming that the visit to the sepulcher recorded by Matthew was not the same as the one here recorded by Mark. Matthew, they say, speaks of a visit at the close of the Sabbath, and Mark of a visit the next morning, the first day of the week. But all are obliged to admit that the same individuals are spoken of in both records. Thus Matthew says that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulcher.DCRC 19.3

    “And. behold, there was [margin, had been] a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.”DCRC 19.4

    Mark says that Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James (the same Marys that Matthew speaks of), and Salome, came early on the first day of the week, and, intending to anoint him, queried among themselves who should roll the stone away from the door of the sepulcher for them. Now, if this was a subsequent visit to that recorded in Matthew, we have a tremendous absurdity to wrestle with: we have to explain how the two Marys could go to the sepulcher before the close of the Sabbath, late Sabbath afternoon, in broad daylight, find the stone rolled away and the sepulcher empty, meet an angel who expressly says to them, He is not here; for he has risen, and tells them to go and make it known to the disciples; and then as they return, meet Jesus, receive his welcome, All hail! and hold him by the feet and worship him; and then, after passing through this thrilling experience, go back stupidly to the sepulcher the next morning, expecting to find Jesus there, and to embalm his body, and wondering who would roll the stone away for them!DCRC 19.5

    Mr. Wardner endeavors to surmount this difficulty in the following unique style. After referring to the unbelief of the disciples in regard to the resurrection of Christ, he says: -DCRC 20.1

    “Now if the combined testimony of Peter and John and the two brethren who went to Emmaus and the personal demonstrations of Christ himself in their presence, could not convince those apostles that what they themselves saw and handled was anything but a spirit, until Christ ate before them, is it strange that Mary Magdalene should, by them, be made to doubt the literal reality of what she saw and heard on her first visit to the tomb? She probably had no more idea that he was to rise from the dead than they had, and was as much inclined to believe in spirit manifestations and visions as they; and when they all united in scouting the reality of what she reported, and insisted that it was simply a vision, she would naturally doubt her own senses, as they doubted theirs, and hence her visit to the tomb, the next morning, while yet dark (John 20:1), to satisfy herself whether or not it was a reality.”DCRC 20.2

    Now we submit that this explanation is a little hard on those good women. If some of the brethren were “fools, and slow of heart to believe,” it is no reason why the same state of mind should be charged upon the sisters. And there is not a hint in all the record that any of the women ever disbelieved, after they had seen him, or the fact of his resurrection had been announced to them. Neither did the brethren disbelieve after they had seen him. It was only before they had had a chance to settle the question by the evidence of their own senses, that they doubted; but when they had seen him (as it is claimed the Marys saw him at the close of the Sabbath), that settled the matter, and they were then ready to exclaim, “The Lord is risen indeed!” Luke 24:34. There is only one text which has any semblance of opposition to this view; and that is Luke 24:41: “And while they yet believed not for joy.” But this does not imply any settled unbelief, but only that they felt that what they saw before them, was, as we sometimes express it at the present time, “too good to be true.” Under these circumstances, to represent Mary Magdalene as being reasoned out of her own senses, or as being persuaded to believe that God (or the devil? which?) had given her a spirit manifestation, setting forth what was not true; and on the strength of it, she had been telling the brethren a lie, that the Lord was risen when he was not - it is too preposterous for a moment’s credence.DCRC 20.3

    Two other absurdities are involved in the view that the narrative of Matthew 28, antedates that of the other evangelists, he recording what took place at the close of the Sabbath, and they, what occurred the following morning. These absurdities are, -DCRC 21.1

    1. When Jesus arose, some of the watch immediately hastened to the chief priests, and told them what had occurred. Matthew 28:11. The priests advised them to account for the absence of Jesus from the tomb (first discovered at the close of the day, Sabbath, remember) by saying that the disciples came by night, and stole him away while they slept. Verse 13. “Came by night.” That must have been, then, the night before, and they were then asleep, and hadn’t waked up enough to discover that the body was gone till the close of the following day! No wonder they were afraid their heads would come off over such a story! A position involving the narrative in such an absurdity will never answer.DCRC 21.2

    2. According to this position, the two Marys (of whom Mary Magdalene was one) met the risen Saviour at the close of the Sabbath, and held him by the feet and worshiped him. Matthew 28:9. But Mary Magdalene, according to John (20:1-17), met the Saviour on the morning of the first day of the week; and as she was about to worship him, he said to her, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” Now it is absurd to suppose that he would permit her, at the close of the Sabbath (as it is claimed that Matthew declares), to hold him by the feet and worship him; and yet the next morning, as John testifies, refuse to permit her to touch him, because he had not yet ascended to his Father.DCRC 21.3

    The language employed by Matthew in verse 1, is entirely in harmony with the idea that the Sabbath was fully past when the events which he records took place, and some, at least, of the circumstances were such that it is utterly absurd to suppose they could have transpired before the close of the Sabbath.DCRC 21.4

    But it is said that Matthew’s record does not agree with that of the other evangelists, in that he states a number of particulars which they do not mention; and therefore he must refer to a different visit to the sepulcher, from the ones which the others record.DCRC 22.1

    But this does not by any means follow. Several witnesses may describe the same scene, and neither of them record what the others mention: yet it cannot be said that there is any discrepancy or disagreement between them, unless what one says would make it impossible that what the others say could be true. And this is recognized as a legitimate principle in harmonizing the records of the evangelists. One writer may state particulars not mentioned by another; but that does not discredit his own testimony, nor prove the other untrue. Thus Matthew (chap. 28:1) says that the two Marys came to the sepulcher. Mark (chap. 16:1) says that Salome was with them. But the fact that Matthew did not see fit to mention her name, does not prove that she could not have been there at the time that he speaks of, and therefore does not prove that Matthew must have referred to a different occasion from that recorded by Mark. So Matthew speaks of the earthquake which had taken place before the Marys reached the sepulcher, the descent of the angel, the prostration of the soldiers who were guarding the tomb, their report to the priests, and the story which the latter invented to try to cover up the truth. But there is nothing in the records of the other evangelists to show that any or all these things might not have happened in close connection with what they relate, they simply choosing to dwell upon other particulars. Nothing further need be said on this point.DCRC 22.2

    We now come to what we offer as positive testimony that Christ did rise upon the first day of the week. It is the testimony of Mark 16:9: -DCRC 22.3

    “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”DCRC 22.4

    On this point Mr. Wardner remarks: -DCRC 23.1

    Mark 16:9 is quoted to prove that Christ rose on first-day morning; but he says no such thing. He says that Christ ‘was risen’ at that time, without intimating when he rose.”DCRC 23.2

    We suppose he is aware that the word “risen” is simply the second aorist participle, and would be properly rendered, “Now Jesus having risen,” instead of “Now when Jesus was risen.” His position here reminds us of that of the Sunday Sabbatarian on Acts 20:7. That text reads, “And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread,” etc. Here, says the Sunday-keeper, the expression, “when they came together,” denotes repeated and customary action. But, we reply, the Greek has simply the noun and its participle - “the disciples having come together” - denoting only an incidental meeting.DCRC 23.3

    The construction of Mark 16:9 is similar; and if we read it, “Now Jesus having risen early the first day of the week,” there would hardly seem to be any room to question the meaning of the passage. Such is the reading; and such we believe to be the plain intent of the passage; namely, to declare explicitly that Jesus rose on the first day of the week; and no criticism that we have yet seen seems sufficient to overthrow it. Meyer, to be sure, endeavors to throw the passage away by making it apocryphal. He argues that the latter part of Mark 16, beginning with verse 9, is an interpolation by some other person, and was not written by Mark. But this is sufficiently refuted by Lange, on the authority of the great majority of eminent critics, who consider this portion of Mark’s Gospel as genuine as any other part of it.DCRC 23.4

    In regard to the construction of verse 9, Meyer declares that it is impossible to tell whether the adverb “proi” (early) qualifies the participle “anastas” (having risen) or the verb, “ephane” (appeared) as found in the sentence, “he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.” This being so, and the construction admitting of either application, we are thrown back upon the sense of the whole passage to determine which it is. The adverb certainly qualifies one of those words, and it does not qualify them both. We must give it that application which will make the apostle’s statement most consistent and reasonable; and that will be the correct one.DCRC 23.5

    We have, then, before us on this point, two positions: one class hold that the adverb qualifies “appeared;” and they would read the passage thus: “Now when Jesus was risen [some time in the past], he appeared early the first day of the week to Mary Magdalene first.” This is the position of those who deny that Christ rose on the first day of the week. Thus Mr. Wardner says: -DCRC 24.1

    “Mark’s statement is explained by what John says (chap. 20:1-18), who describes a second visit of Mary Magdalene in the morning, while yet dark, to whom Christ again appeared, before he did to any one else that day.”DCRC 24.2

    The other position is that the adverb “early” qualifies the participle “having risen;” and those who hold this view would read the passage substantially as it is in our common version. “Now Jesus having risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene;” not merely first on that early portion of the first day of the week, but first after his resurrection; that is, he rose early on the first day of the week, and first showed himself, after his resurrection, to Mary Magdalene.DCRC 24.3

    Now which of these is the more consistent view? The answer to this question we are willing to leave to the candid judgment of any reader who will give the subject a little careful thought. We can easily see that some importance attaches to the fact of Christ’s first appearance, and that there is some reason why it should be expressly revealed to whom he first appeared. But where is there the least shadow of reason for stating to whom he appeared first on some particular portion of the day, as the early part of the first day of the week, especially since it is claimed that he had already appeared to the same party the evening before! If it is so important a matter to tell to whom he appeared first, on the different divisions of the day, why does the record not state to whom he appeared first, at the third or sixth or ninth hours of the day? It would be just as important to know these facts, as the one which, it is claimed, is so particularly revealed.DCRC 24.4

    We are referred to John 20, in explanation of Mark 16:9. But let us see how John’s record will compare with the interpretation given to Matthew 28, by the seventy-two-hour theorists. John says that Mary Magdalene came early the first day of the week to the sepulcher, and saw the stone taken away. She hastened back to Peter and John, and said unto them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him.” This is evidently the first intimation that Peter and John or any of the disciples had had of the matter. So Peter and John ran to the sepulcher. But she, it is claimed, had been to the sepulcher the night before (according to Matthew’s account), and found the stone rolled away, had seen an angel, who told her plainly that the Lord had risen, and then had met Jesus himself and recognized him, and held him by the feet and worshipped him, knowing of course that he was the Lord; and yet, going to the sepulcher the next morning, and seeing the stone taken away, she runs and reports that some one has stolen the Lord out of the sepulcher, and does not know where they have laid him! Mr. Wardner claims, as before noticed, that Mary Magdalene went to the sepulcher on first-day morning, expecting to find Christ there, because the disciples had reasoned her out of her own senses respecting her visit to the sepulcher and her interview with the angel and Christ the night before. But it appears from this record in John that she, strangely, had said not a word to the disciples about the wonderful scenes of the night before; and the first announcement she made to them was, when she saw the stone taken away the next morning, that some one had stolen the Lord out of the sepulcher! So she had not been reasoned with at all on the subject, and we must attribute her singular conduct to her own obliviousness. Strange that she should have forgotten that she had seen the stone rolled away the night before; had seen and talked with an angel; had met the Saviour and held him by the feet and worshiped him! If this is so, although Christ had cast seven devils out of her, there was still another left - a remarkable imp of forgetfulness! But we will not defame the fair memory of the devoted Mary, by any such unsupposable supposition.DCRC 25.1

    The record in John 20, does indeed agree with Mark 16:9. It shows that Mary Magdalene had not seen him before the first day of the week, and that she was the first one who did see him; and at that first revelation he could permit no one to touch him, because he had not then ascended to his Father. But in his then resumed, exalted, immortal nature, he could go and return more quickly than the angels, whose movements seemed to the prophet like a flash of lightning (Ezekiel 1:14); and we may suppose that he ascended to his Father, to receive his approval of his sacrifice, and was almost immediately again present on earth to receive the worship of the women (Matthew 28:9), who could now approach him freely, to show himself to all the other disciples, and talk to them more fully “of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3. And as we go back in imagination to that first-day morning, and consider what a morning it was to them of multiplying wonders, and joyful surprises; how they must have gone many times back and forth, singly and in groups, to the sepulcher, and iterated and reiterated to each other the wonderful tale, while they could scarcely believe their own senses, - it is easy to account for all that all the evangelists have written, and find a place for all which they have individually and collectively described, and even more. And it is certain that Mark declares that the rising of Jesus from the tomb was early on the first day of the week. Any other construction spoils the sense of the narrative.DCRC 26.1

    A few other statements demand a word of notice in this connection. John, in chapter 19:31, says; “The Jews, therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day (for that Sabbath day was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”DCRC 26.2

    From this we learn that the day following that upon which the Saviour died, was a sabbath, and an “high day,” or great day (Gr. megale hemera). Those who place the crucifixion of Christ on Wednesday, have this sabbath come on Thursday, and consist exclusively of the passover sabbath. But there was nothing connected with any passover sabbath alone, to entitle it to that designation. Among the annual sabbaths, the day of atonement was the leading day, not the passover. But if the passover sabbath and the weekly Sabbath then came together on the same day, that fact would bring all the ceremonies of the passover sabbath, and the extra sacrifices and services of the weekly Sabbath together, and make the day a great day. On no other supposition than that they did thus come together at this time, can that expression be accounted for. This would make Friday to be the day of the crucifixion, and the day following, that is, the weekly Sabbath, to be the passover sabbath also.DCRC 26.3

    The day of the crucifixion is in several instances called the day of “the preparation,” and generally the “preparation of the Sabbath.” Luke 23:54: “And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.” The women then saw how the body was laid, and (verse 56) “returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” What Sabbath? -Evidently the one which followed the “preparation” in verse 54, and which was “drawing on,” when they took the Saviour down from the cross. Now, if we apply this to the passover sabbath, we must surrender verse 56 as applying to the weekly Sabbath, which is one of the best texts for the perpetuity of the fourth commandment, in all the New Testament. It is surprising that any Sabbath-keeper should be willing to give up this text.DCRC 27.1

    Mark 15:42: “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath.” This must be the weekly Sabbath; for the passover sabbath certainly would not be spoken of in this independent manner. It is the opinion of good critics, that the term, “the preparation,” does not apply to any feast sabbath, but to the weekly Sabbath alone. Thus Andrews (“Life of Our Lord,” p. 452) says: -DCRC 27.2

    “But the main reason that made a time of preparation necessary for the weekly Sabbath, was, that on that day no food could be prepared, whereas it could be upon a feast sabbath. Nor anywhere in Jewish history does the latter appear as equal to the former in sanctity and dignity. All labor but servile labor was then lawful. There seems, then, no good reason why every feast sabbath should have had its day of preparation; nor is there any proof of the fact.”DCRC 27.3

    On page 453, he adds: - “Thus we reach the result, that the term ‘preparation,’ ‘paraskeue,’ is never applied, so far as we know, to any day preceding a feast, but is applied by the Evangelists, by Josephus, and by the Rabbis, to the day before the Sabbath. Recurring weekly, this would readily become the current designation of the sixth day, and equivalent to its proper name, or to our Friday.”DCRC 28.1

    John once uses the word “preparation” in connection with the passover. Thus in chapter 19:14, he says: “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, ‘Behold your King.” Such an expression as this is easily accounted for from the fact that they did, on the fourteenth day of the month, prepare the lamb for the passover, and so we find the expression, “prepare the passover,” several times used. But this evidently has reference only to the preparation of the lamb to be eaten that evening, and is a very different thing from setting apart a day to be called “the preparation day,” with reference to a rest and holy convocation to occur on the following day. On this point we quote again from Andrews, p. 453: -DCRC 28.2

    “It is insisted that the nature of this preparation is expressly defined by the addition, ‘of the passover,’ and cannot, therefore,refer to the weekly Sabbath. But if ‘paraskeue’ is used as equivalent to Friday, it would simply mean that this was the Friday of the passover, or the preparation day for that Sabbath that occurred during the paschal week.”DCRC 28.3

    This is certainly a reasonable explanation; and, taken in this sense, the expression, “preparation of the passover,” would not have been used, had not the rest-day of that passover fallen upon the weekly Sabbath. Thus the evidence still stands good, that the day of the crucifixion was the preparation day; and the preparation day was the day before the weekly Sabbath.DCRC 28.4

    But it is objected that this could not have been the day before the Sabbath, because the women would not have had time to prepare their spices and ointments (Luke 23:56) between the death of Christ and the close of the day. Let us see. It was but little past the ninth hour when Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” and bowing his head, expired. Luke 23:44-46. This was about three o’clock in the afternoon. Between that and sunset they had nearly three hours, and the city, where all necessary articles could be procured, was nigh at hand. This would seem to be ample time for what they had to do; and this will appear still more evident, when we consider what others did do: 1. After Jesus was dead, Joseph went into the city, found Pilate in his palace, and obtained leave to care for the body of Jesus. John 19:38. 2. Nicodemus came with a mixture of aloes and myrrh, about an hundred pounds’ weight. Verse 39. Where did he get this? He certainly did not carry that amount around with him. He must have gone into the city, after Jesus expired, and bought those spices, and returned to the cross, and that, too, before the body was taken down. John 19:39, 40. 3. After Joseph obtained permission to take charge of the body, he bought the fine linen in which it was to be shrouded for the tomb. Mark 15:46.DCRC 28.5

    Now if these noble men had time, as the record says they did, to go into the city, and make these purchases, and duly robe the body in the linen with the myrrh and aloes, the women had time also to purchase and compound the spices and ointments which they designed afterward to use. But if they did not have time to complete the work before the Sabbath, there was still time in the evening following the Sabbath, to make additional purchases, and to finish the preparations. And the record in Mark would indicate that though they had prepared spices, etc., before the Sabbath, as Luke (chap. 23:56) declares, they also made other purchases, after the Sabbath; for he says: “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought [Greek, 1st aorist tense, simple past, bought, not had bought] sweet spices that they might come and anoint him.” This was before any one had been to the sepulcher; but having completed their preparations, early the next morning they repaired to the sepulcher, bearing their spices with them. Luke 24:1. Thus this objection to the view that Jesus was crucified on Friday, disappears.DCRC 29.1

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