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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings.

(62) Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

(42) And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

(54) And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

(14) And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

(31) 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.

(42) There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. King James Version Change Bible versions

All four gospel accounts make mention of the Preparation Day, but in reference to Passover day rather than the sixth day of the week (Matthew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 31, 42). Passover is an annual preparation day for an annual Sabbath, the first day of Unleavened Bread. When we eat the unleavened bread that night, we are symbolically taking in this bread from heaven—the true manna. A look at the preparatory aspects of the Passover can reveal some of God's intent for the weekly Preparation Day.

Even though Passover day is still a common work day, it is nearly impossible to shake the gravity and significance of not only what was experienced the night before, but also of the upcoming Feast. The Passover ritual helps us to reorient our minds. It may not be a holy day, but it feels like one because our thoughts have been gathered and focused on the spiritual dimension in anticipation of the holy days. The Passover puts us in the right frame of mind so that we can be mentally present when the holy time arrives.

It is not exactly the same for the weekly Preparation Day, because when something is repeatedly frequently, it loses some of its impact. However, knowing that the Passover is the epitome of Preparation Days, it can help us to use the weekly preparation day to reorient ourselves mentally and spiritually so the Sabbath does not come upon us abruptly.

The Days of Unleavened Bread are an annual memorial of God's deliverance from physical and spiritual Egypt, but the lesson would not be complete without the Preparation Day of the Passover right before. In the same way, the weekly Sabbath is also a memorial of God's deliverance from physical and spiritual Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). But the lesson is not learned nearly as well if we do not take advantage of the weekly Preparation Day by beginning to turn our focus.

There are two major themes of the Sabbath in the Old Testament, drawn from the two different versions of the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15. One theme is liberation from captivity: from Egypt for the physical Israelites, and from Satan, sin, and this world for the spiritual Israelites. The other theme is the fact that God is Creator, not only of the physical world but also of the spiritual.

The Sabbath demonstrates these two principles in two ways. On the one hand, the Sabbath is a memorial of these things, a weekly reminder that we have been redeemed—we have been liberated—and now God's spiritual creation has begun within us. On the other hand, the Sabbath is also a means by which these things take place. That is, we have been freed from spiritual captivity, but if we want to remain free, we need to pay special attention to the Sabbath. The Sabbath also reminds us that God's creation is continuing in the spiritual realm, but what is to occur on the Sabbath is a means by which that creation takes place.

We are to ingest the spiritual manna—that is, work to further our relationship with God—each day, but it is on the Sabbath that it is especially helpful to us because it is a time when nothing else should compete for either our time or our attention. By ingesting that Bread from heaven, we are taking part in the spiritual creation through taking on the image of God. We truly are what we eat, and eating the true Bread from heaven causes us to develop His attributes. The Preparation Day is what helps to get us ready—focused—to do our part in that spiritual creation.

— David C. Grabbe

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