"THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS"

Wednesday or Friday: When did Christ die?

All references are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.

Matthew 12: 38-40 "Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign
  from thee. But he answered and said unto them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth'" (Luke 11:29-30, Jonah 1:17).
Most Christians believe that Christ died on Friday afternoon and rose from the dead at dawn on Sunday, the first day of the week.
  A number of Christians however, hold the view that Christ died on Wednesday afternoon and was resurrected late on the afternoon of the Sabbath (Saturday). Matthew 12:38-40 is quoted as the primary support for a Wednesday crucifixion. Friday afternoon to Sunday at dawn, does not encompass three entire days AND three entire nights, or 72 hours.
  In this study, I will explain why I believe that Jesus died at on Friday afternoon, and was raised from the dead at dawn on Sunday, "the third day." The period of His death covers just over 36 hours. Let me explain.


 

"NOR DID HIS FLESH SEE CORRUPTION"

Acts 2:25 "For David speaketh concerning him, 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand,
  that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:10)


 
Acts 2:30-31 (Peter applies the words of this prophecy to Christ)
  "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (death), neither his flesh did see corruption (decay). This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."

 
Note: Rather than argue about how long it would take a body, placed in a cave, in Jerusalem, in April, to begin to decay, I would turn to Scripture. Concerning the sacrifice made in fulfillment of a vow or as a peace offering, the Israelites were instructed to eat of the sacrifice on the day it was offered (the first day). If any of the meat remained, they were permitted to eat of it on the day following the sacrifice (the second day). On the third day, they must burn in fire whatever was left. It was called "an abomination" to eat of a sacrifice on the third day. It was considered to be decaying. The sacrifice was prophetic of Christ (our sacrifice), Who's body was "burned with fire," as it were, when the Spirit of God raised Him from the dead (Leviticus 7:16-18; Leviticus 19:5-7).
  Note: Peter's argument is that His flesh did not "see corruption," because He was raised from the dead. The argument is not for a miraculous preservation of flesh. If it was, the well-preserved body would be laying there still. Peter seeks to convince Jews that Messiah has come, and God has raised Him from the dead, in fulfillment of the Scriptures.


 

CHRIST THE FIRST FRUITS

1Corinthians 15:20-23 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits
  of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."

 
On the day following the Passover, the 16th day of the Jewish month of Nissan, a unique celebration took place. On that day, the high priest entered the Temple with a sheaf of new grain - the first of the year. He waived the sheaf of grain before the veil in the Temple, in recognition of God's blessing in the year's harvest.Until that sheaf of grain was offered before God in the Temple, no grain could be harvested. Until this sheaf was offered, the Israelites were to eat of the grain from the previous year's harvest. As soon as this sheaf was offered, the sickle was put to the fields of standing ripened grain. This day was appropriately called "the Feast of Firstfruits."


 
John 12:23-24 Calling Himself "a grain of wheat," Jesus said, " The hour is come,
  that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."

 
The festivals appointed by God, were given as acted prophecies of the great events in the plan of salvation. They foreshadowed the work of Christ our Savior. Every fulfillment of the type must take place "at the time appointed". The lamb must die on the afternoon of the 14th day of Nissan. The firstfruits must be offered on the 16th day.
Christ died at 3pm on the 14th day of Nissan, at the very time when the lambs for the Passover feast were being sacrificed in the Temple. Christ "the Lamb of God" is called "our Passover" (1Cor. 5:7). In fulfillment of the type He must also present Himself in Heaven (the true Temple), before the Father's throne on the 16th day of Nissan, the "Firstfruits" of a harvest to follow.
If (Christ) the Lamb was sacrificed on Wednesday (the 14th), and the Passover fell on Thursday (the 15th), then the ceremony of the firstfruits must take place on Friday (the 16th). Yet the Wednesday to Sabbath afternoon scenario has Christ still asleep in the tomb on Friday. He is not raised until late on Sabbath afternoon, which would have been the 17th day of Nissan - to late for the Feast of Firstfruits.

TWO SABBATHS?

Those who teach a Wednesday crucifixion, believe that during those 72 hours, while Jesus lay in Joseph's tomb, the Jews observed TWO sabbaths. First the Passover, beginning at sundown on Wednesday, and second, the weekly 7th day Sabbath, beginning at sundown Friday. A common work day - Friday, would then separate the two sabbaths. ( Passover is called "the sabbath" in Leviticus 23:15).


 
John 19: 14"And it was the preparation of the passover, , and about the sixth hour:
  and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him,crucify him.

 
Note: Bible students agree - Jesus died on the afternoon before the Passover began.
The majority of Christians believe that Christ died on Friday (Nissan 14). They believe that in the year of Christ's death the Passover fell ON the weekly Sabbath (Saturday). The "preparation" would then have been for BOTH the Passover AND for the weekly Sabbath.


 

WEDNESDAY CRUCIFIXION

Wednesday (14th) Thursday (15th) Friday (16th) Sabbath (17th) Sunday (18th)
work day - preparation day for the Passover Passover Sabbath - no work work day - preparation for the Sabbath weekly Sabbath - no work allowed, no buying or selling work day
crucifixion, body placed in tomb before sunset disciples rested, no work allowed bought and prepared spices, but did not take them to the tomb Christ raised from the dead, late on the Sabbath  


 

TWO SABBATHS CONTINUED:

BUYING AND PREPARING SPICES

Those who teach that Christ died on Wednesday, believe there are accounts in the Scripture of common work activity (buying and preparing spices and ointments) during the time of Jesus' entombment. This would require, they say, at least one common work day. Jews were required to refrain from ordinary work on the Passover, and on the 7th day, Sabbath, from sundown to sundown. Buying, selling, and travel were forbidden. Cooking food was forbidden on the weekly Sabbath, but was permitted on the Passover.


 
Luke 23:52-56 - 24:1-3 "This man (Joseph) went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
  And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them . And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus."
Note: A simple reading of the text has "the women" preparing the spices on the afternoon before the Passover began. (One assumes they had to buy them first, which lends credence to the wording of the KVJ - "had bought sweet spices" Mark 16:1). Was there time? Jesus died at "the 9th hour". Sundown in Jerusalem occurred at 12th hour. Three "hours" remained.

 
Note: In the time of Christ, the "day" - from sunrise to sunset was divided into twelve equal parts, called "hours", based upon the position of the sun. The "hours" varied in length depending on the time of the year. Passover falls somewhere between mid-March and Mid-April, on our Western calender, making a "hour" in the year Christ died, slightly longer than our 60 minute hour. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 2)


 
John 19:39-40-42 "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and
  brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury."

 
It was the custom to prepare the corpse (after cleansing) with various types of aromatic spices. In the case of Christ's burial, 100 pounds of spices were used. (This amount was not unusual for an important person.) The graveclothes consisted of three or more long strips of linen sewed together in which no knots were permitted. Beginning at the feet, the body was wrapped with the strips of linen up to the armpits. The arms were then folded down, and the wrapping continued up to the neck, then down to the feet again. A separate napkin was wrapped around the head.
Fragments of a fragrant wood were pounded into a dust known as aloes, which was mixed with a gummy substance known as myrrh. This mixture of spices was spread between the strips of linen as the body was wrapped The entire encasement would weigh perhaps 120 pounds. The gummy resin would adhere the linen so closely to the body that the graveclothes could not easily be removed. The Scripture says that when John looked into the tomb "he believed." What did John see? He saw the graveclothes in the exact position where he had last seen them, wrapped around the body of his Lord. But now they were empty, perhaps a bit caved in like an empty cocoon from which a butterfly has emerged. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol One, pg. 556-557.
Joseph of Aarimathaea "bought fine linen" (Mark 15:46). Nicodemus seems to have obtained and prepared 100 pounds of spices and ointments on very short notice. It would seem that the women could have done the same. The women waited until after the body was cleansed, wrapped, and laid in the tomb, before returning to the city to buy, and to prepare their spices and ointments. Counting the time it took for Joseph to obtain permission from Pilate to remove the body, the women probably had about an hour to "prepare" the sweet spices, leaving no time to return to the tomb with their preparations before sunset. So they waited until the Sabbath was past.


 

FRIDAY

TIME TO BUY - TIME TO PREPARE - TIME TO ANOINT

Mark 15:47-16:4 "And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James beheld where he was laid.
  And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

 
Note: The King James Version says "had bought." Most versions read simply, "bought."
Question: Those who believe that Christ died on Wednesday say that these three women bought their spices, and prepared them on Friday "when the (Passover) sabbath was past." They then rested on the (weekly) Sabbath from Friday sundown to late Saturday afternoon, walking to the tomb BEFORE the sun set. But why would the women wait until Sabbath afternoon. The women had all day Friday, plenty of time, to buy the spices, AND prepare them, AND to take them to the tomb - on Friday.


 

TOO LATE FOR SPICES?

John 11:39 In the story of Lazarus, "Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.
  Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days."

 
Note: I can see the women wanting to anoint the body with aromatic spices approximately 36 hours after death (Fri. 3pm to Sun. at dawn), but I have a hard time believing they would want to roll away that stone, to put their spices on a stinking corpse after 72+ hours (Wed. 3pm to Sun. early am). I can also understand why they wouldn't want to be out at night, and would be hurrying to the tomb as soon as there was enough light on Sunday morning.


 

WHY GO BACK FOR SPICES?

Matthew 28:1-2 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,
  came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. . . ." v.5-6 "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said."

 
Note: Those who believe that Christ was crucified on Wednesday, teach that He was raised from the dead late on the afternoon of the Sabbath (Saturday). The two Marys come to the sepulchre late on the sabbath, (The sun has not set.) A great earthquake occurs, the women are told by an angel that Jesus is risen. As they run to tell the disciples, Jesus himself meets them and they worship Him.
QUESTION: If the two Marys worship the risen Christ, late on Saturday afternoon, why would they return on Sunday morning at dawn with spices to anoint the body? (Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1, 10).
Luke 24:1 says, " upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices." V. 10 confirms that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James were among this party. Mark 16:1-2 says, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James came to the sepulchre at the rising of the sun, to "anoint him."
Note: The women would NOT have walked to the tomb, carrying the spices, before sunset on the weekly Sabbath. It was considered a violation of the Sabbath to "carry a burden" on that day.


 

FRIDAY CRUCIFIXION

FRIDAY (14TH Nissan) SABBATH (15TH Nissan) SUNDAY (16TH Nissan)
"preparation" day:
death about 3pm, body placed in tomb women buy & prepare spices - no time to go back to tomb before sundown
Passover falls on the weekly Sabbath: Disciples rest according to commandment.
At sundown a guard is posted at the tomb, stone is sealed.
Feast of First Fruits:
Ressurection at dawn, women come to tomb with spices to anoint body, see angels, Christ appears to women, to Mary, to disciples on road to Emmaus.
FIRST DAY SECOND DAY THIRD DAY

 

WHY DID HE WAIT UNTIL SUNDAY TO APPEAR?

QUESTION: If Christ was raised from the dead before sunset on Saturday afternoon, why did He wait until Sunday morning to appear to the women, to Mary, and to the two men on the road to Emmaus? Why did He wait until Sunday night to reveal himself to His grieving disciples? Why not appear to someone on Saturday night?
QUESTION: If Christ appeared to the women late on Sabbath afternoon, and they RAN to bring the disciples, why would Peter and John wait until Sunday morning to RUN to the tomb? (John 20:4)

 
MATTHEW 28:1-9 MARK 16:1-9 LUKE 24:1-10 JOHN 20:1-18
1. In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 1. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome,... 1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, ...came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, 1. ... The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre , and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2. ...there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 2. very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 2. found the stone rolled away ... 2. ...she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
  3. "Who shall roll us away the stone?..." 3. entered in, and found not the body  
  4. ... saw that the stone was rolled away: ... 4. ... two men stood by them in shining garments: 4. ... So they ran both together: and...... came ...to the sepulchre.
5. ...the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: ... 5. ...entering ... sepulchre, they saw a young man ...clothed in a long white garment; ...they were affrighted. 5. ...said unto them, ... 5. ... stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes
6. ...for he is risen, 6. ...he saith ..., Be not affrighted: ...: he is risen; he is not here: 6. He is not here, but is risen: ... 6. ...Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, ...
7. ...go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;... 7. ...tell his disciples ...    
8. ...they departed quickly from the sepulchre ...and did run to bring his disciples word. 8. ...they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. 8.And they remembered his words, 8. ...believed.
9. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 9. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, 9. And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.  
    10. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 10. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
      11. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: ...
      12. ... seeth two angels.
       
      14. ..., she...saw Jesus 15 Jesus saith.. Mary!
       
       
       
      18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord.


 

PUNCTUATION PROBLEMS

Matthew 27:66 - 28:1-2 "So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it" (King James Version).

 
Note: The argument is made that the word "dawn" means "to approach towards." Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre "in the end of the sabbath," as it began to approach towards the first day of the week. On Saturday afternoon, before sunset - they found the tomb empty.
Note: The ancient Greek writings contained no punctuation marks, no spaces between the words, and no lower case letters. These were added later, to make reading easier. The ancient manuscripts contained no numbered verses, or chapter divisions. Consider how the ancient text might have looked. (We will do this in English, but you'll get the idea.)
SOTHEYWENTANDMADETHESEPULCHRESURESEALINGTHESTONEANDSETTINGAWATCHINTHEENDOFTHESABBATHASIT
BEGANTODAWNTOWARDTHEFIRSTDAYOFTHEWEEKCAMEMARYMAGDALENEANDTHEOTHERMARYTOSEETHESEPULCHRE
Let's try that again, adding word division and punctuation.
SO THEY WENT AND MADE THE SEPULCHRE SURE, SEALING THE STONE, AND SETTING A WATCH IN THE END OF THE SABBATH. AS IT BEGAN TO DAWN TOWARD THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, CAME MARY MAGDALENE AND THE OTHER MARY TO SEE THE SEPULCHRE.
Did you see the change? I simply moved the period from after the word "watch," to after the word "sabbath." I also eliminated the verse division, making "in the end of the Sabbath" the END of 27:66 instead of the BEGINNING of 28:1. The passage can very legitimately be read:
"So they went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch in the end of the sabbath.
As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." (Matthew 27:66 - 28:1).
The story is changed, just by a change of punctuation. Now the guard is set at the end of the sabbath. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary come to the sepulchre very early, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, just as they do in the other three accounts of this story
 
Mark 16:1-2 "very early in the morning on the first day of the week"
Luke 24:1, 10 "upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning"
John 20:1 "the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark"
Mary ran to tell the disciples that the tomb was empty. John and Peter both ran to the tomb - all on Sunday morning.


 

MATTHEW 27:66 -28:1 : OTHER TRANSLATIONS

"And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave" (New American Standard).

"So they left, and made the grave secure by putting a seal on the stone and leaving the guard on watch. After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the grave" (Today's English Version).

"So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb" (New International Version).

"And they went and made the grave secure, putting a seal on the stone and leaving it under guard. When the Sabbath was over, just as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary from Magdala and the other Mary went to look at the tomb" (Phillips Modern English).

"So they went and made the sepulchre secure, putting seals on the stone and mounting a guard. After the sabbath, and toward dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre" (Jerusalem Bible).

"So they went and made the sepulchre secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre" (Revised Standard Version).

"So they went and made the grave secure; they sealed the stone, and left the guard in charge. The Sabbath was over, and it was about daybreak on Sunday, when Mary of Magdala and the other Mary came to look at the grave" (New English Bible).

"So they went and made the grave secure by sealing the stone and putting the guard on watch. After Shabbat, toward dawn on Sunday, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave" (Complete Jewish Bible).

Note: The Douay Version and the James Moffatt Version follow the King James punctuation, as do the earlier versions of the New American Standard and the American Standard.


 

WHO WILL ROLL AWAY THE STONE?

Mark 16:1-4 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene,
  and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?"

 
Note: "Very early on the first day of the week," they didn't know about the guard. They didn't know that the tomb had been sealed. Why didn't they know?


 
Matthew 27:62-66 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation,
  (the day after Christ was laid in the tomb would have been the Passover) the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure, until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. ["In the end of the sabbath ..."]

 
Note: The Pharisees went to Pilate on the Passover. After obtaining the order from Pilate, they left immediately to post the guard at sundown that evening "lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away."
Was the guard posted on Thursday evening, or on Sabbath (Saturday) before sundown?
If Christ died on Wednesday, and the guard was posted on Thursday evening, one of the women would likely have visited the tomb on Friday and the disciples would have received word. (The men would probably have stayed away out of fear.) No further anointing would be possible because the tomb was sealed! It was a capitol offence to break a Roman seal.
Yet Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome were not aware of the guard, or of the seal, when they came to the tomb on Sunday morning.
Pilate had commanded that the tomb be "made secure until the third day." The wording suggests the tomb was guarded continuously - not just during the night.
If Christ died on Friday, and the guard was posted on Saturday at sundown - at "the end of the Sabbath," the disciples are not likely to have received word of it. Noone would go to the tomb on the Sabbath, much less on the Passover. The law forbade walking more than the distance to the Temple, and to anoint a body would render one ceremonially "unclean" on the Passover - an unthinkable thing to a Jew. (Lev. 11:39; 12:2; 13:45; 15:19).
People did not go out to the tombs at night in those days before public lighting, for fear of robbers, as well as fear of accidental defilement. (Tombs were "whitewashed" to identify areas considered unclean.) The women set out for the tomb as soon as there was enough light on Sunday morning - and they were not aware that the tomb had been sealed.


 

REFERENCES TO THE THIRD DAY

  Matthew 12:40 "three days and three nights"
Matthew 16:21 "be raised again the third day"  
Matthew 17:23 "the third day he shall be raised"  
Matthew 20:19 "the third day he shall rise again"  
   
Mark 9:31 "shall rise the third day" Mark 8:31 "after three days"
Mark 10:34 "the third day he shall rise again"  
   
Luke 9:22 "be raised the third day"  
Luke 13:32 "the third day I shall be perfected"  
Luke 18:33 "the third day he shall rise again"  
Luke 24:7 "the third day rise again"  
  Luke 24:46 "today is the third day"
   
John 2:19 "in three days"  
   
Acts 10:40 "Him God raised up the third day"  
1Corinthians 15:4 "rose again the third day"  

 
Note: In this list of references I have omitted those which quote the enemies of Christ, who might have misquoted Him.


 

Luke 24:1,13,21

"Now upon the first day of the week . . . And, behold, two of them went that same dayto a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. . . . Jesus himself drew near ... But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, ... 'our chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.'"

Note: The "first day of the week" is called "the third day. That would make Friday the first day. I cannot get a Wednesday crucifixion from this text.


 

"THE THIRD DAY" - OTHER PASSAGES

Luke 13:32-33 "And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures
  today (day 1) and tomorrow (day 2), and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk today (day1), and tomorrow (day 2), and the day following (day 3): for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."


 
Genesis 42:17-18 "And he put them all together into ward three days.
  And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:"

 
Note: The third day had not yet been completed before Joseph spoke to his brothers.


 
Exodus 19:10-11 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today
  and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

 
Note: In the Scriptures, the day after tomorrow is the third day. As He came down in the sight of the people on the third day, so the risen Christ appeared to men on the third day.


 
Leviticus 7:16-18 "But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten
  the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten: But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity."

 
Note: "the same day that he offereth his sacrifice (day 1)
"the morrow" (day 2)
"the third day" (day 3)
Note: The sacrifice was a symbol of Christ "the Lamb of God." The remainder of the sacrifice was "burned with fire" before the end of third day, so that nothing remained - just as nothing of the flesh of Christ remained in the tomb, before the end of the third day. It was consumed by the "fire of the Lord" on the third day. ("The Lord thy God is a consuming fire" - Deut. 4:24). The presence of the Father - the spirit of the Father - brought Christ back to life - on the third day.


 
Leviticus 19:5-7 "And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.
  It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire. And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.

 
Note: Why? It would spoil the symbol of Christ our sacrifice.


 
Hosea 6:1-3 "Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten,
  and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."

 
Note: The disciples were "torn," and "smitten" with grief. And after two days their grief was turned to joy.


 

"AFTER THREE DAYS"

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things,
  and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 
Note: The word translated "after" (Strong's #3326) is the Greek word , meta {met-ah'}, a primary preposition (often used adverbially), most often translated " with" 345 times, "after" 88 times, or "among" 5 times. Strong's Concordance
Matthew 1:23 ". . . Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us."
It would make no sense to say, "God after us."
Jesus then, would rise again "with" three days - that is any part of three days, not necessarily three full 24 hour periods. According to Mark 8:31, we may begin the time when Jesus began to "suffer many things," that is, when He was bound and taken into custody.

 
Nissan 14 Nissan 15 - Passover Nissan 16 - Feast of Firstfruits
Began at sunset on Thursday Began at sunset on Friday Began at sunset on Saturday
Jesus taken into custody very late during night (Approximately 3 AM). Spends rest of that night and all of Friday being tried, whipped, crucified, and entombed. Jesus slept in the tomb -
resting on the Sabbath.
Jesus sleeping in the tomb from sunset on Sabbath until just before dawn the next morning.
Approximately 15 hours of Nissan 14 24 hours of Nissan 15 Approximately 12 hours of Nissan 16.

 
Note: After three days was just another way of saying, "in three days." We must count the three days from the time He was taken into custody and bound. We do not need to count the three days from the moment He was sealed in the tomb, or even from the moment of His death. At the moment of death His temptation and trial was finished. From the moment of His death, He lay at peace. Even in death, He rested on the Sabbath. On Sunday morning he got up and went back to work.


 

"ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES:" THE RESURRECTION FORETOLD

Luke 24:45-46 (On the road to Emmaus) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:


 
1Corinthians 15:4 "he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

 
Where do the Scriptures prophecy that the Christ would suffer and be raised from the dead on the third day? The commands concerning the sacrifices - especially that of the Passover lamb, and the offering of the "firstfruits" typified the death and resurrection of Christ. The commands concerning what might remain of any sacrifice, on the third day, and the prophecy of Hosea - everything pointed to Christ's resurrection ON THE THIRD DAY.


 

THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS: IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH

Matthew 12:40-41 "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly;
  so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth;"

 
Either Christ contradicted Himself, or this statement must be reconciled with all of His other predictions which specified "the third day", with the written prophecies of the Old Testament, and with the prophetic imagery of the festivals appointed by God.
Jesus taught the people with parables and with obscure sayings (Matt. 13:34-35; Ps. 78:2). The phrase "in the heart of the earth" is not defined in the text. There are no parallel passages - only Matthew quotes Christ in this instance. The phrase has been understood by most to mean "in the grave," but I believe that it means much more than this.


 
John 14:10 "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?"

 
John 14:11 "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: ..."

 
Note: Jesus had lived from the moment of His birth, "in the Father." He lived in the presence of His Father. "He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone," He said (John 8:28). Now He would experience something vastly different. Now He would be "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." What does this phrase mean?
Genesis 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" (Matthew 9:4).
Note: The heart of the earth (mankind) was evil.
When David swore that God would help him to take the head of the giant Goliath, he said, " that all the earth (all mankind) may know that there is a God in Israel."
The heart of Jerusalem, the heart of the appointed leadership of God's people, was evil. Jerusalem was regarded as the center (or heart) of the earth. Jews were to travel from every part of the earth to Jerusalem, for worship on the Festival Days. (John 4:20; Acts 2:5-11, 8:27; Deut. 16:16). "For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth" (Psalms 74:12; Ezek 38:12). "This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her" (Ezek 5:5).


 

THE HEART OF THE EARTH

As Jonah was thrown overboard into the sea, so Christ was "betrayed, " - "delivered into the hands of sinful men" (Luke 24:7), "delivered unto the Gentiles" (Lk 18:32), rejected, abandoned, forsaken of God (Luke 17:20; Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34; Matt. 26:56; Mark 14:50). As Jonah was swallowed by the great fish, so Christ was swallowed by the evil which surrounded Him. He was left to battle with Satan and all the demons of Hell, and with men under the control of demons.
Verses which specify "the third day" include those things which Christ must suffer, not simply his death. The whole process of humiliation was included in this "belly of the whale" experience. (Matt. 16:21, Mk. 8:31, Mk. 9:12, Lk. 9:22, Lk. 17:25)
To the mob near the garden, Jesus said, " This is your hour, and the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53). "Behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners" (Matthew 26:46.) "The hour" begins with the kiss of Judas.
From the kiss of Judas on Thursday, to the earthquake just before dawn on Sunday - "three days and three nights" without the protection of His Father - left in the heart of the earth.

 
NIGHT: Thursday night: taken and tried DAY: Friday: scourged and crucified.
NIGHT: Friday night: Sleeping in death DAY: Sabbath: Sleeping in death.
NIGHT: Saturday night: Sleeping in death. DAY: Sunday at dawn: Raised from the dead.


 

OTHER EXAMPLES OF TIME KEEPING

An infant Hebrew male was circumcised when he was "eight days old" (Gen. 17:12), "the eighth day" (Lev. 12:3; Luke 1:59) or "when eight days were accomplished" (Luke :21). All three expressions mean the same thing. The infant might not have been a full eight days old, when he was circumcised on the eighth day of his life.
The day of birth was called "the first day," whether the child was born at the beginning or at the close of the day. There was no zero day. If the day of birth was day #1, then on day #8, the infant would be seven days old, unless he was born just at the beginning of day#1

 

CONSIDER:

Jesus died near the close of day #1. (There was no day #0.)
At the close of day #2, Jesus would have been dead for one day.
At the close of day #3 Jesus would have been dead for two days.
Near the close of day #4 Jesus would have been dead for three whole days.
But then it would be said that He was raised on the 4thday, not on the third day.
This method of keeping time is called "inclusive reckoning." Any part of a day was counted as a day. Any part of a day was included in the count as a day . The day (or any part of a day) on which the event began was called "the first day."
We still do this today: "Today is the first day of the sale." How many times have you heard that one, even if the sale doesn't begin until the store opens at 10 o'clock. (There is no 0 day.) "Tomorrow is the first day of school."
We cannot insist that when Jesus said He would rise "after three days" (Mark 8:31) he meant after the end of the three full days, or 72 hours, for then He would have said, "on the forth day" - the forth day being included in the count.
Jesus once spoke of the day having 12 hours (John 11:9, 10). In the time of Christ, the time between sunrise and sunset was divided into 12 equal parts, called "hours," which "hours" varied in length according to the season. The fact that today we use clock hours of uniform length, does not make Jesus statement incorrect. His words and phrases must be interpreted according to what those words meant to the people of His day, not according to what they may mean today.


 

For another example of "inclusive reckoning,"

let's look at the story of Peter and Cornelius.

Day One: An angel appeared to Cornelius " about the ninth hour of the day" telling him to send messengers to get Peter who was at Joppa (Acts 10:3-8).
Day Two: As the messengers sent by Cornelius neared the house "on the morrow ... about the sixth hour" ---- (noon) Peter saw a vision. In response to the vision Peter received the messengers and they spent the night there (verse 9).
Day Three: And on the morrow Peter went away with them" (verse 23)
Day Four: "And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea." Cornelius met Peter and told him of the angel's visit." "Four days ago," said Cornelius, "I was fasting unto this hour; nd at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing..." (Verses 24,30).
Cornelius was fasting until 3pm (the ninth hour), at which time an angel appeared. When he recounted the story to Peter he said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour..." 72 hours passed from the time Cornelius saw the vision, until he told the story to Peter. Yet he says, "Four days ago. This is significant!!!
This would mean that one could say "three days ago" and mean 48 hours!!!


 

THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR

2 Peter 1:19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed,
  as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"


 
Revelation 22:16 "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.
  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.


 
Malachi 4:2 "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;
  and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall."

 
With sunset comes darkness, cold, night. Without light there can be no life. I have a hard time connecting such a wonderful event with sunset.
The imagery given, links Christ with the sun, with dawn, with light, with life.