The Week With Two Sabbaths

Q. My question is regarding your commentary about “Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery”

Mark 16:1 says that they bought sweet species AFTER the Sabbath, but Luke 23:56 says they bought them BEFORE the Sabbath. Which Sabbath was Mark referring to?

A. There were two consecutive Sabbaths that week that prohibited any work. Luke is talking about the special Sabbath that began at sundown Thursday called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It’s the reason the Jews wanted the Lord’s body off the cross before sundown. (John 19:31) According to John 19:39 Nicodemus had brought 75 pounds of spices to the tomb which the women used in preparing for the Lord’s burial. Luke 23:56 doesn’t say that the women bought spices, only that they prepared spices and perfumes.

Mark is referring to the weekly Sabbath that begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday. When the weekly Sabbath ended they bought more to complete their preparations (Mark 16:1) and then early Sunday morning went to the tomb. (Matt. 28:1)

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