On What Day Did Jesus Rise?
The May/June 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review is available online. Biblical Perspectives is a weekly column. Staff of the Biblical Archaeology SocietyNovember 16, 20217 Comments106506 viewsBible Archaeology Society What day did Jesus resurrect from the dead? Is it better to wait three days or to wait until the third day? During his Biblical Views column, “It’s About Time—Easter Time,” which appeared in the May/June 2016 edition of Biblical Archaeology Review, Ben Witherington III explores this subject in further depth.
“It’s About Time—Easter Time”
Anachronism is a hazard that arises when reading ancient books like the Bible in the twenty-first century. By this I mean that we risk introducing damaging current notions and expectations into our readings. This challenge becomes much more serious when dealing with old manuscripts, which have significant historical significance and are thus difficult to interpret. What day did Jesus resurrect from the dead? Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome visited Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning to anoint his corpse (Mark 16:1–2), as shown in Henry Osawa Tanner’s painting “The Three Marys” (1910).
- To provide an example, we are a people who are fascinated with time — and with accuracy when it comes to time — to the millisecond level.
- When it came to the passage of time, they did not stress over accuracy.
- Jesus promised that he would rise from the dead “after three days,” according to certain sources.
- In fact, the time reference should be avoided entirely.
In Mark 8:31, on the other hand, Jesus declares, “The Son of Man will rise from the dead after three days.” In John 2:19, he refers to the same event as taking place “in three days,” and the Gospel authors tell us that Jesus used the term “on the third day” on a number of occasions (see, e.g., Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; Luke 24:46).
- While it is feasible that both forecasts will be incorrect, is it really possible that both will be correct?
- Furthermore, the term “after three days” in the New Testament might simply indicate “after a time” or “after a few days” without any obvious specificity other than to hint that multiple days, in this case portions of three days, would be engaged in the event.
- “Come to me again after three days,” says the Bible’s Second Chronicles 10:5, 12.
- According to my interpretation, the term “after three days” is a more generic or imprecise way of expressing, but “on the third day” is a little more particular (albeit it still doesn’t tell us when it is on the third day).
When it comes to time, these books were not written in a way that would suit our present high expectations.
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With an All-Access pass, you may access more than 9,000 articles from the Biblical Archaeology Society’s extensive collection, as well as much more. We must recognize that most of the time references in the New Testament are not precise, and we must give the ancient author the freedom to be general when he wants to be general and more specific when he wants to be more specific. This is one of the keys to understanding how the New Testament interprets time references. When you find both types of references to the time span between Jesus’ death and resurrection in the same book by the same author, and in some cases even within close proximity to each other, it is reasonable to conclude that these texts were not written in accordance with our modern exacting expectations when it comes to time references.
- I believe it is past time for us to accord these ancient authors the respect they deserve and to read them with a knowledge of the standards they followed when writing ancient history or ancient biography, rather than imposing our later genre norms on them, as we have done in the past.
- This article has been updated.
- Ben Witherington III is the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and a member of the doctoral faculty of St.
- He received his bachelor’s degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky.
Read Ben Witherington III, Reading and Learning the Bible, for assistance in understanding how to read the Bible in light of its original settings (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2014).
Related reading in Bible History Daily:
When Was the First Holy Communion Celebrated? Even yet, Jesus’ Last Supper was not a Passover meal. The Herod’s Jerusalem Palace Remains are on Display During a Seder Meal Tour— The site of Jesus’ trial is a possibility. And Why It Really Does Make a Difference The “Strange” Ending of the Gospel of Mark and Why It Really Does Make a Difference What Method Was Used to Seal Jesus’ Tomb?
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Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
Derek Hiebert contributed to this article. 1 year ago today
Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
As a matter of tradition, Christians have commemorated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on a Sunday, three days following the commemoration of his crucifixion on Good Friday. This three-day chronology is based on a number of allusions in the New Testament to the Old Testament. Many times, Jesus foretold it, and the apostles included it in their delivery of the gospel message as well (see footnote references). However, why did Jesus’ resurrection take place three days after his death is a mystery.
Is the third day only a coincidental, insignificant element put on to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
The Third Day Matters
Timing is extremely important for Jesus and his apostles because it has significant theological ramifications. When it comes to biblical story, the three-day timeframe is important because it represents the one-of-a-kind day on which God creates new life and activates his covenant with mankind. How did the writers of the New Testament get at this conclusion? After all, the Hebrew Scriptures have a constant “third day” design pattern, which Jesus and the New Testament authors are using as a model.
The Third Day Pattern in the Hebrew Bible
The passages Jonah 1:17 and Hosea 6:1-2 in the Hebrew Scriptures are among the clearest illustrations of third-day resurrection in the whole Bible. Jesus used Jonah’s three days in the belly of the huge fish as a metaphor for his own three days in the belly of the great fish. The prophet Hosea predicted that God’s reviving operation for Israel would take place on the third day. While these are important passages to study, the pattern of resurrection on the third day is established far earlier in the tale of Jesus.
The creation narrative in Genesis 1 and Abraham’s test in Genesis 22 both begin to develop a pattern of new life emerging on the third day.
The First “Resurrection”
What is the location of the initial glimpse into the three-day significance? The first page of the Bible. The creation story in Genesis 1 is written in the style of a poetry, with repeated declarations and parallelism between events. Within the rhythm of these repeats, two events in the creation tale stand out as particularly noteworthy, each occurring at a three-day interval and occurring at different points in the narrative. During the first “third day,” God creates dry ground and enables flora to emerge from the soil, including plants that produce seeds as well as trees that give fruit for human use (1:11-13).
The second “third day” event occurs on the sixth day of creation, when God produces animals and human beings for the first time (1:24).
Humans were produced from the dust of the earth, according to what we learn later in the book (2:7).
Take note of the parallels between humans and trees: both are newly generated from the ground (2:7, 9), both carry seeds and produce fruit (1:11, 28; 3:15), and both are made in this manner on the third day of creation.
One thing that distinguishes people from other animals, however, is that they are created in God’s image, and that God enters into a covenant with human beings, blessing and instructing them in their behavior.
A Pattern Emerges
There are three major characteristics of the “third day” events in Genesis 1 that serve as a template for subsequent events:
- God brings new life where there was once only death (1:11-13
- God establishes his covenant with the creatures he has newly created, in this case humans (1:28-29)
- God creates new life where there was once only death (1:11-13
- 26 In Eden, which we understand to be a lofty site from which a river runs out (2:10-14), the event takes place.
It is impossible to emphasize the significance of this picture and pattern, since it serves as a precedent for future resurrections to come.
Abraham’s Test on the Third Day
Is there any other place where this pattern can be found? Abraham is put to the test by God in yet another “third day” occurrence, which is one of the most interesting events in all of Scripture (Genesis 22:1-19). When God commands Abraham to present his only son Isaac as a burned offering on a mountain, the Bible states that Abraham spotted the location from a distance on the third day and proceeded to complete the test (22:4). God wants Abraham to learn to put his confidence in him when it comes to the covenant and the blessing of offspring in this scenario.
The connection to the “third day” concept is established in this passage by a strikingly dramatic act of atonement on the part of God, in which he substitutes a ram for Isaac (22:13-14).
On the third day, we notice the same trend as we did on the first:
- God working to bring fresh life, in this case to Isaac by his life being spared and to Abraham with the return of his son (22:11-14). (Genesis 22:17-18) God confirms his bond with Abraham, using language and ideas identical with Genesis 1:28
- (22:2, 14) This event takes place on the summit of a mountain.
Israel’s Third Day at Sinai
At a critical moment in the Bible’s narrative, we discover still another occurrence taking place on the third day. With his people just delivered from decades of tyranny in Egypt, Yahweh is on the verge of entering into another covenant with Israel, this time on a mountaintop (Exodus 19:2-3). God makes it clear that he will descend to Mount Sinai in the presence of all of the people on the “third day” mentioned above. This time is a test for Israel, just as it was for Abraham. Their preparations for entering into covenant with God are to be completed by the “third day,” when they will be ready (Exodus 19:9-16).
As a result of what we’ve seen so far with “third day,” we should have come to assume a specific pattern, which we’ve now witnessed yet another time:
- It is God who brings about new life for his people — in this case, new identity for Israel — just as he did at the creation and with Abraham and Isaac (19:4-6)
- God enters into covenant with his people, specifically Israel (19:4-6)
- God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2)
- And God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2).
And that is exactly what we see in the tale! The rest of Israel’s experience in the Hebrew Scriptures, on the other hand, is defined by rebellion and disbelief, as well as a failure to fulfill their half of the agreement. This leads us back to the prophetic texts that refer to the third day, such as Hosea and Jonah, which we discussed before.
Hosea’s Hope, Jonah’s ‘Resurrection’
By returning to these prophets, we get a more complete picture of the “third day” and the tremendous imagery of resurrection that it evokes, as well as its relationship to God’s covenant with Abraham. A typical prophetic phrase for repentance toward covenant integrity is “return to Yahweh,” which Hosea uses to exhort Israel to do, and he also provides them hope in the form of resurrection language (Hosea 6:1-2). This restoration to the covenant will be marked by a renewal of life, as well as our resurrection as a people into the life of Yahweh, which will take place on the “third day,” in accordance with our pattern.
In many respects, the story of Jonah and his failure is a metaphor for the story of Israel. God, on the other hand, does not give up on him or his people. In the third day, he vomits Jonah out of the fish, bringing him back to life in one of the most bizarre “resurrections” recorded in the Bible.
Jesus Predicts a Third Day Resurrection
In the Gospels, we find Jesus speaking of a third-day resurrection while he is discussing his death with his followers, which leads us to believe that he would rise from the dead on the third day. In fact, he refers to “three days” a total of 21 times! By now, you’ve undoubtedly figured out that this was not a coincidental choice of words. It is on the third day that Jesus was adamant, since it signifies God’s initiative in the creation of new life and the establishment of a covenant with mankind.
- Specifically, God raises fresh life from the earth (tomb), in this case, Jesus. God acts to bring about the new covenant via Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection, which in this case is for the benefit of everyone who believe in him. The act of atonement performed by Jesus takes place on a hill.
With the imagery of new life coming up from the earth in Genesis 1-2 on the third day, combined with the connection to the divine covenant found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the imagery of Jesus’ resurrection paints a striking picture of the theological importance of his resurrection. The significance of Jesus’ resurrection is underscored even further on the third day. It is the culmination of God’s mission of new life and covenant, which has been brilliantly represented since the beginning of time, and which will culminate in the future resurrection of Jesus’ disciples and the restoration of the entire universe at the conclusion of time.
So what does this mean for us?
This year, as we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are not just carrying on a centuries-old tradition. We are engaged in a profoundly important theology centered on the third day, with all of the implications of God’s redeeming work that it entails, at this time. The design pattern for the third day serves as a reminder that God has begun the process of reviving individuals to new life and bringing them into his covenant partnership with them. What role are we going to play in it today?
Jesus’ Resurrection Day
QUESTION: Was Jesus’ resurrection day on a Sunday or a Saturday or both? Christians, as well as many other people, are familiar with the account of Jesus’ resurrection. Traditionally, it is thought that He died on a Friday (today known as Good Friday) and that He was raised the following Sunday (now celebrated as Easter Sunday). But there is disagreement about whether this timeline corresponds to the biblical prophesy contained in Matthew 12:40, which states: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Our present technique of counting days indicates that Jesus would have been in His tomb from late Friday afternoon until early Sunday morning according to our calendar.
- Even if you consider Friday and Sunday to be complete days, it would imply He remained in the grave for a total of three days and two nights at the most.
- In defense of Friday and Sunday, many biblical scholars argue that it was typical among Jews at the period to consider any segment of a day to constitute the full day and night, which is what happened on those days.
- According to Jewish custom, the next day (Sunday) begins when the sun sets on the previous day (Thursday), making it plausible that Jesus was killed and buried on a Thursday, or possibly a Wednesday, with His resurrection occurring on Saturday night.
- His disciples, without a doubt, were the only ones who knew how long He had been in the tomb.
- He either opted not to fulfill the prophesy in its entirety, lingering in the grave for three days and three nights, or he chose to do it in a way that was consistent with the text.
- His challenge to them, as well as to all of us, was to place our trust in Him, rather than on whatever “evidence” He may provide.
However, it would be far more awful if He had genuinely been dead for the entire three days and nights and they had failed to acknowledge it because they had hardened their hearts to the truth.
When did Jesus rise from the dead?
As recorded in the Gospels, Jesus was claimed to have risen from the grave “on the third day” or “three days later.” Although it appears to be a contradiction in words, the fact that there are numerous alternatives as to when Jesus resurrected from the dead may give the impression that there are multiple possibilities. Furthermore, the fact that Jesus died on a Friday makes these sentences even more perplexing, since a Sunday resurrection might be called into question as a result of the difference between the two days.
The difficulty with this type of current thinking is that it makes the assumption that the Gospel writers intended to constantly write with accuracy on this subject.
According to Witherington, there is an example from the Old Testament in which “‘after three days’ signifies exactly the same thing as ‘on the third day.'” As a result, even if these sentences in modern English appear to be in conflict with one another, “these writings were not created to fit our present rigorous requirements when it comes to time.” Furthermore, “days” in Jewish counting were not the 24-hour periods from midnight to midnight that we are accustomed to; rather, they were commonly defined as beginning at sunset on one day and ending at dusk on the next day.
- Reverting back to the original question, when did Jesus Christ resurrect from the dead?
- The following is Jimmy Akin’s reconstruction of the timing of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which is based on the Gospels and Jewish traditions.
- As a result, Jesus was indeed “resurrected on the third day” (Matthew 20:19).
- I am well aware that you are looking for Jesus the Crucified.
- It’s hardly surprising that the Church has always adhered to this schedule, with the Easter Vigil service on Saturday night already commemorating Jesus’ triumphant return.
- It is not essential when Jesus rose from the dead; what is significant is that he did rise from the grave and opened the gates of Heaven for us, along with the promise of a future resurrection at the conclusion of this world.
More information may be found at: After his resurrection, how many times did Jesus appear to his followers? Where did Mary go after the Resurrection? Continue reading this article
When did Jesus die and rise?
Updated at 6:37 p.m. on April 12, 2017. The congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado extends greetings. When did Jesus die and rise from the dead? Yes, I am aware that it is Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But which month, which date, and which year are we talking about? According to Dr. Steve Ware’s book “When Was Jesus Really Born?” the answer provided in this article is correct. In 2013, the Center for Public Health (CPH) announced that it will be holding a conference on “Climate Change and the Environment” (CPH).
- Christian calendars are still based on the Jewish calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar, and the spring equinox, which is why Christians celebrate Easter every year.
- The Christian church has always wished to commemorate the Lord’s resurrection on the day it occurred, and this has been a long-held goal.
- (Numbers 28:16-17 explains that the Lord’s Passover is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan), and a feast is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the same month.
- During the months of March and April, Nisan will be the month on our calendars (Gregorian).
- However, we require the year of the Passover, during which Christ died and resurrected from the dead.
- Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea from AD 26 to AD 36, summoned Jesus to come before him.
- However, we can learn more about the Romans from their history.
However, in AD 31, Tiberius, the Caesar of Rome, reversed this trend.
Pilate didn’t have to alienate the governing Jewish body over the presence of an itinerant rabbi if he wanted to preserve his post.
Pentecost is marked by St.
The date of Christ’s death, according to Dr.
As recorded in ancient Babylonian and Chinese astronomical chronicles, that day corresponds to 3 April AD 33 on the Julian calendar and 1 April AD 33 on the Gregorian calendar, respectively, which correspond to the Passover date of 14 Nisan in that year.
Ware’s study, Easter falls on the 5th of April in the year AD 33.
Without a doubt, this is not the case.
Jesus indeed died, and the tomb truly was found to be empty. The spirit instills faith in me, and history supports that conviction. Happy Easter, and best wishes for the season. Pastor Otten is a man of God.
The Resurrection Was Not on Easter Sunday!
Every year, billions of people throughout the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, most people are unaware that the Bible presents a totally different tale from the one they are used to hearing from the pulpit. When it comes to Jesus’ resurrection, what is the truth? Every year, thousands of thousands of professing Christians come for Easter morning services. Even those who are not regular churchgoers will attend services at the church of their choosing on Easter Sunday, regardless of their religious affiliation.
- As unbelievable as that statement may appear, it is true—and you can demonstrate it!
- In reality, it teaches something very different!
- When exactly did Christ’s resurrection take place?
- So, what’s the relationship between an Easter egg hunt and the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
The Sign of Jesus’ Messiahship
The fact that Jesus of Nazareth was the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament was supported by a number of evidences for people who sought to learn the truth with sincerity. When the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus after John’s arrest and imprisonment by Herod, take note of what He told them: “Because you have come to me, I will tell you what I have done for you.” “And when John learned of Christ’s deeds while imprisoned, he dispatched two of his disciples to confront Him with the question, “Are You the Coming One, or should we look for another?” When they asked what Jesus had said, he replied, “Go and tell John what you have heard and seen: the blind see and the crippled walk; lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are resurrected and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Also, happy is the one who does not feel offended by Me.'” (Matthew 11:2–6; Mark 10:2–6).
- According to John’s narrative, Jesus performed a series of miraculous wonders, beginning with the wedding feast at Cana, when He transformed water into wine (John 2:11).
- These signs were observed by Jesus’ disciples, confirming their belief that He was, in fact, the Messiah who had been foretold.
- John penned the following: “There was a guy named Nicodemus who belonged to the Pharisees and was the ruler of the Jews.
- During the first Passover season of Jesus’ ministry, in the year 28 AD, this occurred.
- None of this was satisfactory to them.
- Jesus assured them on each of these instances that they would only get one sign like this in their lifetime.
When He was confronted by the religious leaders, who demanded that He demonstrate another sign in addition to the miraculous healings He had performed in the temple, He responded by saying, “I will show you another sign.” “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,’ Jesus responded to their question.
- Because, just as Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the giant fish, the Son of Man will spend three days and three nights in the center of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38–40; Mark 10:38–40).
- The sole indication Jesus gave to the doubting religious leaders of His day was that He would be in the tomb for precisely three days and three nights, as He had promised them.
- “He is not present because, as He stated, He has risen from the dead.
- Jesus had vowed that He would remain in the tomb for precisely three days and three nights, and He resurrected exactly three days and three nights after He said He would.
- It is not possible to count it yourself; it will just not work!
- Others believe that it is a colloquial expression.
- It is important to note that Jesus was referring to Hebrew terminology rather than Greek.
- “The L ord had prepared a massive fish to engulf Jonah at this point.
- As Queen Esther instructed her cousin Mordecai, “Go, collect all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for three days, neither eating nor drinking, day or night” was the exact term used (Esther 4:16).
- This is exactly what Jesus was referring to, and the Pharisees were well aware of it.
They were well aware that Jesus was not referring to a simple day and a half, but rather three whole days, as he had stated.
When Was the Crucifixion?
The Bible, however, says that Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday, and that the tomb was empty on Sunday morning. “But,” many would argue, “doesn’t the Bible indicate that Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday, and that the tomb was empty on Sunday morning?” However, although it is true that the tomb was already empty on Sunday morning, the Bible makes no mention of Jesus being crucified on Friday. In Mark 15:42–45, it is said that He was crucified on the “prepared day.” However, it is important to understand which preparation day this was.
- Leviticus 23:4, 7, 24, 27–32).
- The next day, Abib 15, is a Holy Day that occurs once a year, marking the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
- Thursday was the first Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which marks the beginning of the yearly Sabbath.
- He stayed in the tomb Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night—three days and three nights, just as He had promised.
- When the ladies arrived at His bedside at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning to embalm His body, He had already passed away.
- Jesus Christ came to earth in the role of “the Lamb of God” to pay the price for sin (John 1:29).
- A close examination of the gospel stories reveals that Jesus and His followers ate the Passover supper after sunset at the beginning of Abib 14 (Mark 14:16–18, Luke 22:13–15, cf.
It was later in the evening after dinner that they traveled to the Mount of Olives (Mark 14:26), when soldiers under the command of Judas Iscariot apprehended and arrested Jesus (verses 43–46).
It was 9 a.m.
When Jesus died at around 3 p.m.
33–37), there was utter darkness over the whole region from midday until the time of his death.
Numerous readers fail to notice John’s description that this “Sabbath was a special day” (John 19:31).
As a reminder, Abib 15 (the day following Passover) was the first of seven yearly Holy Days mandated to ancient Israel (Leviticus 23:5–7).
The numerous gospel narratives make it clear that there were actually two Sabbaths that week: an annual Holy Day on Thursday and the ordinary weekly Sabbath on Saturday, according to the gospel reports.
During both the weekly and yearly Sabbaths, shops in Jerusalem would have been closed, as would be expected.
Their first opportunity to purchase and prepare spices would have come on Friday, after the Holy Day that marked the beginning of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
Please keep in mind that Luke notes that it was after the women prepared the spices and aromatic oils, which would have taken several hours, that “they slept on the Sabbath in keeping with the law” (Luke 23:56).
Understanding this issue is essential to comprehending the length of Jesus’ stay in the tomb after his death.
Was it to commemorate the first Easter morning service that was held there?
They arrived at the scene as soon as the possibility to embalm a deceased person presented itself (Luke 24:1).
What was it about this particular indication that convinced the religious leaders that Jesus was the Messiah?
Remember that Matthew recounted that on the day following the crucifixion—early in the morning of the “high day” Sabbath—the Jewish leadership dispatched a delegation to Pilate to ask for permission to station an armed guard to protect Jesus’ tomb from thieves and thieves’ agents.
These guards were there during the subsequent events, and they were the ones who notified the religious leaders of what had truly transpired on the battlefield (28:11).
These officials learnt that Jesus had fulfilled the sign of the prophet Jonah directly from the mouths of the same guards that they themselves had stationed. It was just as He had promised!
Where Did Easter Come From?
Easter is never mentioned in the New Testament, which was written by the Holy Spirit. The term “Easter” is used in Acts 12:4 in the King James translation, while practically every other translation uses the word “Passover,” which is the true reading of the Greek wordpascha. Any Bible commentary or Greek interlinear will do to confirm this for you, and you can find one in practically any bookstore. It is possible that the early first-century Church did not mark Easter Sunday at all. Christians have continued to observe the Passover in the same manner that the original Apostles did when in the presence of Jesus.
- Christ’s sacrifice was symbolized by these symbols, which were a little piece of broken unleavened bread and a sip of wine.
- So, where did the tradition of celebrating Easter come from?
- Please take note of the following startling comment made by a researcher affiliated with the Pontifical Gregorian University Press in Rome: “Scholars are nearly unanimous in their belief that Rome is, in fact, the origin of the holiday of Easter Sunday.
- 201, he writes: Eusebius, an early Catholic historian, gives insight into the origins of Easter in his Ecclesiastical History (Ecclesiastical History).
- Eusebius penned the following: “But Polycrates was in charge of the bishops of Asia, who were firm in their adherence to the tradition that had been passed down to them from their forefathers.
- Phillip, one of the twelve apostles, was a man of faith.
- Polycarp of Smyrna (Polycarp of Smyrna).
In the next paragraph, Eusebius quotes an account written by Irenaeus, a second-century bishop of Lyons, who claims that the practice of celebrating Easter as a substitute for Passover dates back to the time of Sixtus, bishop of Rome (c.
To put it another way, Easter Sunday was not recognized by the professing Christian community until over 20 years after the death of the Apostle John, the last living eyewitness to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, was killed.
If it truly honored the events of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, it would have been observed from the beginning, wouldn’t it?
Even just hearing it should cause us to sit up and pay note.
Easter is derived from Ishtar or Astarte, names that relate to the ancient Babylonian goddess who was revered as the mother of the sun god and who was worshipped as a fertility goddess.
A large number of Fathers abstracted and reinterpreted pagan symbols and beliefs about the Sun, and they used these symbols and ideas to preach the Christian message in an apologetic manner ” (Bacchiocchi, p.
Much of the symbolism connected with Easter, including the use of bunnies and eggs, may be traced back to ancient customs that started in Babylon and were passed down to us over the centuries by way of Rome.
As a result of this partnership between church and state, most of the trappings associated with contemporary Christian culture have been imposed on the Christian community at large.
Many serious professing Christians would argue that they attend Easter morning services to commemorate Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead, rather than to worship the sun deity, and that this is not their intention.
that you do not enquire about their gods, asking things like ‘How did these countries worship their gods?’ or similar questions.
That it does so actually obscures the very moment in time that Jesus claimed was the defining indication of His Messiahship—the time He spent in the tomb for three days and three nights.
It is past time for those who claim to be God’s people to emerge from spiritual Babylon and worship the Creator in the manner prescribed by God—in spirit and in truth!
How do we understand the timing of the Great 3 Days?
How can we make sense of three days if Jesus died on Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday? Christians commemorate the salvific events of Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection over the course of three days, which we refer to as the “Great Three Days” (Triduum in Latin). The gospels all confirm that Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week, early in the morning. Matthew 28:1 (NIV): “After the Sabbath, when the first day of the week was beginning to rise.” Mark 16:1-2 (NIV): It was “after the Sabbath had ended.
Have questions?We have answers!
Fill out the form below to ask your questions and to view further FAQs. Luke 24:1 (ASKFAQSLuke 24:1): “It was the first day of the week at the crack of dawn.” “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,” says John in verse 1. Sunday is the first working day of the week. The day begins with sunset in that culture, as it does throughout the Bible, rather than with dawn or midnight. Saturday’s Sabbath came to an end at dusk. Sunday officially began just after sunset. Three days may not always equate to 72 hours.
It entails three different days, which are distinguished by the arrival and departure of the sun.
- The Last Supper and the Great Commandment will be held on Thursday. The beginning of the first day is marked by the setting of the sun (Eve of Friday). Jesus is taken into custody and tried
- Friday morning: The first day continues with the execution of Jesus, his removal from the cross, and his burial
- Friday night at sundown: The second day has begun. Friday evening/Saturday morning
- Saturday (from dawn to sunset): Jesus is laid to rest in the tomb. The third day begins at sunset on Saturday. Saturday evening
- Sunday morning: The third day continues, and Jesus is risen from the grave
From at least the third century A.D., this method of determining the beginning and end of Holy Week has remained constant in Christian practice, both East and West. It was created by Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, which may be found here.
April 3, AD 33: Why We Believe We Can Know the Exact Date Jesus Died
In our book, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived, Justin Taylor and I make an educated guess as to the date of Jesus’ crucifixion, but we do not argue for or against it. For a variety of factors, virtually all academics think that Jesus was executed in the spring of either AD 30 or AD 33, with the majority preferring the former. As a result of the astronomical data, the alternatives are reduced to AD 27, 30, 33, or 34). However, we would want to present our case for the date of Friday, April 3, AD 33, as the precise day on which Christ died in our place as atonement for our sins.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of understanding or importance.
No one makes this argument more forcefully than Luke, the Gentile physician who became a historian and inspired recorder of early Christianity. No other Gospel writer makes this point more forcefully than Luke.
The Year John the Baptist’s Ministry Began
In Luke’s account, John the Baptist began his public ministry soon before Jesus did, and the author provides us with a historical reference point for when the Baptist’s ministry began: “in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign.” (See Luke 3:16). It is known from ancient Roman history that Tiberius succeeded Augustus as emperor on August 19, AD 14 and was approved by the Roman Senate on the same day. He reigned until the year AD 37. “The fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign” appears to be a straightforward date, but there are some ambiguities, beginning with when one begins the calculation.
Most likely, Tiberius’ reign was measured from the day he assumed office in AD 14 or from the first day of January of the following year, AD 15 (whichever came first).
So John the Baptist’s ministry began anywhere between the middle of AD 28 and the beginning of AD 29.
The Year Jesus’s Ministry Began
Because the Gospels appear to suggest that Jesus began his ministry not long after John, the most likely date for Jesus’ baptism would be late in AD 28 at the absolute earliest, according to the calculations above. Nevertheless, it seems more likely that it occurred somewhere around the first half of the year AD 29, because a few months had probably gone between the beginning of John’s career and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (and the year AD 30 is the latest possible date). As a result, Jesus’ career must have began somewhere between the end of AD 28 and the beginning of AD 30 at the earliest.
The most plausible dates for Jesus’ birth are 6 or 5 BC, which means he would have been roughly thirty-two to thirty-four years old in late AD 28 to early AD 30.
The Length of Jesus’s Ministry
To determine how long Jesus’ public ministry lasted, we must first determine how long Jesus’ public ministry lasted. If Jesus’ public ministry lasted two or more years, it appears that the spring of AD 30 cannot be considered as a plausible date for the crucifixion. The Gospel of John records that Jesus attended at least three (perhaps four) Passovers, which were held once a year in the spring and were as follows:
- In Jerusalem, at the beginning of his public ministry (John 2:13–23)
- In Galilee, during the midpoint of his public career (John 6:4)
- And in Bethlehem, at the end of his public ministry (John 6:4). In Jerusalem, at the conclusion of his public ministry, that is, at the time of his crucifixion (John 11:55
- 12:1), there was a final Passover celebration. And it’s possible that Jesus attended another Passover that wasn’t reported in the Gospel of John, but was documented in one or more of the Synoptic Gospels (i.e., Matthew, Mark, and Luke)
This would make a date of a.d. 30 all but impossible as the date of Jesus’ crucifixion, even if there were only three Passovers in all. As previously stated, the earliest possible date for the beginning of Jesus’ career, according to Luke 3:1, is late in the first century AD. The first of these Passovers (which occurred at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry; John 2:13) would happen on Nisan 15 in the year 29 (since Nisan is in March/April, around the beginning of a year), which would be the first of these Passovers in the year 29.
If Jesus’ ministry corresponded with at least three Passovers, and if the first Passover occurred in AD 29, this suggests that he could not have been executed in ad 30, as previously thought.
Assuming, however, that John the Baptist began his career in AD 29, it is reasonable to assume that Jesus began his mission in late AD 29 or early ad 30. The Passovers in the book of John would thus take place on the following dates:
|Nisan 15||AD 30||John 2:13|
|Nisan 15||AD 31||Either the unnamed feast in John 5:1 or else a Passover that John does not mention (but that may be implied in the Synoptics)|
|Nisan 15||AD 32||John 6:4|
|Nisan 15||AD 33||John 11:55, the Passover at which Jesus was crucified|
Jesus Was Crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover
It is also mentioned by the apostle John that Jesus was crucified on “the day of Preparation” (John 19:31), which corresponds to the Friday before the Sabbath of the Passover week (Mark 15:42). Earlier in the day, on Thursday evening, Jesus had a Passover meal with the Twelve (Mark 14:12), which is referred to as his “Last Supper.” Passover always falls on the fifteenth day of Nisan (Exodus 12:6), according to the Pharisaic-rabbinic calendar that was generally used in Jesus’ day. According to this calendar, Passover begins on Thursday after sundown and finishes on Friday after nightfall.
33, the year in which the crucifixion is most likely to have occurred, the most likely date for Jesus’ crucifixion is April 3 in the year a.d.
Accordingly, we created the following chart in The Final Days of Jesus to indicate the dates for Jesus’ final week in the year a.d.
|April 2||Nissan 14||Thursday (Wednesday nightfall to Thursday nightfall)||Day of Passover preparation||Last Supper|
|April 3||Nissan 15||Friday (Thursday nightfall to Friday nightfall)||Passover; Feast of Unleavened Bread, begins||Crucifixion|
|April 4||Nissan 16||Saturday (Friday nightfall to Saturday nightfall)||Sabbath|
|April 5||Nissan 17||Sunday (Saturday nightfall to Sunday nightfall)||First day of the week||Resurrection|
The computations in the preceding section may look difficult, but in a nutshell, the reasoning goes as follows:
|Beginning of Tiberius’s reign||AD 14|
|Fifteenth year of Tiberius’s reign:Beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry||AD 28|
|A few months later:Beginning of Jesus’s ministry||AD 29|
|Minimum three-year duration of Jesus’ ministry:Most likely date of Jesus’s crucifixion||AD 33 (April 3)|
While this is, in our opinion, the most plausible scenario, it should be noted that many people think Jesus was killed in the year AD 30, rather than the year AD 33, as we have said. If, on the other hand, the beginning of Tiberius’ rule is set at the year AD 14, it becomes nearly difficult to fit fifteen years of Tiberius’ reign and three years of Jesus’ ministry between AD 14 and AD 30, as is the case. As a result, some have speculated that Tiberius and Augustus shared co-regency (combined rule) during the last few years of Augustus’ reign.
As a result, we believe that Jesus was most likely crucified on April 3, AD 33, as previously stated.
Because of this, when we celebrate Easter and walk with Jesus every day of the year, we may be certain that our faith is founded not just on subjective personal confidence, but also on solid historical evidence, which makes our faith a perfectly rational faith.
Crossway’s executive vice president and publisher for books, Justin Taylor, holds this position.