Three Days and Three Nights

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Three Days and Three Nights

By Larry R. Lasiter

2001

The Resurrection  was not on Sunday

Each year many observe "Good Friday", the day they believe that Jesus was crucified. Then "Easter" Sunday will be observed as the day Christ arose from the dead. But was Jesus truly crucified on a Friday and resurrected on a Sunday Morning? And does it really matter?

The Sign of Jonah

If you believe in Jesus as the Messiah, then it does matter, because the only sign which would be given to prove that He was the promised Messiah is the sign of Jonah.

When the Jewish religious leaders asked Jesus for a sign to prove that He was sent from God, Jesus answered,-"An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet NO SIGN shall be given to it BUT THE SIGN OF JONAH the prophet. For just as Jonah was THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of man be THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:39-40)

Jesus said, not only three DAYS but also three NIGHTS.

That is 72 hours in the grave.
 

Many erroneously assume that because Jesus was crucified on the "day of preparation" that He was killed on "Friday", the weekly preparation day. Notice,- And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man, a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. And it was the PREPARATION DAY, and the SABBATH WAS ABOUT TO BEGIN. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment." (Luke 23:50-56)

We can read the same account in the other gospels as well, so it is very clear that Jesus was killed and buried on the day of preparation. But how can we get THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS from near sundown Friday to Sunday morning? Friday NIGHT would be ONE NIGHT, Saturday would be ONE DAY. Saturday NIGHT would be TWO NIGHTS and Sunday morning could not even be counted as a DAY. This reckoning would give us only ONE DAY and TWO NIGHTS, not the THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS Jesus gave as His only sign.

Jesus certainly made no mistake so what is the answer to this puzzle? The answer can only be found when we understand which Sabbath is being prepared for observance. There are more "Sabbaths" than just the weekly Sabbaths. They are called "Annual Sabbaths" or "High Days."

These are a part of the annual Festivals commanded by God in Leviticus 23, and are the Lord's appointed times for assembly and observance. They may fall on any day of the week during the year.

The ANNUAL SABBATHS are (1) First Day of Unleavened Bread. (2) Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread. (3) Feast of Pentecost or First Fruits (always Sunday). (4) Feast of Trumpets. (5) Day of Atonement. (6) Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. (7) Last Great Day.

Now with this understanding let us read Leviticus 23:5-7,- "In the first month, on the FOURTEENTH DAY of the month at twilight is the Lord's PASSOVER. Then on the FIFTEENTH DAY of the same month there is the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the FIRST DAY you shall have a HOLY CONVOCATION; you shall not do any laborious work."

Notice that this ANNUAL SABBATH follows the Lord's PASSOVER. Now notice Luke 22:15,- Jesus said to His disciples,- "I have earnestly desired to eat this PASSOVER with you before I SUFFER."

After the PASSOVER MEAL they departed to the Mount of Olives. In Luke 22, Verse 47 we find Jesus betrayed by Judas Iscariot and in Verse 54,- arrested.

All this happened on the PASSOVER, the 14th of Nissan.

The following morning (still the Passover), Jesus was tried, beaten and sentenced to death by crucifixion. We find in Matthew 27, Verse 50 that Jesus cried out with a loud voice and died. Verse 46 tells us it was at the "ninth hour" of the day (Passover), which is 3 in the afternoon.

All of this, from the eating of the Passover, to His death and burial, took place on the 14th of Nissan, the Passover.

Joseph, who asked Pilate for Jesus' body, had until sundown to prepare the body with spices and secure Him in His tomb. Days began and ended at sundown, so sundown would begin a new day, in this case a High Sabbath, the First Day of Unleavened Bread.(15th Nissan)

This day of preparation mentioned in the Gospels was not to prepare for a "weekly" Sabbath, but the First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus was crucified in 31 A.D. (I surmise) on Passover 14th Nissan, a WEDNESDAY that year (30 A.D. and 31 A.D. both had a Wednesday Passover according to the perpetual calendar) was buried just prior to sundown which would begin the next day,- THURSDAY, 15th Nissan a High Day. THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS later, near the end of the WEEKLY SABBATH (Saturday), He arose from the dead. Notice,- Luke 24:1-3,- "But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the Body of the Lord Jesus."

It was early SUNDAY MORNING and Jesus was ALREADY GONE.

He was not resurrected on Sunday morning, the tomb was already empty.

Fulfilling the "Sign of Jonah", Jesus was true to His own prophecy concerning Himself,- He was in the grave Wednesday NIGHT(1st), Thurs-DAY(1st), Thursday NIGHT(2nd), Fri-DAY(2nd), Friday NIGHT(3rd)Satur-DAY(3rd). Thus THREE FULL DAYS and THREE FULL NIGHTS.

If He arose on Sunday morning, that would be three days and FOUR NIGHTS, thus nullifying the Lord's own prophecy of His resurrection.

If Jesus was put in the tomb just before sundown, then He must have been resurrected from the tomb at that same time of day three days later. Which would be near the end of the weekly Sabbath as it was beginning to get dark. At sundown would begin Sunday, the first day it was noticed that He was gone from His tomb.

WHAT ABOUT MARK 16:9?

Many point out that Mark Chapter 16, Verse 9 does not harmonize with the other resurrection accounts given in the Gospel records. They may be right, notice,- "Now after He had risen EARLY ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons." (Translators added punctuation, so if a comma was supposed to be after "risen", then the Verse would be saying that "After Jesus had risen (previous evening), He appeared to Mary on the "first day.") But let's leave it as it is and consider the following.

So which gospel account is a sincere Christian to believe? Well, the answer is in your own Bible if it has acenter-reference. If you look closely at Mark 16, beginning in Verse 9, you will see that Verses 9 through 20 are in "brackets". Why? Check your own center-reference and you will read that these Verses are not found in the older manuscripts of the Bible. This is the translators way of warning the reader that what they are reading may be "spurious." Meaning that it may have been ADDED at a LATER DATE to promote a targeted agenda.

After the second century the Scriptures were penned by Scribes who would later be known as Catholic Monks living in Monasteries. Since the "resurrection festival" was promoted by those who would later be known as the leaders of Catholicism, and was ordered held on "resurrection Sunday", it is likely that these Verses in Mark were added during the "Passover Controversy." Incidently, there has been other Verses which have been found to be spurious and later removed from future translation revisions.

One such Verse is found in 1 John Chapter 5, Verse 7, which reads in the KJV,- "For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one."

The true rendering of this Verse from the oldest Greek Manuscripts is,- "And it is the spirit which bears witness, because the spirit is the truth."

As you can see, nothing at all alike. Why? The first rendering is from the Latin Vulgate, a Roman Catholic translation by the Bishop, Jerome. Why would Jerome take the liberty to alter a verse to say that there are THREE in Heaven comprising the God-Head, and further add that THEY ARE ONE? Perhaps it is because of another "controversy", this time concerning the "Nature of God." After years of debate, the Catholic Churchfinally ruled that God is a Trinity of beings,- yet one. Many translations do not add this Verse, realizing that coming from the Latin Vulgate ( completed in 405 A.D.) was probably spurious, being too self-serving to the Catholics new doctrinal position.

Jesus was Crucified on a Wednesday PASSOVER, because He IS OUR PASSOVER LAMB. God always does things ON TIME and at His APPOINTED TIMES. Everything surrounding the first Passover observance in ancient Egypt was foreshadowing Him, the true Lamb to come that would save man from death by giving His own precious life as a sacrifice.

As Christians, we no longer observe this very special day as a memorial of deliverance of Israel from Egypt, but as a memorial of the death of our Lord who delivered us from eternal death. Don't neglect this meaningful memorial.

 

Points of Truth Ministries