We are in the time of year when many are running around concerned with Easter rabbits, colored eggs and baskets. Many think they are observing the resurrection of their Savior by attending Easter Sunrise Services on Sunday morning. Most think He was resurrected on Sunday morning, after having been killed on the stake and buried on "Good Friday" afternoon, a day and a half earlier. But is this assumption correct? Did He, indeed, only spend about 36 hours in the tomb, instead of the three days and three nights that He specified in Matthew 12:40? Let's find out from the Scriptures.
But first, before we begin, let me state that I always restore the proper name of our heavenly Father, Yahweh, instead of using the popular but erroneous "Jehovah," or the substitutes "God" and "LORD," and the name of our Savior, Yahshua, instead of the incorrect "Jesus." Write for more information.
Now, back to the subject. Did our Savior die on Good Friday? Was He resurrected on Easter Sunday morning? Millions of professing Christians believe this, and they think the Bible teaches it. Almost all Christian churches teach that He was only in the tomb from late Good Friday afternoon, until just before sunrise Easter Sunday morning. That is what I was taught as a young man growing up in a mainline Christian denomination. But that would be only about 36 hours, or two nights and one day.
You might say, "What difference does it make, anyway?" Quite a lot, actually. First, a Sunday resurrection is given as the major reason for men's changing the Sabbath from the 7th day of the week, or Saturday, to the first day of the week, or Sunday. However, even if the resurrection had been on Sunday morning, that would not in any way affect Yahweh's Eternal Moral Law, the 10 Commandments. And the 4th Commandment specifies the seventh day is the Sabbath that He has made holy for our use. That would have been no excuse to change the day of worship which was instituted at creation, by the Creator, Himself. And if it turns out that the resurrection was not on Sunday, then that excuse could no longer be used.
Second, if the Friday evening burial - Sunday morning resurrection idea is correct, then it would make our Savior a liar, and as such He could not be our Savior. But He was not a liar. It is just that men would make Him out to be one, by refusing to believe His plain words. Notice in Matthew:
Mat 12:38 then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. Mat 12:39 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: Mat 12:40 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.
Jonah 1:17 says that Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Yahshua said that this was to be the only sign He would leave that He really was the long-promised Messiah. The Scriptural accounts in Matthew 27:45-60, Mark 15:33-46, and Luke 23:44-54 all tell us He died about 3 PM and was buried before dark that same day.
Now, if this took place late on Friday afternoon, and then He was resurrected at sunrise Sunday morning, He would have been in the tomb only half as song as He said He would be. Some claim that this expression, "three days and three nights" is merely a Hebrew idiom, and can mean just parts of three days and nights. Is this what He meant? Or did He know what three days and three nights really was? The answer is in John 11:9-10:
Yahshua answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
So he certainly did know the difference between day and night, and that there is approximately 12 hours of each. If He had just said, "after three days," it could have been an idiom, but by specifying three days and three nights, He absolutely eliminated this possibility. Therefore, if He was not in that tomb exactly 72 hours, or three days and three nights, then He was a liar. And we know better than that, don't we? At least we should!
So, what is the answer? Scripture gives us certain facts which, when taken together, reveal the answer. There are three very important truths that emerge when these facts are put together. First, the actual day of His impalement; second, the exact length of time He spent in the tomb, and third, the correct day and time of day that He was resurrected.
Why has mainline Christianity not understood this subject? There are three main reasons: First, they have failed to note these fixed points given in Scripture; second, the Gentile, or non-Jewish Christians were not, and are not, familiar with the laws concerning Yahweh's annual Feast days, the annual High Sabbath days. This has resulted from their rejection of the Old Testament. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: You cannot understand the New Testament, unless you first understand the Old. And third, from not recognizing that Biblical days begin and end at "even," instead of at midnight, as it is done today.
So, in order for us to understand, then, we must note the following points: The first day of the spring festival season, called the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was (and is) a "holy convocation," an annual high Sabbath when no servile work was (is) to be done. Leviticus 23:5-7, In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto Yahweh: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Now, turn in the New Testament to John 19:30: When Yahshua therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. In other words, he died. Now, verse 31: The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
As you might have already guessed, that high day Sabbath John wrote of, was that same annual high day Sabbath of unleavened bread that we just read of in Leviticus 23. This high day has been mistaken from the earliest times for the weekly Sabbath, or Saturday, and this has led to all the confusion.
But it wasn't the weekly Sabbath. It was the 15th of Abib, the first month on the sacred calendar, that was coming on. It would start at evening, ending the 14th. Now the 14th was the day when the Passover lambs must be killed, and this was the day when our Passover Lamb, the very Son of Yah, died for our sins, becoming our Passover sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7).
He died on the same day, and at the same hour, that the Passover lambs had always been killed, "between the evenings," according to Exodus 12, about 3 PM. Mark 15:25: and it was the third hour, and they crucified Him." This was 9 o'clock in the morning. Verse 33: and when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. This was from noon until 3 PM. And now notice verses 34 and 37: And at the ninth hour Yahshua cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, my El, my El, why hast thou forsaken me? (37) And Yahshua cried with a loud voice and gave up the spirit.
Luke's account, 23:44-46, reads And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour (Noon to 3 PM), and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Yahshua had cried with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit' and having said thus, He gave up the Spirit.
In verses 50-56, Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Yahshua. He wrapped it in linen and buried it in a sepulchre. Verse 54 says, "and that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on." Verse 56 adds, and they returned, and rested on the Sabbath day according to the Commandment. Mark 16:1, 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..
Now let's back up to John 19:31 (that we read earlier), just after Yahshua had died. The Jews, therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day (for that Sabbath day was an High Day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
So we see that Joseph with the help of Nicodemus took His body down and buried it late in the afternoon, just before sundown, when the High Sabbath would begin. Now, let's carefully examine all four gospel accounts of the women coming to the tomb.
Matthew 28:1, 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. (2) And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of Yahweh descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. (5) And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Yahshua, who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said: come see the place where the Master lay.
You see, He was already risen before they got there. Now, Mark's account. Mark 16:1, 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. (2) And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And, verse 4, they saw that the door to the tomb was already open. Then, verses 5 and 6, they encountered the angel, who told them, "Be not affrighted; ye seek Yahshua of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen; he is not here.
Now in Luke 24:1, 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. (5) And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.
Finally, in John 20:1-7, we find a similar account. In verse 1, we see that Mary Magdalene got there on the first day of the week, "early, when it was yet dark.." and the stone was already rolled back from the door of the sepulchre.
At this point, we need to take all these seemingly loose ends, put them all together, and see what these Scriptures are really telling us. First, we know that He was arrested, tried, and nailed to the stake, on the 14th day of Abib, the Passover preparation day. He died at 3 PM, the time of the sacrifice of the Passover lambs. He thus became our Passover Lamb Sacrifice (1Cor. 5:7). We know that He was buried in late evening, just before the annual High Day Sabbath (Abib 15) began. This was not the weekly Sabbath. We also have learned that He was in the tomb exactly 3 days and 3 nights (72 hours), and that He was already gone Sunday morning when the women first arrived.
Now, since we know that He was buried in the late evening, it follows that He was resurrected three days and three nights later (72 hours), also in the late evening. And since He was gone Sunday morning, He had to have been resurrected just before dark on Saturday! And three days and nights before this, places His burial just before dark on Wednesday!
And that is exactly what took place. Here is the correct sequence of events, revealed when we piece all these scriptures together. He met with his disciples in the upper room on Tuesday night, the beginning of Abib 14, for the memorial supper. He washed His disciples' feet, and then later, during the meal, He gave them the New Testament Passover symbols: the bread of affliction, or unleavened bread, representing His beaten and broken, sin-free body, and the cup of wine, representing His blood, shed for our sins.
Then, after they sang a hymn, they went out into the garden, where He was later arrested, probably about midnight. Then came the beatings, scourgings, four trials, and finally, His sentence to die upon the stake. By this time, it was Wednesday morning, the daylight part of the 14th. He was impaled at 9 AM, darkness came upon the land at 12 noon, and He died at 3 PM. By the time Joseph and Nicodemus got permission to take the body, then removed it, prepared it for burial, and got it placed in the tomb, it was just before dark, probably around 6 PM.
He then lay in the tomb Wednesday night, all day Thursday, Thursday night, all day Friday, Friday night, and all day Sabbath, up until just before dark, which would end the day. He was then resurrected, after having been in the heart of the earth, the tomb, for exactly three days and three nights, just as He said!
The women who brought the spices and ointment Sunday morning, would have observed the annual high day Sabbath Thursday, then bought and prepared the spices on Friday, then rested according to the Commandment on the weekly Sabbath (Saturday), before going to the tomb on Sunday morning. If the Friday-Sunday scenario were true, they would have had no time to buy and prepare the spices. They would certainly not have bought on the Sabbath, and that would have been the only available time, if the Good Friday-Easter Sunday story were true.
If the western churches had not rejected the Old Testament and everything else they considered "Jewish," including the knowledge of the Annual High Sabbaths, this knowledge would not have been lost to them. But by following the traditions and ideas of men, modern Christianity is hopelessly bogged down today believing fables, with no hope unless they repent of violating the Eternal Moral Laws of our Creator, Yahweh Most High, then turn from their evil ways. If they as a group won't do it (and they won't), then you owe it to yourself and your family to save yourselves from eternal death. Study the Scriptures diligently. Believe them. Then ACT upon that newfound knowledge! May Yahweh's blessings be yours. <>

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