What Jesus Did! 'Day of Preparation' — Mark 15:42

Wednesday, December 18, 2024

[Jesus' crucifixion] happened on* the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath.

* The NLT translators added "Friday" to the text here. However, it was not in the original Greek text or found in other reputable translations.

— Mark 15:42 NLT

Key Thought

We have lost almost all sense of a day of preparation for a holy day with God. Unfortunately, many Christians have lost their sense of the specialness of the first day of the week (Sunday) and let many other things crowd in and distort a day to be with God and his people. To challenge folks to spend Saturday preparing for this day is almost unthinkable to many in our busy world. Yet, no matter what else was happening, the Jews in Jesus' day took notice and made advance preparations to honor their Sabbath with God. There are two judgments rendered by this one short verse. First, ritual observance of days does not make us holy, because it is so easy to do the ritual and forget the righteous call of God — the horrible acts of the people directed at Jesus are proof of this truth. Second, in our day, we have lost the sense of holy because we have allowed all days to become the same — busy days to get done what we want to do and then squeeze our "God-time" in where it fits. How sad on both accounts.

Today's Prayer

O Father, please give me a proper sense of what is holy. I do not want to be a legalistic ritual keeper; yet, at the same time, I do not want to drain all of life of its spiritual meaning by secularizing all time. Teach me to know your will, your time, and your holy ways. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 5:15-17
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-14
  • Psalm 39:4-6


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Illustration of Mark 15:42 NLT — "Friday"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.