I was quite blown away recently to hear Hal Lindsey state on his national radio program that he has come to believe that the scriptures show a Wednesday crucifixion. Perhaps you ought to examine the evidence and decide for yourself; be like the Bereans who were complimented in scriptures for examining the teaching of Paul in light of the scriptures to see if it was so. There is clear, concrete evidence in the scriptures for a Wednesday crucifixion; you be the judge.
3 Days And 3 Nights In The Heart Of The Earth
One of the most common questions asked by new Christians is, "How could Jesus have been in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights if He died on a Friday afternoon and rose before sunrise on a Sunday?" Most Christians duck the question, since at most they can only come up with one day and two nights (Friday nighttime, Saturday daytime, and Saturday nighttime in our measure of days). If they add in the Friday daytime they get two periods of daytime, even though Jesus would have died in the late afternoon on a Friday. This late afternoon death is consistent with the Passover lamb being killed between the two evenings of Jewish teaching. The lamb was killed between 3 and 6 PM on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib/Nisan and prepared, because the 15th was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was an annual Sabbath observance (the first and last days of Unleavened Bread were annual Sabbaths in addition to the normal weekly Sabbaths). This search of the scriptures is important, not because it affects salvation, but because it answers the questions posed on whether Jesus kept His Word, and whether the Bible is true in this matter. A legitimate concern and question for all Christians!!
"On the fourteenth day of the first month--between the two evenings (at twilight)--is the Passover to Yahweh (YHVH). And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh (YHVH); seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh (YHVH). On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work." Leviticus 23:5-8The above text confirms that the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are annual Sabbaths, to be observed as a day of rest in addition to the weekly Sabbaths. These days would occur on the 15th and 21st of Abib/Nisan. The Passover meal was an important religious observance in which to remember that the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their houses kept them alive when the angel of death passed by, and that God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. The Passover is a perpetual observance to celebrate pasing from death to life. These ancient events foretold the blood of Jesus being spilled for our sins, and our passage from death to eternal life, by the everlasting covenant of the blood of Jesus. They also foretold that Jesus would die as the national Passover Lamb, exactly on the 14th of Abib/Nisan and that the day following was an annual Sabbath.
What follows is a close examination of the biblical record, in which Jesus was killed on the 14th of Nisan in the afternoon, and the next day was the annual Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We shall also see from the biblical record that this annual Sabbath did not fall on the weekly Sabbath, in the year that Jesus died.
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; 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 fish; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:38-40The above verses show that Jesus had openly taught that the major sign that He was the Messiah was that He would die and three days later rise again. Even more clearly, He said that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. This promise meant that 72 hours would pass from His death to His resurrection and that this would be the sign for the Jews that He was who He said He was (the Messiah). The Friday crucifixion with a resurrection before sunrise on Sunday morning totals approximately 36 hours. If we understood Jesus to mean thatwithin three days and three nights He would rise again, then any period short of that would suffice. But He taught thatafter three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, then He would rise again. This logically would necessitate the crucifixion on a Wednesday, then the daylight and nighttime periods of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday would be three days and three nights. We count from either His actual death shortly after 3 PM or from the time His body was laid in the tomb, shortly before the annual Sabbath began, although I believe we should count the 72 hours from the time the body was laid in the tomb.
But later on two came forward, and said, "This one (man) stated, I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days." Matthew 26:60-61
Now on the next day, which is the one after the day of preparation (after the eve of the Sabbath), the Chief Priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate. And they said to him, "Sir, we recall that the deceiver said when he was still alive, 'After three days I will arise.' Therefore, command to guard the tomb until the third day, lest his disciples should come and steal Him away in the night and say to the people that he has risen from the grave, and the last deception be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have guards; go guard it just as you know how." Then they went to guard the tomb; and together with the guards, they sealed that stone." Matthew 27:62-66
You'll notice that the above text from Matthew 27 recorded that the chief priests met with Pilate the next morning after the crucifixion to get permission to post a guard and seal the tomb. The Bible records that this was the day after the day of preparation. This day of preparation is the 14th of Abib/Nisan, when the homes were scoured for any leavened bread within the house and a preparation of food was readied for the Passover meal, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread [Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:14, 31, 42]. Therefore, the grave of Jesus was not sealed until the morning of the 15th of Abib/Nisan, on the annual Sabbath. In the text from John 19:31, we learn that the body of Jesus needed to be removed from the cross because the Sabbath was about to begin and that Sabbath was a high day or annual Sabbath. This is consistent with the other verses which teach that the day of preparation was the day that Jesus died. Now we only need to determine whether the annual Sabbath and weekly Sabbath fell on the same day, which would lead us to the conclusion that Jesus died on a Friday afternoon, shortly after 3 PM as commonly taught. If not, then He died on another day of the week.
But the Jews (Judeans), because it was the day of preparation (evening of the Sabbath), they were saying, "These bodies should not pass the night on their crosses, because the Sabbath say is approaching, for that Sabbath was a high day (an annual Sabbath)." And they asked Pilate to break the legs of those who had been crucified, and they would be taken away (die quickly). John 19:31In totality, the above verses together give us the complete picture of what happened after Jesus' death, how His body was prepared for burial, and who observed this process. It is extremely important to notice that none of the above texts alone gives the complete story, and that you have to read all together to get the whole story. Joseph took Jesus' body after receiving permission from Pilate, bought a linen sheet, and bound the body with Nicodemus' assistance. Nicodemus had brought a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, which they bound with the body. The tomb was near where Jesus was crucified, and belonged to Joseph who had carved this tomb out of rock. It was a new tomb that had never before been used. Also, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses accompanied the body from the cross and watched the entire process of burial. When Jesus' body was laid in the tomb, then Joseph, assisted by Nicodemus, rolled a large stone in front of the tomb opening and left. Finally, the two Mary's left and prepared spices and perfumes, before resting on the Sabbath. Up to this point, we have no evidence that the annual Sabbath and weekly Sabbath did not fall on the same day as traditionally taught.
And Nicodemus came also, who had come before to Yeshua (Jesus) by night; and he brought with him spices of myrrh and aloes for Yeshua (Jesus), about a hundred pounds. And they took away the body of Yeshua (Jesus) and wrapped it with linen and with spices, just as is the burial custom of the Jews (Judeans). John 19:39-40
And Joseph (Yosef) took the body and wrapped it in a sheet of pure linen; and he placed it in his own new tomb, which was cut in stone. Then they rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb; and they departed. And Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and the other Miryam (Mary) were there, sitting opposite the tomb (grave). Matthew 27:59-61
And Joseph (Yosef) bought linen, took Him down (from the cross), wrapped Him, and placed Him in a tomb that was hewn out in rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. AndMiryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and Miryam (Mary) the mother of Joses saw where He had been laid. Mark 15:46-47
And it was the Preparation Day (the eve of the High Sabbath), and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now these women who had come with Him out of Galilee were approaching; and they saw the tomb and how His body had been laid. And they returned and prepared sweet spices and ointments. Then on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:54-56
The next collection of verses will explore the role of the women in preparing spices and perfumes with which they intended to anoint the body of Jesus.
And they returned and prepared sweet spices and ointments. And on the Sabbath they restedaccording to the commandment. But on the first day of the week at early dawn while it was dark they came to the tomb; they brought the sweet spices, these they had prepared. And there were with them other women. And they found that the stone was rolled away from the tomb. Luke 23:56, 24:1-2You may have to reread the above verses to notice that the women who had watched Jesus' body being laid in the tomb, prepared perfumes/ointments and spices. The Mark 16 text says that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary bought spices AFTER the Sabbath and prepared them. While the Luke 23 text states that the women prepared spices and then rested on the Sabbath. This is consistent with an annual Sabbath on Thursday, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. We know that these are the same women because the Bible verses all relate that Mary Magdalene was involved in all these events. However, two other Mary's are mentioned, one the mother of James and Salome, and the other the mother of Joses. In all cases, Mary Magdalene was involved. Therefore, the women saw Jesus' body being laid in the tomb on a Wednesday afternoon, they rested on the annual Sabbath on Thursday, and bought spices on Friday. They prepared the spices on Friday and then rested according to the commandment on the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. After the weekly Sabbath, they intended to anoint Jesus' body with the perfumes and spices. Therefore both intuitively and by evidence, we have proven that Passover was on a Wednesday, and that Jesus did as He had said, which was to rise again after three days and three nights. What remains to determine, is whether Jesus rose as the weekly Sabbath was ending or at sunrise on Sunday?
But at evening in the Sabbath that was beginning the first day in the week, Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and the other Miryam (Mary) came that they might see the tomb. And behold there was a great earthquake; for the angel of MarYah (YHVH=Yahweh) descended from heaven and he came and rolled away the stone from the entrance; and he sat upon it. But his appearance was like lightning; and his clothing was white as snow. And from the dread of him, those who were keeping watch were shaken and they became like dead men. Matthew 28:1-4
And when the Sabbath was over, Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and Miryam (Mary)mother of Yaqov (James) and Salom (Salome) bought sweet spices that they might come and anoint Him. But in the morning on the first day of the week they came to the tomb when the sun arose. And they were saying among themselves, "But who will roll away the stone for us from the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, for it was very large. Mark 16:1-4
Now in the first of the week, Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) came to the tomb in the very early morning while it was still dark. And she saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. And she ran and she came to Shimon Kaypha (Simon Peter) and to that other disciple whom Yeshua (Jesus) had loved, and she said to them, "They have taken away our Lord from the tomb, and I don't know where they have laid Him." John 20:1-2
You'll notice through a comparison of the four gospels that Mary Magdalene and the disciples went to the tomb a number of times. In some it was still dark, and in some it was already light. It wasn't until it was light on Sunday that they actually discovered that He had risen, in the first visits the tomb was empty. The above text in John 20, tells us of the first visit by Mary Magdalene when it was dark, the tomb was empty, and she had not been told that Jesus was risen, and only saw the stone rolled away. I will leave it to the reader to compare the applicable verses in the four gospels to reconstruct the various visits to the tomb. However, there is one verse which seems to tell us that Jesus rose on the first day of the week.
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. Mark 16:9The above text would seem to conclusively prove that Jesus rose early in the evening on the first day of the week, what we would call Saturday night. Some commentators have speculated that verses 9-20 of this chapter were later added since they weren't in any of the early manuscripts. Whether or not that is true, the reader ought to know that the meaning of a verse may be altered by the addition of a comma or a deletion. The original text did not have these punctuation marks in the Greek text, so they were added later. If a comma is added after risen, the verse takes on an entirely different meaning. 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. This change is not altering scripture since it was not written with punctuation marks. This makes the verse consistent with all the four gospels, where Mary Magdalene visited the grave, shortly after the Sabbath ended, and saw the empty grave with the stone rolled away, but did not see an angel or see Jesus. It was later, when the sun had risen on Sunday morning that she came with Mary the mother of James and Salome back to the tomb, saw an angel who told her that he had risen, and then saw Jesus. One can imagine that Mary asked Mary Magdalene, "Who would roll away the stone?" as they approached the tomb, since Mary Magdalene had not mentioned that she had been there earlier and saw the empty grave. Then she went and told the disciples that she saw the angel and saw Jesus. What any reader should realize is that the Holy Spirit gave us the four gospels with fragments of the story in each, and it takes a study of all together, to arrive at the complete picture. The following verse clearly shows us that Mary Magdalene came to the grave as the weekly Sabbath was ending.
(Peshitta Aramaic NT) But at the beginning/dawning of the first of the week, He had risen and appeared first to Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) from whom He had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9
Now late on the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. Matthew 28:1 (NASB)Bishop Papias was an early church bishop in Syria and he wrote that the book of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic, and then translated into Greek by the apostles. Irenaeus and Clement also mentioned seeing the original Aramaic of the book of Matthew. We have some precedence and evidence that at least some of the new testament books were first written in Aramaic, and translated by the apostles into Greek, and Matthew is one of them. I say all of this because the Peshitta Aramaic of Matthew 28:1 in Aramaic is much clearer than the Greek.
(smoother English from the Peshitta Aramaic NT) But in the evening, in the Sabbath, when the first of the week was beginning/dawning, Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and the other Miryam (Mary) came to see the tomb.It is obvious that "at/in the Sabbath" where the beginning of the first of the week was near, that it is making the point that it was at twilight that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb. The twilight period belongs half to the day ending and half to the next day beginning. The verse drives home the point that this was Saturday evening, but that the twilight period still belonged to the Sabbath (i.e. within 1/2 hour after sundown). There were no streetlights then, and no flashlights, so if the full moon had not yet risen, then when it got dark, it got really dark, really fast. The 2 Mary's had just enough time to look around and leave. No one can read the Peshitta Aramaic of Matthew 28:1 and mistake it for any other understanding than that the Mary's arrived at the tomb at twilight on Saturday evening and the stone had already been rolled away.
Note: some people try and make a trivial argument that the word "nagah" literally means beginning of daylight and cannot mean metaphorically the twilight. They are mistaken. Why? because Matthew 28:1 says it was still in the Sabbath and the Sabbath ended 1/2 hour after sundown. The context is clear that "nagah" is being used metaphorically for the beginning of the first day of the week.
Why didn't the 2 Mary's try to anoint the body of Jesus on Friday, since they had prepared the spices and perfumes on Friday before the weekly Sabbath began? It is because in Matthew 27:62-66, Pilate had given the Roman order to have the grave sealed on Thursday morning, and they had put the Roman seal on it and posted guards until the 3 days were complete. Therefore, if the 2 Marys had tried to annoint the body on Friday, they would have broken the law and been arrested. They waited until after the 3 days, so as to avoid arrest. The apostles were all in hiding at the time, fearing possibly their own arrest, so it fell to the 2 Mary's to annoint the body.
The fact is that the Last Supper celebrated with the bread and wine by Jesus and the disciples took place on the evening of the fourth day of the week (we would say Tuesday evening) and was not the Passover seder meal. Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday and was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. He rose from the dead late on the Sabbath. Finally, He revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene and the disciples on the first day of the week, shortly after sunrise. Of course this means that we have a Palm Saturday and not a Palm Sunday. It also means that Jesus performed the sign He said He would, and that Sunday being the Lord's day is a fabrication of the bishop of Rome. Bishop Sixtus instituted this teaching at Rome shortly after the death of the Apostle John, and later Bishops of Rome perpetuated the error he brought into the church. In due time, even the keeping of the Passover remembrance on the evening 24hours after the Last Supper was outlawed with excommunication.
One will also note that the lamb for Passover was selected on the 10th of Abib/Nisan, and this did not occur as traditionally taught, but on the weekly Sabbath prior to the Passover. As the Lamb of God, Jesus was selected as the acceptable lamb for slaughter following the triumphal entry, when the chief priests met to determine His death on the Sabbath. He was laid in the tomb as the annual Sabbath was beginning, when the Passover seder meal was eaten. On the following weekly Sabbath, as it was ending, Jesus rose from the dead. This is consistent with His teaching where He said He was Lord of the Sabbath.
There have been many noted believers in a Wednesday crucifixion, from the time of the early church until now. These include Epiphanus, Victorinus of Petau in 307 AD, Lactantius, Wescott, Cassiodorus, and Gregory of Tours. Later, Finis Dake and R.A. Torrey also believed in a Wednesday crucifixion. We now know that the Bible teaches a Wednesday crucifixion, so the reader now must face the facts of the Bible as compared to the traditions of men. At the same time, I say that this does not determine salvation, for I know that there will be millions who have believed the Friday crucifixion hoax and I will see them in heaven one day. Also, a superficial reading of the gospels does tend to lead one to the conclusion of a Friday crucifixion, when read separately, so one cannot blame the majority of believers for this false belief.
The learned reader might say that the Passover as kept today cannot fall on a Wednesday, in the Jewish calendar. That is the case today, but then neither does Firstfruits (wave offering) or the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) occur on the first day of the week in the Jewish calendar. The reason is a matter of history. There was a controversy between the Phariseean and Sadduceean way of keeping these important feast days. At the time of Jesus, the Sadducees were the high priests and kept the days according to our present Christian understanding from the Torah. For example, the Sadducees believed that Firstfruits always fell on the first day of the week, which meant that Pentecost also fell on the first day of the week. While the Pharisees believed that Firstfruits fell on the 16th of Abib/Nisan, the day after the annual Sabbath, leading to Pentecost on various days of the week. At the time of Jesus, the Sadduceean keeping of the feasts was in effect, but after the dispersion, the more numerous and stricter Pharisees perpetuated their understanding of Judaism. They were the ancestors of modern day Orthodox Jews and are the keepers of the calendar today. Their rules have supplanted the days as kept in the time of Jesus, even though these are minor rule changes.
There is not one verse that disproves the Wednesday afternoon crucifixion of Jesus. While that's a strong statement, you be the judge.
First, let's review the scenario proven in part 1. The Last Supper was held on a Tuesday evening (24-hours before the Passover seder meal). On Wednesday the 14th of Nisan/Abib, Jesus was crucified, and died late in the afternoon. Joseph of Arimathea received permission from Pilate and took down the body of Jesus from the cross, probably with Nicodemus' help. The scriptural record states that Joseph and Nicodemus worked together. Nicodemus had brought about 100 lbs. of myrrh and aloes. They wrapped the body in a sheet (shroud) and bound it with the myrrh and aloes. It was already getting dark, so they had to hurry, because the annual Sabbath was beginning, the first day of Unleavened Bread on the 15th of Nisan/Abib, which was a Thursday. Watching all this a short distance away were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses. Joseph had a new garden tomb that had never been used nearby. They laid the body of Jesus in the tomb and rolled the stone over the entrance to the tomb. The next morning the Jewish leaders met with Pilate and received permission to seal and guard the tomb, so that his disciples couldn't steal the body and say Jesus had risen from the dead. They sealed the tomb and posted guards (on Thursday). The women including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices on Friday and prepared them. They bought spices on the day after a Sabbath (the annual Sabbath), and after preparing them on Friday, rested on the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. As the weekly Sabbath was ending late on Saturday afternoon, Mary Magdalene and one of the other Marys' came to the tomb to anoint the body. Since it was already almost dark, or was dark, all they saw was that the stone had been rolled away and no body was there.
Summary: Jesus died on Wednesday afternoon and was laid in the grave as the annual Sabbath was beginning. He was in the grave Wednesday night, Thursday day, Thursday night, Friday day, Friday night, and Saturday day. Therefore, He was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. He was resurrected late on the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. Therefore, He rose on the third day. Also, it was after 3 days and 3 nights. Those are the incontrovertible facts from the scriptural record.
I'd like to face the most troublesome verse first (Luke 24:21), that of the two men walking to Emmaus on Sunday, who were later joined by a stranger who explained all the scriptures to them. We know they were walking on Sunday, the first day of the week, because it is clearly stated so in Luke 24:1, where the sequence of events started. Here are 3 translations of Luke 24:21:
(KJV) But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel; and besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done.Yes, the walk to Emmaus was on Sunday, but it is a misunderstanding and mistranslation that Sunday was the third day since the crucifixion. Instead of writing down the verse in Greek, which most of you don't know, I decided that I ought to use what others have shown concerning this verse (Luke 24:21), which will have greater weight with you.
(NKJV) But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.
(NASB) But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.
The Greek word for "since" after "the third day" in Luke 24:21 actually means "away from". Away from is the same as our "after". Yeshua died late on a Wednesday afternoon and was laid in the grave at sundown on Wednesday as Thursday was beginning. He was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights on Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night and Thursday day, Friday day, and Saturday day using our reckoning of days and nights. He rose as the Sabbath was ending. So He was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights and rose after 3 days and 3 nights while the Sabbath was ending. So He rose on the third day. Sunday is therefore the 4th day. The actual literal Greek translation of Luke 24:21 is:
But surely also together with all these things, it brings a third day away from which all these things occurred.
Translators take the cumbersome literal translation and make it flow , taking some liberty with it, but trying to retain accuracy. The 4th day is "away from" the third day. So it is apparent that the verse is literally saying they were walking and talking after the third day, which was Sunday. However, have other translators understood this point too? Yes, let's look at 3 of them. (Luke 24:21)
Moffatt Translation--by James Moffatt
... but he is dead, and that is three days ago!
The New Berkeley Version in Modern English-- Gerrit Verkugl
Moreover, three days have already passed, since all these events occurred.
The Syriac New Testament Translated Into English From The Peshitto Version -- James Murdock
... and lo, three days have passed since all these things have occurred.
The Syriac Reading can be confirmed by 2 of the oldest manuscripts in Estrangelo Aramaic: the Sinaitic Palimpset and the Curetonian Syriac.
There is exceedingly ample evidence that the correct translation for Luke 24:21 is that the KJV should read, "today is after the third day since these things were done." As the information above shows, the oldest and multiple original manuscripts show that "away from" is the correct word for since, and shows us that they were talking about Sunday being the 4th day since Yeshua was laid in the grave. That troubled them, because He has clearly said many times that He would rise on the third day, after 3 days and 3 nights. He would fulfill the sign of Jonah, as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the great fish, so Yeshua would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. These two disciples were challenged in their faith, because it appeared that Jesus' many prophecies concerning His being raised from the dead had failed. They were going back to Emmaus in defeat, when a stranger joined them. This stranger explained to them all the prophecies concerning the Messiah from the Bible (Tanakh or Old Testament). They did not recognize that it was Jesus, the risen Messiah talking to them. Only when they sat down to eat and He blessed the bread and gave it to them, were their eyes opened and they recognized Him as Jesus. He then instantly disappeared from them.
The next set of verses raised by readers all say the exact same, that He would rise on the third day. The answer is that He did rise from the dead on the third day, late on Saturday afternoon. First a verse that tells us that He rose as the Sabbath was ending on Saturday afternoon.
Matthew 28:1 (KJV) 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.The dawning of a new day in the biblical and Jewish day reckoning is at twilight as it is getting dark, not first light in the morning. The Sabbath ended at sundown, and the two Marys came to look at the gravesite after the Sabbath ended. Jesus had already risen. Therefore, the Bible teaches He rose on the third day, on the Sabbath, regardless of what your tradition or any later creed states. Now let's show all the verses where Jesus said He would rise on the third day, or those afterwards that state He did rise on the third day.
Matthew 28:1 (NASB) Now late on the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.
Matthew 16:21 (KJV) From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.All of the above verses state a prediction that He would be raised on the third day, or that some feared it coming true, or afterwards stated that it had come true. [Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 27:64; Mark 9:31; 10:34; Luke 9:22; 13:32; 18:33; 24:7; 24:46; Acts 10:40; and 1 Corinthians 15:4]. The scriptural facts show that Jesus rose from the grave late on the Sabbath, late on Saturday afternoon. This was 3 days and 3 nights AFTER He had been crucified, and it was also the third day. The first day being Thursday; the second day being Friday; and the third day being Saturday. Somehow we modern people have trouble juggling the concept of the biblical day running from evening to evening, with that of the civil day from midnight to midnight.
Matthew 17:23 (KJV) And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
Matthew 20:19 (KJV) And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Matthew 27:64 (KJV) Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
Mark 9:31 (KJV) For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
Mark 10:34 (KJV) And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Luke 9:22 (KJV) Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
Luke 13:32 (KJV) And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Luke 18:33 (KJV) And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
Luke 24:7 (KJV) Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Luke 24:46 (KJV) And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Acts 10:40 (KJV) Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;
1 Corinthians 15:4 (KJV) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Actually, Luke 13:32 above is often translated differently, where instead of the word "perfected", they translate it as "reach my goal." The verse thens tells the story of Jesus saying that He would cast out devils and heal the sick for the next two days, and then reach Jerusalem on the third day. That's what happened, and in context, the KJV translation is less satisfactory.
There are yet a few other verses that apply to the Wednesday crucifixion, so let me show them for you so that you don't have to search for them and send them in an e-mail. :-)
Matthew 24:63 (KJV) Saying, Sir, we remember that the deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days, I will rise again.All these verses are answered the same way. Jesus did rise from the grave on the third day, late on the Sabbath. He did rise after three days; Thursday, Friday, then Saturday. It was 3 full days and 3 full nights AFTER He died. There are NO verses that cannot be reconciled to the Wednesday afternoon crucifixion. The verse Yeshua so often referred to from Jonah, was where Jonah was in the great fish 3 days and 3 nights.
Matthew 26:61 ..able to destroy this temple of God, and build it in three days. (after 3 days).
Mark 8:31 ....and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mark 14:58 ...and in three days I will build another made without hands.
Mark 15:58 ....to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days.
John 2:19-21 ...and in three days I will raise it up.
Jonah 1:17 (KJV) Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.Pastors are also fond of using allegories and allusions to teach a concept or doctrine, and perhaps Luke 2:46 ought to be a direct allusion to the 12-year old Yeshua (Jesus) being found AFTER 3 days.
Matthew 12:40 (KJV) For as Jonas was three days and three night's in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 12:40 (NASB) 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.
Luke 2:46 (NASB) And it came about after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions.Why should this story be a direct allusion to be used by pastors to teach the resurrection? Note that in Luke 2:41, that the feast they went to was the Passover. So Yeshua disappearing for 3 days was a direct showing of what would later occur in His life. And it was done at the same feast, and He did appear to His disciples who were to be the teachers. He had disappeared for 3 days and 3 nights from His parents as a 12-year old, and was found AFTER 3 days. In the same way, when crucified, disappeared for 3 days and 3 nights through death, and was hidden from friends, family, apostles, and numerous disciples, and then revealed to them after 3 days.
What does this all mean?
We've discussed every verse that touches on the subject. There is no problem and no verse that disproves the Wednesday crucifixion. Rather, they all work together to corroberate the whole scenario. I am 100% sure that Yeshua (Jesus) died on a Wednesday afternoon as the scriptures teach. Whether you have the courage to accept that and turn from believing in an erroneous scenario (Friday crucifixion) is up to you. It is hard to buck the crowd and much easier to just go along. Whether anyone else believes that is up to them. I cannot force people to believe God (through the written Bible).
Why is this all so important. The truth will win out, and the scriptures promised that all would be restored before His return. Even though the church wrongly taught error in the Friday crucifixion for centuries, the evidence will win out. The word of God will not return void, and it is time we believe the truth and not man-made fables.
There are many well-known christians who are on television, and others who have written many books, who likewise don't believe the Friday crucifixion. Some haven't examined all the evidence in detail, and so guess that maybe it was on Thursday. However, others believe the Wednesday crucifixion. The point is that all of them are afraid or reluctant to teach it or bring it up openly. Why? Because they are afraid of losing a following, or losing donations, or losing book sales. It's OK with me, because why should a person make this knowledge a central point of contention in their life? People throughout the ages have wrongly believed in a Friday crucifixion and were genuinely saved. So I don't blame these well-known christian leaders for just avoiding the subject.
More important is the corollary, that this removes any basis for honoring Sunday. The sabbath is and has always been the 7th day. However, anyone can worship on Sunday and God our Father accepts them without reservation. Even the Roman Catholic church has written extensively that they created Sunday as the day of worship and that there is no scriptural basis for it, it is by tradition only. Their writings point out that since protestant churches follow their traditional teachings of honoring Sunday, then protestants are acknowledging that the Roman Catholic church has precedence and authority over them. There is no reason to honor Sunday, since Yeshua rose as the sabbath was ending, on the 7th day. The only point it brings up is the commandment, remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. That's why I bring up the sabbath and Sunday point.
Don't run to your pastor to prove the Wednesday crucifixion and the resurrection late on the sabbath. The fourth commandment is not church law, it is an individual's requirement. A person can keep the sabbath day and go to church on Sunday. After all, keeping the sabbath means to refrain from normal work, don't shop, spend time with your family, and spend time with God. What this knowledge will do is allow you to know the truth and answer non-christians who often see the error propagated by the institutional church. Knowing the truth should also motivate you to keep the sabbath day. Revelation 12:17 speaks highly of believers in the end-times, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.