I was asked just a few days ago, if Jesus was crucified on a Friday at 3pm, how does Him being raised and alive by Sunday morning equals 3 days? Good question and a great sign of someone who is thinking. So, how does Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday add up to make three days and three nights (72 hrs)? It doesn’t. The period between ‘good Friday’ and ‘resurrection Sunday’ does not equal three days and three nights (72 hrs). Buried at sundown on Good Friday (night), Saturday (day), Saturday (night) Resurrection (Easter) Sunday (day) and Risen by sunrise, the Total = One day and two nights! (36 hrs)
So was Jesus crucified on Friday? What does He say about this upcoming event that will change the course of man eternally? Jesus Himself described “the ONLY sign” that He would give that He was who He said he was. In Matthew 12:40 He says these words “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.”
Since we know that God is not a man that He should lie or the son of man that He should repent, what have we missed? After all three days is three days. Someone told me once that it does not matter when He dies the important thing is He got up. I agree without the resurrection then all else is useless and meaningless, however to validate the Holy Scripture and the immutable, undisputable Word of God, how could we take a position that knowing when He died is not important? Scripture will always confirm itself. We must take the time to find it. Proverbs 25:2 says “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.”
One place we must start is to get out of the mindset of 2013 Western Culture interpretation of the Bible. This is ALWAYS important when reading and studying the Word of God. Otherwise we will get lost in meaning and application. For instance, the days on the Jewish calendar BEGAN and ENDED at sundown, not midnight. And they viewed a day as NIGHT and then DAY, rather than viewing a day as DAY and then NIGHT as we do in our culture. This is important when it comes to counting the three days and three nights of the crucifixion.
The fact that this event happened during the feast celebrations is no coincidence. The most complete description of the feasts is found in Leviticus 23. Each of the feasts has a historic and a prophetic implication. They not only celebrate the exodus of Israel from Egypt but also it is a picture of future events which will be fulfilled. The first four feasts were satisfied by Jesus Christ during the actual celebration of those feast days, with Passover being the first four days.
Passover- Lev. 23:4,5 – On the 10th day of the first month, Nisan, which is the time of late March early April today, every family of Israel was to take a lamb, without blemish that was male and one year old. On the evening of the 14th the Passover lamb was killed, cooked, and eaten during the night. This feast celebrates the Exodus from Egypt.
Jesus fulfills this feast symbolically and literally. On the 10th of Nisan, Palm Sunday, Jesus rode down the Mount of Olives on a colt. He was crucified four days later on Passover.
The first and last days, 15th & 21st of Nisan, were “High Sabbath” days. “High Sabbath” days are mandatory rest days which occur during the feast days.
The day before any “Sabbath” is a “preparation day.” This means Passover, the 14th, is also the “preparation day” for the “High Sabbath” on the 15th. Jesus was crucified on Passover. His body was laid in the tomb just before sunset, when the “High Sabbath” of the Feast of Unleavened Bread began. His body was in the tomb for the first three days of this feast, from the 15th through the 17th of Nisan.
Enter the women who wanted to anoint the body of Jesus. What took them so long?
Luke 23:54 – And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath (the High Sabbath or Holy Day – the Feast of Unleavened Bread) drew on (the sun was going down).
Luke 23:55 – And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid.
Luke 23:56 – And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.
So the women had to wait till the High Sabbath passed, before going to the market to buy the embalming materials and then they would had to prepare everything. It was not like they were expecting Jesus to die. This preparation would have most likely taken most of the day. At the end of that day the women had to again wait for the regular weekly Sabbath (Saturday) to pass as well as the night time portion of the 1st day of the week so that they could go to the tomb in daylight.
The first night and day was the Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread
The first night and day has passed.
The next night shops are closed. The next day materials are bought, transported and prepared but sundown begins the regular weekly Sabbath.
The second night and day have passed.
The next night and day are the regular Sabbath, (Saturday), exactly 72 hours after Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb –
When the third night and day had passed – Jesus rose from the dead.
Luke 24:1 – Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning (at sunrise), they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
In order for Christ to be the Passover Lamb of God, He would have had to fulfill the role in its entirety. The Lamb had to be born in Bethlehem, without blemish. He would have to be a male and in the prime of life as a one year lamb was accept to be in prime strength. A man in his early thirties is to be assumed to be in his prime. He would need to be examined for 4 days and be found faultless. Did not Pilate say I find no fault in him? On the last day of the Feast of Passover the lamb was slain and blood was put on the door posts. The last day of Passover would indicate that Jesus died on Wednesday at 3pm and He was laid in the tomb before Thursday morning the beginning of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (remember that would be 6pm on what we know as Wednesday evening). Behold the Lamb of God that comes to TAKE WAY the sins of the world. YOSA, Gift Given, Wages Paid. I have a question though, if the sins of the world was TAKEN AWAY then why is there still sin in the world? I’m just saying. What does the Word of God have to say?