The timing of Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection is one of the strongest pieces of evidence proving that the Sabbath is on a Saturday and NOT a Sunday. Let’s take a look at the following text. The setting is immediately following the crucifixion. Jesus has just been taken down from the cross and put into a tombstone (or sepulcher).
“And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” -Luke 23:54-56
There are three days we need to examine closely.
1) The day when Jesus was crucified.
2) The day when Jesus lay in the tomb.
3) The day when Jesus was resurrected.
Before we proceed, a short reminder: Remember that the Hebrews, including today’s modern Jewish community, calculate a day as STARTING at sunset, and ending at the next sunset. The new day begins in the evening. This also means that the last supper Jesus had with his disciples occurred before sundown, in spite of what all the movies portray. This is important to understand when attempting to ascertain WHEN certain Biblical events occurred.
So what day did Jesus die on the cross?
People everywhere know that day as Good Friday.
What day did Jesus rise from the dead?
People everywhere know that day as Easter Sunday.
What day is between Friday and Sunday?
Obviously Saturday when Jesus “rested” in the tomb.
I think I’ve made my point.
Luke 23 records that the women came to the tomb on Friday evening just before the sun was going to set to anoint Jesus’ body with spices and ointment and then “rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.”
So Jesus Himself prior to His resurrection in His death was keeping the Sabbath.