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Mark 15:42

ESV And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
NIV It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached,
NASB When evening had already come, since it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
CSB When it was already evening, because it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath),
NLT This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached,
KJV And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

What does Mark 15:42 mean?

Twenty-four hours earlier, the disciples and Jesus were preparing for the Passover feast (Mark 14:12–21). Jesus had told them several times that the Jewish leadership would reject and kill Him (Mark 8:31; 9:30–32; 10:32–34), but at the Passover meal, they first learn that one of the Twelve would start the process by betraying Him.

Now Jesus is dead. Before, the disciples didn't understand that Jesus really would die; now they don't understand He will rise again in three days. Instead of keeping vigil (Mark 14:41), they have gone into hiding. Jerusalem has celebrated the Passover, both the Galileans who ate the night before and the Judeans who ate that afternoon. Everyone is headed home to prepare for the Sabbath the next day. Soon, the three bodies hanging from their crosses will have only Roman guards for company.

Scholars debate mightily as to which Sabbath this is referring to. If it is the regular sundown-Friday to sundown-Saturday Sabbath, then Jesus is in the tomb parts of three days but only two nights (Matthew 12:40). However, the day after Passover, the first day of the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread, is a holiday Sabbath during which no regular work is to be done (Leviticus 23:5–7). If there is any chance Jesus can have a proper burial, it must be done now.
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