Why Did Jesus Wait Three Days to Rise from the Dead?
You are here: Home/Redeeming Theology/Why Did Jesus Wait Three Days to Rise from the Dead? Why Did Jesus Wait Three Days to Rise from the Dead? This may seem like an inconsequential topic, but why did Jesus have to wait three days before rising from the dead? By this I mean that when He died, He had totally atoned for all the sins of the entire human race. He could have risen right then and then, jumped down from the cross, brushed himself off and called it a day. But why didn’t He simply do it?
Why not cover yourself in burial clothing and rise at some point during the first night?
To prove He was dead
Some would claim that He had to remain in the tomb for three days in order to demonstrate that He was no longer alive. There is, after all, the “swoon theory,” according to which Jesus did not actually die, but rather became unconscious while on the cross. I guess that if Jesus “resurrected” from the dead two minutes after he died on the cross, this explanation would be much more compelling. However, once Jesus is buried in the tomb for three days, this idea is rendered completely ineffective.
Why didn’t Jesus simply wait seven days to demonstrate that He was no longer alive?
Although these lengthier times may be ignored, I believe they should be because God did not want Jesus to see degradation (Ps 16:10; Acts 2:27).
To fulfill prophecy
It has been suggested that Jesus needed to spend three days in the grave in order to fulfill prophesy. Which prophesy are we talking about? a sign from Jonah, who spent three days in the belly of a massive fish (cf. Matt 12:39-40). However, we must proceed with caution since the narrative of Jonah is not actually a prophecy in the traditional sense. No doubt, Jesus foretold that He would be dead for three days, just as Jonah was imprisoned in the fish for three days, but if Jesus had never stated anything like this, there would have been no such thing as a prophesy about spending three days in the grave.
Why couldn’t Jesus have made a connection between His death and the creation of the world, and spoken a prophecy along the lines of “Just as the world was created in six days, and on the sixth day, Adam was raised from the dust of the earth, so also, after six days, the Son of Man will rise from the dust” (Genesis 1:26-27)?
In the Bible, Jesus could have picked any number of events and accounts and transformed them into a prophesy about how long He would stay in the tomb. What was it about the narrative of Jonah that drew His attention? What is it about three days that is so special?
To increase faith
Another probable explanation is that Jesus wished to boost the trust of His disciples by this event. They were forced to question why they had followed Him and whether He was truly the Messiah as a result of His failure to resurrect immediately. Their sadness at having lost Him, as well as the issues of what would have occurred if they had not followed Him, or if they had defended Him more vigorously, or whether they had just been tricked, were all difficult to deal with. Through his decision to wait three days, Jesus gave them the opportunity to work through some of their issues and questions.
It is reasonable to assume that three days will accomplish this; yet, why not seven, twelve, or forty days, all of which are major biblical numbers?
Could not rise during the Sabbath
As resurrection is seen to constitute labour, it may be claimed that Jesus could not rise on the Sabbath, but instead had to wait until the Sabbath was finished. This is an argument that does have some validity. However, Jesus was constantly engaging in activities on the Sabbath that were frowned upon by other Jewish people, like healing on the Sabbath. As a result, it appears He may have been reared on the Sabbath as well.
Acting as our High Priest
Perhaps Jesus was occupied with “doing something” in paradise, hell, and heaven at the same time. Typical High Priestly duties include things such as sprinkling blood on the altar in heaven, victorious victories over sin, death, and the devil, and preaching to spirits in prison, among other things (Hebrews 9; 1 Pet 3:19). This is something that I believe is possible. It just does not explain why these tasks took three days to do.
It doesn’t matter
Maybe it doesn’t make a difference. Perhaps everything happened at random. Perhaps Jesus chose a number out of thin air and chose Jonah as a method of making a prophesy about it in order to demonstrate that He could anticipate the future, which would then demonstrate that He was a prophet of God when the prophecy came true. The number of days spent in the grave, on the other hand, is meaningless. It just so happens to be the one that Jesus choose. All I can say is that I’m having trouble with this since the biblical authors seem to lay so much emphasis on Jesus’ three days in the grave.
But that’s all right since.
The important thing is that Jesus rose
We can all agree on this point. Perhaps the topic of why Jesus remained in the tomb for three days is an useless one that only theologians should consider. The key thing to remember is that Jesus resurrected from the grave, and for this we may give God praise and thanks for all of eternity. It is difficult to comprehend why Jesus remained in the tomb for three days. But the most crucial thing to remember is that He rose from the dead!
Theologians like asking these kinds of questions about Scripture, theology, and Jesus, but at the end of the day, what it all boils down to is trusting God for what He has done for us in Jesus Christ, even if we do not grasp all of the specifics of what God has done.
The cross of Jesus is CENTRAL to everything!
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What was the significance of Jesus being dead for three days?
QuestionAnswer There are a variety of reasons why it is noteworthy that Jesus was dead for three days prior to His resurrection. First and foremost, Jesus’ opponents were convinced that He had genuinely risen from the grave after three days of death because of his resurrection after three days of death. Why? Jewish tradition holds that the soul or spirit of a person remains with his or her dead body for three days after death. After three days, the soul/spirit was no longer with us. If Jesus’ resurrection had taken place on the same day, or even the following day, it would have been much simpler for His opponents to claim that He had never actually died in the first place.
The fulfillment of biblical prophecy was a second reason why it was necessary for Jesus to be dead for three days before rising again.
Some interpret Hosea 6:1–3 as a prophesy of the Messiah’s resurrection after three days, saying, “Come, let us return to the LORD.
He will resurrect us after two days, and on the third day, he will restore us so that we may live in the presence of the Lord.
It is certain that he will arrive, just as certain as the sun will rise; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring showers that water the ground.” These three days were crucial in other ways as well, according to the text Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians 15:4 when he says that Jesus “was risen on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Jesus died on a Friday, Nisan 14, the day of the Passover lamb’s sacrifice, marking the end of the Jewish year.
His death reflects the death of a flawless, immaculate sacrifice made on our behalf by the Father in heaven.
Hence the importance of Jesus being dead for three days prior to His resurrection, as explained in the Gospel of John.
(2) Because Jesus Himself said that it would take three days.
The Bible does not specify exactly why three days were required between Jesus’ death and resurrection, except from these two reasons. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) The fact that Jesus had been dead for three days had a significant meaning.
Is there significance to Jesus being dead for three days?
After a few months of mentoring, one of my students comes up with some tasty treats! Specifically, he has inquired, “What is important about the three days that Christ was crucified, buried, and risen?” Is it significant that there are three days, rather than two or four, in the week?
In what way does Jesus being dead for three days and nights have any meaning for us? Although Scripture never directly addresses the issue, the following three observations may be helpful. Visit “Did Jesus fulfill the sign of Jonah? — Three Days and Three Nights” for a discussion on the significance of the phrase “three days and three nights.”
Jewish Burial Practices
According to the Talmud (about eighth century), Jewish burial rituals attempted to guarantee that the deceased were actually dead by keeping them in the tomb for three days. This is perhaps the most significant reason for Christ remaining in the tomb for three days. We walk out to the cemetery and inspect the bodies for a period of three days without fear of being accused of following the practices of the Amorites, as we have in the past. Once, a guy who had been buried was investigated and discovered to be alive; he continued to live for another twenty-five years until passing away.
- S’machot 8:1 (S’machot 8:1) This indicates that, according to Jewish tradition, a person was not declared dead until three days had passed following their death.
- It is crucial to remember that according to forensic science, rigor mortis (also known as stiffness of death) develops in between 1 and 12 hours after death (with an average of 2–4 hours).
- Approximately 36 hours after death, putrefaction of the corpse begins to occur.
- The story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection is told in John 11.
In John 11:39, Martha complains about Lazarus being risen from the dead, and Jesus responds with these words: “Remove the stone.” Because he had been dead for four days, Martha, his sister, expressed her concern to Him by saying, “Lord, there will be a stink by this time.” John 11:39 (NIV) (NASB) Her statement suggests that she was aware that putrefaction would have been taking place at the time.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Jesus died before He was laid to rest in the tomb. Consequently, by late Saturday night, the corpse of Jesus would have begun to decompose. His resurrection on the morning of Sunday would have been nothing short of a miracle.
Resurrection On First Day
The resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week heralded the beginning of a new week. In recognition of this, the early church began meeting for worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). All of the 10 commandments are repeated in the New Testament, with the exception of the requirement to worship on the seventh day of the week. See the article “Do we have to follow the ten commandments given to us by God in the Old Testament?” for further information.
Our God desired for us to be aware that a miracle had occurred. When Jesus’ human body began to disintegrate, the miracle of life was performed once more. Jesus made a guarantee that He will rise from the dead on the third day. As everyone, even the Roman troops, was aware that Christ had died on the third day, His resurrection on the fourth day was a great miracle.
190-191 in David H. Stern’s Jewish New Testament Commentary (Jewish New Testament Publications, 1992), which is a must-read. 2. Study.com (www.study.com/academy/lesson/rigor-mortis-definition-timeline-stages.html) 3. The website Explore Forensics (www.exploreforensics.co.uk/the-rate-of-decomposition-in-a-body.html) provides information on the rate of decay in a corpse.
I’m on the lookout for God. Display a Sign for Us What day of the week should we worship? Should we worship on Sunday or on Saturday? Is it necessary for us to follow the ten commandments as outlined in the Bible? Is it possible that Jesus fulfilled the sign of Jonah? — Three days and three nights are required.
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. Following are the methods that the great majority of Christians throughout the world have used to determine the time of their festivities during Holy Week, including United Methodists.
- 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.
Did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
I have implicitly assumed that Jesus was executed on Friday in my Answers Magazine article and in my book (co-authored with Justin Taylor) The Final Days of Jesus (both written with Justin Taylor) (though our main argument was that Jesus died most likely in AD 33 rather than in AD 30). Some have objected to the fact that such a view appears to be at odds with Jesus’ declaration in the Gospel of Matthew that “just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40, ESV).
- After all, if Jesus was crucified on a Friday, he would have been in the tomb for at least three days and two nights, which would be in conflict with Jesus’ own affirmation in Matthew.
- When it comes to addressing this subject, we come to a fork in the road.
- Of course, the date on which Jesus died is not nearly as important as the fact that he, the God-man, died on the cross in our place as a sacrifice for our sins.
- As a result, this is less of an atheological concern and more of a hermeneutical and exegetical difficulty.
- Before we proceed, allow me to make one more remark, which is connected to tradition.
- Tradition can, in fact, be incorrect!” Yes, I am aware of the situation.
- In spite of this, there are frequently valid reasons for a particular custom, and in this case at least, I believe the rationale for the “Good Friday” tradition is anchored in the fact that Jesus was killed on a Friday, as attested to by the Gospels themselves.
In the first place, the Gospels consistently attest to the fact that Jesus was crucified and rose again “on the third day” (for example, Luke 24:7; see also Luke 24:21, where the two disciples on the road to Emmaus inform Jesus that it is “now the third day since these things happened”; this later became part of the gospel message, as we can see in passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:4 and later still in the Apostles’ Creed).
- Nowhere in the Gospels does it indicate that Jesus was crucified and rose again “on the fourth day” or “on the fifth day”; it is always said that he rose on the third day.
- Jesus resurrected from the dead on the third day, precisely as he had prophesied on several occasions.
- Now, it appears to me that those who attempt to fit the Gospel narratives of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection “on the third day” into a “three days and three nights” plan will certainly claim that Jesus rose on the fourth or fifth day.
- If Jesus had risen on Thursday, he would have done so on Day 4.
- Any of these scenarios is in direct contrast with the consistent biblical evidence that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day.
Therefore, it may be preferable to investigate whether there is a legitimate way to account for Jesus’ statement in Matthew 12:40, according to which “just as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” What is the difference between “three days and three nights” and “three days and two nights”?
- There’s a rationale for this: in Semitic language, any component of a 24-hour period of time might be referred to as “one day and a night” (in the sense that one “day and a night” is equal to one day and a night = 1 day).
- In addition, read the relevant comments on Matthew’s Gospel for supporting evidence.
- These idioms and other literary techniques will be quickly recognized by people who are open to the presence of such devices, but those who cling to a more literal interpretative approach will most likely not notice that this resolves the dilemma.
- I am aware that several highly scholarly arguments have been advanced in support of a Wednesday or Thursday crucifixion, but none of them seem persuasive to me at this point (or many others).
- While at the same time, I believe that there is a reasonable approach to address the seeming challenge, which serves as a good case study demonstrating that not every apparent contradiction is actually a genuine contradiction.
This is another point on which those of us who maintain a high regard for the Bible should be able to come to terms with one another.
Did Jesus Rise “On” or “After” the Third Day?
In the most common allusion to Jesus’ resurrection, it is revealed that He was raised from the dead on the third day after His entombment. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus as prophesying that He would rise from the tomb on this day in history (Matthew 17:23; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22). The apostle Paul stated in his first letter to the Corinthians that Jesus resurrected from the tomb “on the third day, according to the Scriptures,” referring to the third day of the week in which he died (1 Corinthians 15:4).
- Which one is it, then?
- While these assertions may appear to be in conflict to the 21st-century reader at first glance, if one knows the various, and at times more liberal, techniques ancients used to count time, they are in fact fully consistent with one another.
- 3, as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp.
A segment of a 24-hour period, according to Azariah, might be deemed “as much as the entire length of time.” As a result, as strange as it may sound to an American living in the twenty-first century, a person living in ancient times could legitimately speak of something occurring “on the third day,” “after three days,” or “after three days and three nights,” while still referring to the same exact day as they were speaking.
The Scriptures provide several examples that demonstrate unequivocally that throughout biblical times, a portion of a day was frequently comparable to the entire day.
- It rained on the Earth for “forty days and forty nights,” according to Genesis 7:12, at the time of the Noahic Flood. In verse 17 of the same chapter, it is said that it was only on Earth for “forty days.” Who would argue that it had to rain for exactly 960 hours (40 days x 24 hours) for both of these assertions to be accurate
- In Genesis 42:17, Joseph imprisoned his brothers for three days before they were released. In 1 Samuel 30:12,13, the phrases “three days and three nights” and “three days” are used interchangeably
- When Queen Esther was about to risk her life by going before the king uninvited, she instructed her fellow Jews to follow her example by not eating “for three days, night or day.” The phrase “three days and three nights” is used interchangeably in 1 Samuel 30:12,13. (Esther 4:16). The narrative continues by informing us that Esther entered the palace “on the third day” (5:1, emphasis added)
- And that she met with the king. The book of 2 Chronicles has one of the most striking Old Testament passages that plainly demonstrates that the ancients (at least occasionally) treated a portion of a twenty-four-hour period “as the whole of it.” In response to Israel’s appeal for relief from their responsibilities, King Rehoboam desired time to consider their request. As a result, he directed Jeroboam and the people of Israel to return “afterthree days” (2 Chronicles 10:5, emp. added). Jeroboam and the people of Israel, according to verse 12, returned to Rehoboam “on the third day, as the king had instructed, saying, “Come back to methethird day,” ” as the king had directed” (emp. added). That even though Rehoboam told his people to return “afterthree days,” they interpreted this to mean “on the third day” is fascinating, isn’t it? Furthermore, Acts 10 provides additional insight into the ancient practice of counting successive days (in part or in whole) as entire days. Cornelius was visited by an angel at “around the ninth hour of the day,” according to Luke’s account (approximately 3:00 p.m
- Acts 10:3). “The next day”(10:9), Peter was visited by a vision from God and welcomed people sent by Cornelius to the church. “The next day”(10:23), Peter and the slaves of Cornelius set off towards Caesarea, according to the Bible. “And the next day they arrived at Caesarea,” where Peter spent time teaching Cornelius and his family about the Gospel (10:24). Cornelius told Peter about his meeting with an angel of God at one point during Peter’s stay. Please pay close attention to how he began the rehearsal for the event. “Four days ago, exactly at this time, I was praying in my home at the ninth hour.” he explained. The NASB adds an emphasis at 10:30. Despite the fact that the incident had taken place just 72 hours (or three literal days) earlier, Cornelius referred to it as having taken place “four days agoto this hour” in his speech. Why are there four days rather than three? The reason for this is because according to the way of measuring time used in the first century, a portion of the first day and a portion of the fourth day might be considered as complete days. Anyone who has studied the Bible may easily understand how this knowledge corresponds precisely with Jesus’ burial on Friday and His resurrection from the dead the following Sunday. When it comes to ancient times, a portion of Friday, all of Saturday, and a portion of Sunday would be regarded three days, not one or two.
Despite the fact that some people in current times may find this logic a little strange, comparable idiomatic phrases are nevertheless often employed today. Consider the following example: A baseball game that concludes after only 81.22 innings is referred to as a “9-inning game.” Furthermore, despite the fact that the losing pitcher on the visiting team only pitched 8 innings (as opposed to the winning pitcher on the home club who pitched 9 innings), he is considered to have completed a complete game.
- on Wednesday and checks out at 5:30 p.m.
- Was the man in the hotel for a single day or for two days?
- check-out time.
- Another piece of evidence demonstrating that Jesus’ remarks about His burial were not inconsistent revolves around the fact that even His opponents did not accuse Him of contradicting Himself over His burial.
- In fact, the chief priests and Pharisees addressed Pilate the day after Jesus was executed, saying, “Sir, we recall how that liar stated, while He was still alive, ‘I shall rise after three days.'” Because of this, instruct that the tomb be secured until the third day” (Matthew 27:63-64, emp.
- The term “after three days” must have meant “after the third day,” otherwise else the Pharisees would have demanded a guard of soldiers until the fourth day, which would have been impossible.
- The use of metaphorical terms by Jesus and the Bible writers to indicate how long Jesus would be buried do not imply that He was buried for a literal period of seventy-two hours.
No flaws are found in any of Jesus’ and the gospel authors’ language if we interpret the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and rising in the context of the first century, rather than in the context of today’s (mis)understanding of skeptics.
Similar idiomatic idioms are often employed nowadays, despite the fact that some may find this logic rather strange in current times. If a baseball game is called a “9-inning game” because it concludes after just 812 innings, we refer to it as such. Furthermore, despite the fact that the losing pitcher on the visiting team only pitched 8 innings (as opposed to the victorious pitcher on the home team who pitched 9 innings), he is considered to have pitched a full game. Consider the case of a visitor at a hotel who checks in at 8:30 p.m.
- on Thursday—less than 24 hours after he or she arrived.
- One day or two days?
- check-out time on the first day.
- One other piece of evidence demonstrating that Jesus’ remarks about His burial were not inconsistent is the fact that neither His friends nor His adversaries accused Him of contradicting Himself.
After Jesus’ crucifixion, the chief priests and Pharisees even spoke to Pilate on the next day and stated: “Sir, we recall how that liar declared, while He was still alive, ‘After three days, I will arise.'” Order that the tomb be made secure until the third day as a result (Matthew 27:63-64, emp.
It’s likely that the term “after three days” meant “on the third day,” or otherwise the Pharisees would have demanded a guard of soldiers to keep them safe until the next day.
When Jesus and the Bible authors used metaphorical phrases to indicate how long Jesus would be in the grave, they did not intend to imply that He was physically buried for 72 hours.
Why Resurrection on the Third Day? Two Cultural Insights
Year after year, during Holy Week, Christians scratch their heads in bemusement at the mystery of Jesus’ resurrection “on the third day.” Our calendars show that Sunday is just two days after Friday, so we decide to go ahead and do it. A number of people have come up with ideas for how to make the timeframe more reasonable. These, on the other hand, cause difficulties when interpreting the gospel stories and comparing them to what is known about Jewish practice during the Second Temple Period.
- Throughout the Bible, Jews kept track of time in this manner: Tomorrow is the third day of the week.
- It must be consumed on the same day as it is offered or the following day, and anything remaining after the third day will be destroyed in a bonfire.
- “Let them wash their clothing and be ready for the third day,” the Lord instructed Moses.
- There are still certain conflicts between the Gospel stories that need to be handled, and those concerns must be addressed in other places.
- What was it about the “Third Day” that was so significant?
- Looking at Jesus’ remarks concerning “the third day” from a more Hebraic perspective, on the other hand, provides another understanding.
- Jesus mentions his death multiple times, but he also mentions how he will be risen on the “third day” in several places.
Pinchas Lapide, a Jewish scholar, believes that he did so in response to a prophetic promise given centuries earlier by Hosea: “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has ripped us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bandage us up.” “Come, let us return to the Lord,” Hosea said.
- (Hosea 6:1-2, NASB) After Hosea had reprimanded the people of Israel for their crimes, the people of Israel realized that they were being punished by God.
- Today could be a bad day for him because of his rage, but tomorrow would be better, and in not too long, life would appear to be starting all over once more.
- Following Hosea’s words, the rabbis examined the Scriptures and discovered multiple instances in which the “third day” was when salvation finally arrived.
- They were not working on code-breaking or prediction systems at all.
- (2) It made perfect sense to Jesus’ earliest Jewish disciples that Christ would be resurrected to life “on the third day,” as the Bible describes it.
- In a longer section titled “Reading about the Messiah” (pp.
- Some of his most outrageous allegations sail right past us since we have no idea how he read his Scriptures, which are our Old Testament.
- (2) In addition to Matt.
- Personally, I believe that John 19:14 is a reference to the Friday of Passover week, as stated by the New International Version.
- (2) Genesis Rabbah 56; Pinchas Lapide, The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1982), pp.
When it comes to Jonah, who was “three days and three nights” in the fish, the rabbinic discussion about “on the third day he will raise us up” (Hosea 6:2) includes scripture verses with the phrases “on the third day” or “after three days,” and it includes Jonah, who is referred to as having been “rescued” by God “on the third day of Jonah.” There was a link drawn based on the inclusion of the phrases “three” and “days,” rather than an exact quote being used.
(Images courtesy of Raw Pixel and Dion Tavenier.)
Why does it matter that Jesus was dead for three days?
Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried, and then he rose from the dead three days after his death. In accordance with sabbath regulations, Jesus’ body could not be entirely prepared for burial until the following Sunday after His crucifixion was completed. Some of the ladies who had been close to Him went to His grave on that particular day. “When they entered the tomb, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, but they were unable to locate the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were bewildered about what was going on, two men in brilliant attire appeared alongside them.
- He is not present, but has ascended to the heavens.
- The fact that Jesus has been dead for three days is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
- When He spent three days in the belly of a whale, he compared himself to the biblical character Jonah (Matthew 12:40).
- According to the prophet Hosea (Hosea 6:1–3) in the Old Testament, the Messiah would be risen from the grave in three days (Hosea 6:1–3).
- Traditionally, it was believed that a person’s soul would remain with the body for three days after death, after which it would depart.
- His resurrection had to be a miracle that they couldn’t argue with or dismiss.
- After waiting four days before going to him, He assured him that no one would be able to dispute the miracle (John 11:38–44).
Jesus was crucified on the day of Passover, which was a Jewish festival.
Because Pharaoh refused to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt, God sent plagues upon the country.
Moses warned the Israelites that they should sacrifice a lamb and apply the blood to their doorposts in order for the Lord to pass over their dwellings.
When He died, He was offered up as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity, and when He rose from the dead, He became the source of new life for those who put their trust in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17–21).
Many biblical scholars believe that the number three, which is sometimes referred to as “God’s number,” represents divine perfection or completion.
The fact that He died and rose again is beyond any reasonable doubt in our minds.
Truths that are related: Was Jesus crucified on a Friday or a Saturday?
Is it more necessary to remember Jesus’ death than to remember His resurrection?
What are some of the reasons why I should believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? What is it about the reality of Jesus’ bodily resurrection that is so important to the Christian faith? Return to the page: The Truth About Jesus Christ.
Jesus Wasn’t Crucified on Friday or Resurrected on Sunday: How long was Jesus in the tomb?
About one billion Protestants and another billion Catholics believe that Jesus Christ was killed and entombed on a Friday afternoon—”Good Friday”—and was resurrected to life again at the crack of dawn on Easter Sunday morning, a day and a half later, according to the Christian belief system. This is in direct conflict with what Jesus Himself declared regarding how long He would be entombed, which is a major source of confusion. According to Jesus, how long He would remain in the grave was not specified.
Identifying God’s timetable for counting the days from the beginning of the year when these events took place as well as His biblical festivals during the spring season of the year when these events took place is essential to understanding when Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection took place, as well as the timing of His biblical festivals during that same spring season.
The scribes and Pharisees were pressing Him for a supernatural sign to establish that He was, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah.
Traditional timing doesn’t add up
The Gospels are unequivocal in their assertion that Jesus died and that His corpse was swiftly put in the tomb late in the afternoon, just before nightfall, when the Jewish Sabbath started (John 19:30-42). According to the conventional “Good Friday–Easter Sunday” timetable, the period from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown is one night and one day, or one night and one day. The period from Saturday night to Sunday morning is another night, giving us a total of two nights and one day. As a result, how can we obtain another night and two days to make the total of three days and three nights that Jesus promised would be spent in the tomb?
- In order to get around this, most theologians and religious experts argue that any part of a day or night qualifies as a day or night.
- The problem is that it does not function.
- Aside from that, the book of John 20:1 informs us that “on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early and saw that the stone had been lifted away from the tomb.” Did you notice something wrong here?
- Jesus had already been raised from the dead long before the sun came up.
- That leaves us with, at the most, a fraction of a day on Friday, the entirety of Friday night, the entirety of Saturday daytime, and the most of Saturday night.
- Something doesn’t seem to add up here.
One of two things happened: either Jesus misspoke about how long He would remain in the tomb, or the “Good Friday–Easter Sunday” time frame is neither scriptural or authentic, or both. Obviously, neither of these statements can be true. So, which of them is correct?
Understanding God’s time is the key
Identifying God’s timetable for counting the days from the beginning of the year when these events took place as well as His biblical festivals during the spring season of the year when these events took place is essential to understanding when Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection took place, as well as the timing of His biblical festivals during that same spring season. It is surprising to learn that the Bible mentions two types of Sabbath days: the typical weekly Sabbath day, which occurs on the seventh day of the week, and seven yearly Sabbath days, which occur on the seventh day of the week.
Genesis 1:5states unequivocally that God considers a day to begin with the evening (the night part) and terminate with the evening of the following day—”So the evening and the morningwere considered to be the first day.” This formula is repeated by God during the whole six-day period of creation.
This is why Jesus’ friends, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, swiftly laid His corpse in Joseph’s adjacent tomb shortly before dusk on the last day of the week (John 19:39-42).
Two kinds of “Sabbaths” lead to confusion
Because it was the Preparation Day, and because the corpses could not be left on the cross on the Sabbath (because it was a high day on that Sabbath), the Jews petitioned Pilate to have their legs severed and their bodies removed off the cross, as John 19:31 explains. Cooking and housecleaning were done on the day before a Sabbath in order to avoid working on God’s appointed day of rest, according to Jewish tradition at the time. So the day before the Sabbath was referred to as “the preparation day” by the Jewish community.
WhichSabbath do you want to celebrate?
Because of John’s unequivocal assertion, the majority of people believe Jesus died and was buried on a Friday—hence the conventional belief that Jesus was crucified and died on “Good Friday”—and this is correct.
Because traditional Christianity long ago abandoned these biblical annual Sabbath days (as well as the weekly Sabbath), for many centuries people have failed to recognize what the Gospels plainly tell us about when Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected—and why “Good Friday–Easter Sunday” never occurred in this manner as a result of their neglect.
- You’ll see in John 19:31that he gives an explanation as to why “that Sabbath was ahigh day”—”high day” being a phrase that is used to distinguish the seven yearly Sabbaths from the normal weekly Sabbath days.
- It is recorded in the Gospels that on the evening before Jesus was convicted and killed, He celebrated the Passover with His apostles and disciples (Matthew 26:19-20;Mark 14:16-17;Luke 22:13-15).
- According to Leviticus 23, which lists God’s feasts, the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the day following the Passover, which is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:5-6).
- God’s yearly Sabbath begins on this day, which is the beginning of the year.
- There are a number of Bible commentaries, encyclopedias, and dictionaries that point out that John is referring to an annual Sabbath day rather than the ordinary weekly Sabbath day here.
- Jesus observed the Passover with His disciples before being arrested later that night.
The arrangement and time of these days are revealed in Leviticus 23, and the events of the Gospels match the sequence in which they occurred.
Jesus crucified on Wednesday, not Friday
There are a number of computer software tools available that allow us to determine when the Passover and God’s other festivals will take place in any particular year. That year, A.D. 31, the year of these occurrences, the Passover supper was eaten on Tuesday night, and Wednesday dusk marked the beginning of the “high day,” or the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which began at sundown on Thursday afternoon. As a result, Jesus was killed and buried on a Wednesday afternoon, rather than on Friday.
The habit of celebrating Good Friday and Easter Sunday is just neither accurate or scriptural.
We can, in fact, do it!
Because Jesus’ body was put in the tomb shortly before the beginning of the high-day Sabbath, the women did not have time to go out and purchase the spices before the Sabbath began.
As a result, according to Mark, they purchased the spices “after the Sabbath had passed.” But take note of another eye-opening detail in Luke 23:55-56: ” “And the ladies who had traveled with Him from Galilee trailed behind, taking note of the tomb and the manner in which His corpse was buried.
- Then, in accordance with the law, they took the Sabbath day off.” Do you think there’s an issue here?
- Consequently, they purchased the spices after the Sabbath and then prepared the spices before to the Sabbath’s resting period.
- Indeed, once we realize that two separate Sabbaths are being referenced, the dilemma is no longer an issue.
- After then, Luke informs us that the women prepared the spices, which would have taken place on Friday, and that after that, “they rested on the Sabbath according to the law,” which would have taken place on Saturday.
- As a “high day,” the first Sabbath occurred on Thursday, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was the first day of the week.
- The ancient Greek language in which the Gospels were written also makes it clear that two Sabbath days were engaged in the events described in these narratives.
When was Jesus resurrected?
As we have seen, Jesus Christ was executed and buried on a Wednesday, right before the yearly Sabbath started, rather than on the weekly Sabbath as previously believed. So, when did He rise from the dead? As previously stated, John 20:1 informs us that “on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.” When Mary discovered the tomb empty, the sun had not yet risen—”it was still dark,” John tells us—and the day had not yet begun.
- So, when exactly did this happen?
- In the same way that Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, as Jesus said in Matthew 24:36.
- As we have demonstrated, Jesus was entombed — that is, he was deposited “in the heart of the ground” — right before dusk on a Wednesday, just before sunset.
- We’ll be at the end of the day on Thursday at sunset after one day and one night.
- After a third day and night, we arrive on Saturday evening at dusk.
- Does this make sense in light of the Scriptures?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to His own words and the details recorded in the Gospels, had to have occurred three days and three nights after His burial, near sunset at the end of the weekly Sabbath, even though no one was present to witness it (which took place inside a sealed tomb guarded by armed guards).
The habit of celebrating Good Friday and Easter Sunday is just neither accurate or scriptural.
The words of the angel of God, who astonished the ladies when they discovered the empty tomb, have been proven correct: “Do not be frightened, for I am aware that you are seeking for Jesus, who has been crucified, and I will assist you.
Religious customs and notions that are not backed by Scripture should not be held upon.
Make certain that your personal religious ideas and practices are solidly established in the Bible before proceeding. Willing to make a commitment to worship God in accordance with biblical truth rather than human custom, are you?