On The Next Day
“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.” John 19:38-42
“And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.”
“On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, “He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.” Matthew 27:62-66
What we know of the events associated with the crucifixion and burial of our Lord Jesus tells us that the force of evil was still plotting against Jesus even after His death and burial. Pilate, fearing that Jesus’ disciples were plotting some massive hoax to convince people that Jesus had risen from the dead, decided to send his Roman guard to go and seal the tomb and guard it ‘til the third day was ended.
In the meantime the disciples and the women who had been with Jesus were gathered together at Jerusalem for comfort and mutual consolation. There is no indication that they were expecting the resurrection, but it is reasonable that they were hoping Jesus’ words would prove to be true. They wanted to see Him raised from the dead but they were not anticipating it with any certainty or confidence. This is evident by their surprise and astonishment when they encountered Him after was raised.
What the “next day after” signifies for us is, weather we can see Him or not, we can Know by His Word that what Jesus has promised He will do.
We know now that Jesus has been raised from the dead. That truth is the very foundation of our confession of salvation in Jesus Christ and Him alone. The disciples had the promise but they had not seen the fulfillment on the second day. They had to wait in hopeful expectation, therefore some doubted.
Now on the third day they saw Him alive from the dead and then they believed. But Jesus said of us that we are more blessed because we have not seen and yet we believe.
“Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
On this day between the crucifixion and the resurrection evil plotted but those who believed rested, the disciples waited and all creation stood suspended in time.