The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!
It is common Christian thought that Jesus Christ died on Friday, and rose on Sunday morning, but is this biblical? What did Jesus Christ himself say about His own death and time in the grave? Is there actual biblical evidence of exactly WHEN Christ died? Let's look at scriptures for the answers.
Christ Himself stated the time He would be in the grave:
Matt 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three 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.
Christ tells us that He would be in the grave for "three days and three nights" just as Jonah was in the fish for the same amount of time. He stated clearly that this three days and three nights would be a "sign" to that generation that He was the savior, so this wasn't somee hypothetical amount of actual time, but actually "three days and three nights" or Christ was wrong.
Some have tried to justify the Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection time line by saying that "three days and three nights" doesn't actually mean three whole days, or three whole nights, and that "parts" of days and nights can count, but is this valid? How would anyone know the truth of what Christ stated about his time in the grave if it were left up to arbitrary bits of days and nights?
John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world.
Christ tells us there are 12 hours in a day, meaning daylight. This also leaves 12 hours for the night. This would mean that Christ is telling us that 3, 12 hour days, and 3, 12 hour nights were part of his "three days and three nights" in the grave. How, then, can we begin counting three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, and fit "three days and three nights," or 72 hours, into this time frame? The math simply doesn't work.
Do scriptures tell us anything else about when Christ was buried and when He rose?
John 19:31 "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."
John states clearly that the day of Christ's death was a preparation day - a day used to prepare for the weekly 7th day Sabbath or any of God's High Sabbath Days. Most believe that would mean that the Friday before the weekly Sabbath day was being referenced here, but this is NOT the case. Notice what else the scripture states... "that Sabbath was an high day." What Sabbath was a "high Day?" The Sabbath coming on that evening (Days begin and end at sundown) was not the "weekly" 7th day Sabbath, but an "annual" Holy Day, called a "High" day. The weekly Sabbath is never called a "High Day," so what is being stated here?
The actual "High" day in question was the first day of Unleavened Bread, which always follows Passover. If you do a search of any calendar for 30 AD, you will see that the day Christ actually died on was Passover, Wednesday, 30 AD, at about three in the afternoon, a few hours before sundown going into that "high" day, and the beginning of the annual Feast of Unleavened Bread, as historical records show.
Let's look at a few other scriptural proof that Christ was buried on a Wednesday, the day before a High Holy Day...
Luke 23:50 "Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near."
Matt 27:57 "Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
Luke 23:55 "And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment."
John 19:38 "After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby."
Let's gather up these events: Joseph gets the body of Jesus, and along with Nicodemus, wraps it in cloth with myrrh and aloes, and places it in the tomb and rolls a stone over the mouth of the tomb. Christ died around 3 PM. It would have taken some time to go to Pilot, request for permission to take the body down from the stake, clean it, put the spices and wrappings on the body and put it into the tomb. It is just before sundown on Wednesday and the High Day was about there. The women are there watching all this and see how the body was laid out in the tomb. They then go back home, keep the High Sabbath Day that began shortly after the body was laid in the tomb, a Thursday. Then Friday comes and they prepare the spices and oils as stated in Luke 23, and then "rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment." THIS Sabbath was the weekly Sabbath, Saturday. These women would not have, 1. had time to prepare all these spices and oils in the short time between Christ's burial and the Holy Day, and wouldn't have prepared them, only to leave them sitting for 24 hours, and, 2. Would NOT have worked on any Sabbath, so the "rest" they were doing was the Day after the day they worked to prepare the spices and oils.
Mt 27:62 "On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, (This would make the day the first Holy Day of Unleavened Bread) the chief priests and Pharises gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, "Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise.' 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
Here is another mention of "three days" which the Pharisees were concerned about.
Given these facts, let's count the time to see where we arrive. Late Wednesday afternoon, to late Thursday afternoon is 24 hours. Thursday to Friday is another 24 hours, and Friday to late Saturday afternoon is the third 24 hours, or "three days and three nights." This means that Christ was resurrected, not on Sunday morning as most believe, but on Sabbath evening... Saturday evening. Remember, days begin and end at sundown, not at midnight as is the case today with secular and Roman time. Christ was already resurrected BEFORE the first day of the week (Sunday) began, that evening.
Mark 16:9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene...
This scripture seems to be saying that Christ rose early on the first day of the week... Sunday, but this doesn't fit the historical and biblical record. Keep in mind that punctuation was not a part of the original scriptures, so this could be made to say several things with a simple change of punctuation...
Mark 16:9 "Now when He rose, early on the first day of the week He appeared first to Mary Magdalene..."
Notice how the placement of the comma changes the whole focus from "when He arose" and places it on "when He appeared to Mary Magdalene?"
The word "Early" means dawn, or at "day break watch."
Luke 24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
Luke tells us that the women went to the tomb "very early in the morning." Morning then, unlike today's reckoning, did NOT begin at midnight and included many hours of darkness. It means early when the sun was just coming up or had already risen, so they had light to see by.
This is by no means a thorough discussion of this topic, however once you piece these scriptures together, you will realize that any relationship between Christ's resurrection and Easter Sunday or the Sabbath being changed to Sunday are purely men's traditions and have no basis in scriptures. Christ was resurrected on the Holy Sabbath day, three days and three nights after being placed in the tomb, very close to sundown on that Wednesday preparation day before the High day. God does not want us commemorating Christ's resurrection, or He would have commanded it. God commanded that we keep the Passover, in remembrance of Christ death, not other days of our own, or of pagan devising.
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