The Night Following the Crucifixion


Matthew 16:21-23 NASB
“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

The Apostles had been told what was going to happen.

Jesus had specifically foretold them but when I try to put myself in their shoes, I can’t help but think that His death would still have been a shock to all of them. We’re not talking about a casual acquaintance here, the disciples had been with Jesus for a considerable amount of time and consider what they had both witnessed and heard. Having witnessed the healings and the other miracles, not to mention having seen Jesus walk on the water and calm the storm and heard Him speak of spiritual truths and realities, including who He Himself was, and what He had been sent to accomplish, and then to see Jesus hung on a cross and literally die, must have been devastating to all of them. Don’t forget that Peter, James and John had also witnessed the transfiguration. Had I been there, heaven only knows what would have been going through my mind. I’m not sure how one’s mind handles something like that but it must have been truly almost unthinkable for all of them. I really wonder if any of them got any sleep at all that night.

This night is, the beginning of the Sabbath, following the day of preparation, on Friday, the day in which Jesus was crucified and the Sabbath, on Saturday, which started after the sun had gone down on Friday and Jesus had already been placed in the tomb. Don’t forget that the Jewish days weren’t looked at like we count our current days, their days commenced and ended with the setting of the sun.

But the disciples weren’t the only ones who had been told that Jesus would rise again.

You recall in Matthew 27:62-64 NASB it reads:  “Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Which explains why the guard of Roman soldiers had been placed at the tomb.

Jesus hadn’t hidden any of what was going to happen from His disciples nor the Jewish authorities.

The day of Jesus’ crucifixion was Friday; it was “Preparation Day” for the holy Sabbath. All the arrangements for food and the other necessities of life had to be completed the day before the Sabbath on Friday. There was also a prohibition against travel on the Sabbath. Luke records in Acts 1:12 that the Mount of Olives was no more than a “Sabbath walk” from Jerusalem. The rabbinic rules, with certain exceptions, limited walking outside a walled city to 2,000 cubits, or about 0.57 of a mile; therefore most of the disciples, with the exception of those who lived in Bethany and other villages within the prescribed radius of Jerusalem, could not leave the city before sundown Saturday night. There are additional “rules” in play for friends of the grieving family but the short story is that the disciples remained in Jerusalem until the third day, our Sunday, the day in which Jesus rose from the dead.

Did all the Apostles witness the crucifixion of Jesus?

The New Testament doesn’t specifically give us the names of all the Apostles who were there, with the exception of John as indicated in John 19:26, but note the verse below from Luke.

Luke 23:48-49 NASB records:  “And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.” The NET and NIV Bibles use the words “and all who knew Him” which would infer, in my mind, along with “And all His acquaintances”, that the Apostles were all there.

When one considers what Jesus was physically subjected to, the totality of the physical punishment and what His body endured until He literally died, it’s not difficult to consider that in spite of what Jesus had told them would happen, there could have been some doubt. Had you been there, had you witnessed the totality of the brutality that Jesus was subjected to, what would you have thought?

And yet, as difficult as it may be, to fully comprehend the expression of God’s love towards us, while we were all yet sinners, our Heavenly Father, through the sacrifice of His own Son, made it now possible that our union with God could be restored, and it is by this very means and for this very purpose and express reason that Jesus was sent.

John 3:16 NASB
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

More to follow . . .

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
















  1. It was great to read about the Crucifiction of Jesus on Easter weekend. Many of us are writing about a variety of topics, when our focus should be on Jesus. Of course, our focus should always be on Jesus, but especially during the time of year when we remember his death on the cross, his burial, and His resurrection. I enjoyed reading this very much. Terri D

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this post! I think many people gloss over Holy Saturday and do not think what it must have been like for the disciples and first followers of Jesus. The fear and dread the disciples felt being separated from Messiah will be nothing in comparison to those who will be separated from Him for eternity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jim, things were pretty quiet. We spoke with all of our children and the grand kids of course and without getting out of our car, we purchased an ice cream cake and delivered it to the doorstep of one of our sons. It was a beautiful sunny day here so we enjoyed getting out of the house for a while. We watched a local church service and started to watch a Christian series called “The Chosen” which we enjoyed. I’m assuming you were pretty busy, let me know what the working folks do!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jeff, yes I’m thinking it would have been a long terrible night to be in their shoes, even with Jesus telling them He would rise again on the third day. It’s not difficult to think of some of the thoughts that must have gone through their minds. And then to see Jesus during the 40 day period after He rose from the dead, no wonder nothing could stop them after that. Blessings Jeff.


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