Keeping An High Day

  • Published
  • Posted in Devotions
  • 7 mins read

Keeping An High Day

Keeping An High Day

John 19:31  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.
32  Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
33  But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35  And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
36  For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
37  And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Words have meanings. We know that over time, words can be given different meanings. When I was a young person the word “gay” meant happy. It meant someone who was in a cheerful mood and was expressing that with a smile or whistling or laughing, etc. Then the sodomites took that word and used it as one of several to describe themselves. Sodomite people are not cheerful people. They cannot express the joy that a formerly gay person would express. The only pleasure the sodomite has is in seeking to corrupt others with their wickedness. Romans 1:32 tells us this. Personally I refuse to call those people “gay”. They may have gained the support of the world community in their corruption of words, they have not convinced God to accept them.
In our text we have the word “sabbath” mentioned two times. We know that the sabbath was the 7th day of the week. It was given special significance to the nation of Israel. God commanded them that they were not to do any “servile” work on the sabbath day.
Jesus clarified the meaning of the word “servile” by stating it was important and right to do good on the sabbath day. He stated that a farmer would certainly pull his animal out of a well if it fell in there on the sabbath day. He might even enlist the help of others to pull that animal out. Jesus healed several people on the sabbath. The sabbath law had been greatly corrupted by the Pharisees. They were a false religious group who believed in works “salvation.” They had no Biblical salvation and they could not offer Biblical salvation to anyone else. They loved power and found a relatively easy way to hold power over the majority of the people.
We see the same thing today. There are many religions that teach ‘works” salvation. Many religions believe “baptism” (their corrupted version of baptism), is a necessary step in “salvation”. They instil a fear of death in man and teach that only by their laws can a person pretend to have hope beyond the grave.
None of that works, but the devil has blinded the minds of them which believe not. What is he trying to hide from people?

II Corinthians 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Salvation is a wonderful gift of God. It is only provided through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). Jesus Christ provided that gift Himself by going to the cross and shedding His blood on that cross. He did not remain on that cross. He did not come down off that cross by Himself. He died on that cross. The soldiers recognized that He was dead on that cross. Some God-fearing men sought permission from Pilate to remove His lifeless body and place it in a new tomb. Interestingly, none of His eleven disciples sought to take His body down. The Bible mentions two other men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who took His lifeless body off of that cross.
In our text we read that the Jews went to Pilate to have the legs of the three on the crosses, broken. It was not the Romans that wanted this. The Jews wanted the bodies dead and removed so that it would not defile their sabbath laws.
As we noted already, the sabbath was normally the 7th day of the week. That makes it our Saturday. Under normal reasoning, we know that the sabbath comes after the day before the sabbath. The day before Saturday is Friday. Since Jesus’ body was on the cross on the day before this sabbath, the normal conclusion is that Jesus and the two thieves were crucified on Friday.
We have already noted that Friday to Sunday is not three days and three nights. Too many professing Christians suggest that this is just nit-picking. It does not matter about the time in the tomb, so they claim. What matters is that Jesus died and rose again.
It certainly does matter that Jesus died and rose again. It is equally important that He died and rose again according to the Scriptures.
In our text we read “that sabbath was an high day.” What does that mean? In the Jewish religious system, a high sabbath day could refer to the day of the Passover or the Feast of Unleavened Bread which followed the Passover. As mentioned, Jesus could not have died on a Friday. This feast would likely have been on Thursday. We must keep in mind that Jesus referred back to Jonah as a reference to how long He would be in the tomb. God did not use approximate times there, and neither did Jesus give approximate times for His time in the tomb. If we want people to believe the Word of God, we must demonstrate our belief in the Word of God. Lost people are always ready to look for wiggle room in all things. Lawyers get rich looking for wiggle room in court cases. The guilty person that wants to get off with a lighter sentence is happy if the lawyer can find some technicality to get off with either a lighter sentence or no sentence at all.
The Jews, in our text, were very concerned about certain things, but they were not concerned about the depravity of their souls. They had taken great liberties with God’s Word and thus found justification for all they did. One of the reasons they hated Jesus was because He exposed their hypocrisy. Proud people do not want to be exposed for their hypocrisy.
Born again Christians cannot be proud people. They must be humble servants of the true God. They do not march to the drumbeat of the wicked. They follow the Truth. The Truth shall make you free.
May God help us to be willing to show the world the true blessings of being born again, if indeed you are born again. Trust in the Lord and serve Him faithfully. Yes, others might wonder what you are doing. Others might scoff at what you are doing. Jesus declared:

John 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

The apostle John also stated:

I John 3:13  Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

I would rather be hated by the world and approved of by the Lord. He is my Saviour and He provided His gift of eternal life for all those who would believe in Him.
Pastor Bartel

Leave a Reply