It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.
It had been a long twenty-four hours for Yeshua the Master. As an innocent victim, he has been condemned to a cruel death by both religious and secular authorities. John the Immerser compared Yeshua to, "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29)! At the time of the morning lamb offering, Yeshua is nailed to a cross-beam and hanged on a stake; one of the most cruel form of death of the day. He will stay there until the afternoon time of prayer, the time of the second lamb offering.
At the time when the Temple was bustling with activity, when in an assembly-line style the priests would kill the lambs of the thousands of people who had come for the pilgrimage festival, our Master committed his spirit to his, and our heavenly Father. As he entered the tomb, the prepared lambs and unleavened breads entered the ovens.
There was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation (of the Passover lamb, the 14th of Nissan), and the Sabbath (of the 15th of Nissan, the first day of Unleavened Bread which is a Sabbath) was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath (of the 15th of Nissan) they rested according to the commandment (Lev. 23: 6-7; Luke 23:50—56).
The disciples probably all had their Seder together; we can imagine Peter leading the event and how confused and distraught they must have been. According to the narratives, the events had not yet clicked in their minds as the fulfillment of prophecy. It would take the Master himself to come and explain it to them. For the first time since they knew him, they had a fifteenth of Nissan Seder without their beloved Rabbi.
As they passed the Kiddush cup, they remembered what he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes" (Luke 22:17-18).
As they washed their hands, they silently remembered the Master washing their feet. It was an even more somber moment as they passed the charoset and remembered that this was the cue for Judas to go do his work.
Then after dinner, what must have gone through their mind as they passed the Afikomen, as they remembered the Master's words, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise when they drank the (3rd) cup after they had eaten, when he said, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood" (Luke 22:17—20).
The full meaning of these words would not be fully revealed to them yet. They were grieving for the loss of their Master and it must have been difficult to end the Seder with the customary psalms of praise.
They would spend the second day (the 15th of Nissan) in this somber mood, until on the third day …