I think it is pretty incredible that the church chooses to celebrate the Passion of the Christ at the same time each year. It is pretty incredible to be a small part of that global celebration. That said, when I say this next thing it is not a slight against anyone. There are three types of Sabbaths the Israelites were commanded to keep. One was of course the weekly Sabbath, another was annual Sabbaths that revolved around celebrations like the Passover and were generally the first day of those celebrations regardless if they started on “Saturday” or not. Then there was a type of sabbath that was suppose to happen every 49th year, where the land rested, slaves were freed, and debts were forgiven. The Year of Jubilee was what it was called. In Leviticus it’s called the Sabbath’s Sabbath.
That said there are also two different types of preparation days. One is a weekly preparation day that is on “Friday” as you prepared meals for the Sabbath so you would not have to work on the Sabbath and you could rest. The second type is a preparation “day” for the annual Sabbaths. These preparations were generally just a period of hours during the day. For instance preparation for the Passover meal generally took place between the 3rd hour of the day and the 6th hour of the day. It was not only a time to prepare/kill/cook the lamb but to remember the blood placed on the door post so that the “Death Angel” would “Passover” their house. (See Exodus for the full story.)
The original text for the New Testament never refers to the “preparation day” (That we talk about a lot during the passion narrative) as being the normal weekly “preparation day” for the 7th day fo the week (the normal Sabbath) when referring to the events that lead to Jesus’ death. The writers did not get this wrong, because for them it was a preparation for the Passover which was an annual Sabbath”day” celebration. This means that Jesus did not die on “Friday”, He died on “Thursday” (though a case could be made for Wednesday) – this gives a full 3 days of Jesus in the grave. I say this not to give a full explanation of this view but to say this…
For our Bible reading for Day 7 of Easter Week (see the last post), it means that they went to Pilot on Friday to ask for the tomb to be sealed. Which Jesus was placed in as the sun went down on Thursday and as the darkness of the next day began (because the jewish day begins at sun down not sun up) they went to Pilot at the beginning of that day to make sure the disciples would not take the body over this 3 day period of time. They knew that the disciples did not have the means to win a confrontation with the Roman guards and accomplish a theft.
Even if you still want to believe it was Friday when Jesus Died – I have no problem with that, but just know these Religious leaders did not waste anytime making sure that tomb was sealed and that the Disciples didn’t have a chance to steal the body from the Tomb.
Their enemies made sure of that.