According to the ancient Jewish historian Josephus (Jos. Antiq. XVI. vi. 2), first century Jews, would begin to make preparations for the Sabbath well before sunset, as do many Jews still. They would suspend normal activity in order to gather wood, light fires and prepare food before sunset, the beginning of Sabbath. On special feast days, like Passover, several days of preparation would ensue. On that first Good Friday before that first Easter, according to the Apostle John, Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross and prepared for burial on the “day of preparation.” Before that, Pilate had sentenced Jesus to be crucified also on the “day of preparation” for Passover (John 19:14, 31, 41).
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