Jesus Wasn't Crucified on Friday or Resurrected on Sunday - How long was Jesus in the tomb?

How can we fit three days and three nights between a Friday afternoon crucifixion and an Easter Sunday sunrise? The fact is, we can't. So what is the truth about when Jesus was crucified and resurrected? How long was Jesus Christ in the tomb?

How long was Jesus in the tomb?

About one billion Protestants and another billion Catholics believe that Jesus Christ was crucified and entombed on a Friday afternoon—"Good Friday"—and raised to life again at daybreak on Easter Sunday morning, a day and a half later.

Yet when we compare this to what Jesus Himself said about how long He would be entombed, we find a major contradiction. How long did Jesus say He would be in the grave? "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" (Matthew:12:40).

The context in which Jesus Christ said these words is important. The scribes and Pharisees were demanding a miraculous sign from Him to prove that He was indeed the long-awaited Messiah. "But He answered and said to them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah'" (verse 39).

This was the only sign Jesus gave that He was the promised Messiah: "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" (emphasis added throughout).

Traditional timing doesn't add up

The Gospels are clear that Jesus died and His body was hurriedly placed in the tomb late in the afternoon, just before sundown when a Sabbath began (John:19:30-42).

By the traditional " Good Friday–Easter Sunday " timing, from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown is one night and one day. Saturday night to Sunday daybreak is another night, giving us two nights and one day.

So where do we get another night and two days to equal the three days and three nights Jesus said He would be in the tomb?

This is definitely a problem. Most theologians and religious scholars try to work around it by arguing that any part of a day or night counts as a day or night. Thus, they say, the final few minutes of that Friday afternoon were the first day, all day Saturday was the second day, and the first few minutes of Sunday morning were the third day.

Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

The trouble is, it doesn't work. This only adds up to three days and two nights, not three days and three nights.

Also, John:20:1 tells us that "on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb."

Did you catch the problem here? John tells us it was still dark when Mary went to the tomb on Sunday morning and found it empty. Jesus was already resurrected well before daybreak. Thus He wasn't in the tomb any of the daylight portion of Sunday, so none of that can be counted as a day.

That leaves us with, at most, part of a day on Friday, all of Friday night, a whole daylight portion on Saturday, and most of Saturday night. That totals one full day and part of another, and one full night and most of another—still at least a full day and a full night short of the time Jesus said He would be in the tomb.

Clearly something doesn't add up. Either Jesus misspoke about the length of time He would be in the tomb, or the "Good Friday–Easter Sunday" timing is not biblical or accurate.

Obviously both cannot be true. So which one is right?

Understanding God's time is the key

The key to understanding the timing of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection lies in understanding God's timetable for counting when days begin and end, as well as the timing of His biblical festivals during the spring of the year when these events took place.

We first need to realize that God doesn't begin and end days at midnight as we do—that is a humanly devised method of counting time. Genesis:1:5 tells us quite plainly that God counts a day as beginning with the evening (the night portion) and ending at the next evening—"So the evening [nighttime] and the morning [daylight] were the first day." God repeats this formula for the entire six days of creation.

In Leviticus 23, where God lists all of His holy Sabbaths and festivals, He makes it clear that they are to be observed "from evening to evening" (verse 32)—in other words, from sunset to sunset, when the sun went down and evening began.

This is why Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, followers of Jesus, hurriedly placed His body in Joseph's nearby tomb just before sundown (John:19:39-42). A Sabbath was beginning at sundown (verse 31), when work would have to cease.

Two kinds of "Sabbaths" lead to confusion

As John tells us in verse 31: "Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies [of those crucified] should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken [to hasten death], and that they might be taken away."

In the Jewish culture of that time, the chores of cooking and housecleaning were done on the day before a Sabbath to avoid working on God's designated day of rest. Thus the day before the Sabbath was commonly called "the preparation day." Clearly the day on which Christ was crucified and His body placed in the tomb was the day immediately preceding a Sabbath.

The question is, which Sabbath?

Most people assume John is speaking of the regular weekly Sabbath day, observed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. From John's clear statement here, most people assume Jesus died and was buried on a Friday—thus the traditional belief that Jesus was crucified and died on "Good Friday."

Most people have no idea that the Bible talks about two kinds of Sabbath days—the normal weekly Sabbath day that falls on the seventh day of the week (not to be confused with Sunday, which is the first day of the week), and seven annual Sabbath days, listed in Leviticus 23 and mentioned in various passages throughout the Bible,

that could fall on any day of the week.

Because traditional Christianity long ago abandoned these biblical annual Sabbath days (as well as the weekly Sabbath), for many centuries people have failed to recognize what the Gospels plainly tell us about when Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected—and why "Good Friday–Easter Sunday" never happened that way.

Most people fail to note that John explicitly tells us that the Sabbath that began at sundown immediately after Jesus was entombed was one of these annual Sabbath days. Notice in John:19:31 his explanation that "that Sabbath was a high day" —" high day" being a term used to differentiate the seven annual Sabbaths from the regular weekly Sabbath days.

So what was this "high day" that immediately followed Jesus Christ's hurried entombment?

The Gospels tell us that on the evening before Jesus was condemned and crucified, He kept the Passover with His disciples (Matthew:26:19-20; Mark:14:16-17; Luke:22:13-15). This means He was crucified on the Passover day.

Leviticus 23, which lists God's festivals, tells us that on the day after the Passover a separate festival, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, begins (verses 5-6). The first day of this Feast is "a holy convocation" on which "no customary work" is to be done (verse 7).

This day is the first of God's annual Sabbaths. This is the "high day" of which John wrote. Several Bible commentaries, encyclopedias and dictionaries note that John is referring to an annual Sabbath here rather than the regular weekly Sabbath day.

Passover began at sundown and ended the following day at sundown, when this annual Sabbath began. Jesus kept the Passover with His disciples, then was arrested later that night. After daybreak the next day He was questioned before Pontius Pilate, crucified, then hurriedly entombed just before the next sunset when the "high day," the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, began.

Leviticus 23 tells us the order and timing of these days, and the Gospels confirm the order of events as they unfolded.

Jesus crucified on Wednesday, not Friday

Several computer software programs exist that enable us to calculate when the Passover and God's other festivals fall in any given year. Those programs show that in A.D. 31, the year of these events, the Passover meal was eaten on Tuesday night and Wednesday sundown marked the beginning of the "high day," the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus, then, was crucified and entombed on a Wednesday afternoon, not on Friday.

Can we find further proof of this in the Gospels? Yes, indeed we can!

Let's turn to a seldom-noticed detail in Mark:16:1: "Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him."

In that time, if the body of a loved one was placed in a tomb rather than being buried directly in the ground, friends and family would commonly place aromatic spices in the tomb alongside the body to reduce the smell as the remains decayed.

Since Jesus' body was placed in the tomb just before that high-day Sabbath began, the women had no time to buy those spices before the Sabbath. Also, they could not have purchased them on the Sabbath day, as shops were closed. Thus, Mark says, they bought the spices after the Sabbath— "when the Sabbath was past."

But notice another revealing detail in Luke:23:55-56: "And the women who had come with [Christ] from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment."

Do you see a problem here? Mark clearly states that the women bought the spices after the Sabbath—"when the Sabbath was past." Luke tells us that the women prepared the spices and fragrant oils, after which "they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment."

So they bought the spices after the Sabbath, and then they prepared the spices before resting on the Sabbath. This is a clear contradiction between these two Gospel accounts—unless two Sabbaths were involved!

Indeed when we understand that two different Sabbaths are mentioned, the problem goes away.

Mark tells us that after the "high day" Sabbath, which began Wednesday evening at sundown and ended Thursday evening at sundown, the women bought the spices to anoint Jesus' body. Luke then tells us that the women prepared the spices—activity which would have taken place on Friday—and that afterward "they rested on the Sabbath [the normal weekly Sabbath day, observed Friday sunset to Saturday sunset] according to the commandment."

By comparing details in both accounts, we can clearly see that two different Sabbaths are mentioned along with a workday in between. The first Sabbath was a "high day"—the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which fell on a Thursday. The second was the weekly seventh-day Sabbath. (To see these events spelled out in day-by-day detail, see the chart above.)

The original Greek in which the Gospels were written also plainly tells us that two Sabbath days were involved in these accounts. In Matthew:28:1, where Matthew writes that the women went to the tomb "after the Sabbath," the word Sabbath here is actually plural and should be translated "Sabbaths." Bible versions such as Alfred Marshall's Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Green's Literal Translation Young's Literal Translation and Ferrar Fenton's Translation make this clear.

When was Jesus resurrected?

We have seen, then, that Jesus Christ was crucified and entombed on a Wednesday, just before an annual Sabbath began—not the weekly Sabbath. So when was He resurrected?

John:20:1, as noted earlier, tells us that "on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb." The sun had not yet risen— "it was still dark," John tells us—when Mary found the tomb empty.

Obviously, then, Jesus was not resurrected at sunrise on Sunday morning. So when did this take place? The answer is plain if we simply read the Gospels—and Jesus Christ's own words—and accept them for what they say.

"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," said Jesus (Matthew:12:40).

As we have proven, Jesus was entombed —placed "in the heart of the earth"—just before sundown on a Wednesday. All we have to do is count forward. One day and one night brings us to Thursday at sundown. Another day and night brings us to Friday at sundown. A third day and night brings us to Saturday at sundown.

According to Jesus Christ's own words He would have been resurrected three days and nights after He was entombed, at around the same time—near sunset. Does this fit with the Scriptures? Yes—as we have seen, He was already risen and the tomb empty when Mary arrived "while it was still dark" on Sunday morning.

While no one was around to witness His resurrection (which took place inside a sealed tomb watched over by armed guards), Jesus Christ's own words and the details recorded in the Gospels show that it had to have happened three days and three nights after His burial, near sunset at the end of the weekly Sabbath.

Try as you might, it is impossible to fit three days and three nights between a late Friday burial and a Sunday morning resurrection. The Good Friday–Easter Sunday tradition simply isn't true or biblical. But when we look at all the details recorded in the Gospels and compare them with Jesus' own words, we can see the truth—and it matches perfectly.

The words of the angel of God, who so startled the women at the empty tomb, are proven true: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said" (Matthew:28:5-6, New International Version).

Let's not cling to religious traditions and ideas that aren't supported by Scripture. Be sure that your own beliefs and practices are firmly rooted in the Bible. Are you willing to make a commitment to worship God according to biblical truth rather than human tradition? 


The Chronology of Jesus Christ Death, Burial and Resurrection


Strongerfaith2's picture

Interesting reading but there are many more questions in mind. I still find it hard to adjust to what i have learned of the teachings of Easter; to say Jesus laid in the tomb dead , when He went to Hades to set the captives free , ect ect. And the time-table I need to learn more of. sunset to sunset , yes. I'm opened to learn more for Lord knows I don't know it all. But the High and ? sabbaths. Hum interesting.


KARS's picture

Hi Strongerfaith2!
So have you left the other belief? I was there for about 11 years and I too know the doctrine. If you want help; have you watch the Beyond Today presentation about Easter? It's on the main page Banner on the tool bar it is labeled "Easter Exposed". You can start there and order the free booklet. You will not be asked for any donations. If you need anything further and have any questions after you have read the booklet, I will keep an eye on your postings here.


Strongerfaith2's picture

I had trouble getting the booklet on the web, please check and see if you can send me the booklet, or if the computer worked or not. Thank you for your response to my comment.


KARS's picture

Your welcome Strongerfaith2.

Try this: go to the top of the page put your mouse on "Publications" on the tool bar it is between "Topics" & "Contact Us". A drop down menu will appear. click on "Booklets" "See All Booklets". There you will find a library filled with knowlegde. Happy hunting, studying, and Bible adventure. :o)


dBase23's picture

good day to you. can you explain further, you said that in the year 31AD the Passover meal was eaten on a Tuesday night. I checked using calendar software and found out that in 31AD, Nisan 14 was Monday although the software says that the conversion is valid for daytime.

**link removed to comply with comment policy**

Please elaborate on this. And also if Jesus started His ministry on earth at about 30 years of age, what year did He die?



KARS's picture

Hi dBase23!

I was told years ago that there is no number 0 year from BC to AD. Thus 1 BC went right into 1 AD. I don't know if this will help or if it even really matters.
I know there are those that like to do the math. So maybe if you can search to find out how old is the oldest tree from the flood during Noah's time; then maybe you may be able to figure it out.
I was told they do still exist.


dBase23's picture

Good day. Actually I figured it out. Jesus died on a Wednesday, Nisan 14. He was 33. When I checked the Hebrew calendar converters, most likely He died on 30AD if He was born in 4BC.

Josephus did not actually named the year Herod died although it is widely accepted the he died in 4BC, it is not necessarily the case. He may have died in 1BC so it was possible that Jesus may have been born in 4BC.

Thank you.


KARS's picture

@dBase23: The Herod that all the boys 2 years and under Herod wanted killed? The Herod that spoke to the wisemen of the east who had seen Christ Jesus as a young child on his mother's lap when they enter her home? That Herod?


dBase23's picture

Yes that Herod I was talking.


Walt's picture

Good point but I'm not yet convinced. As I see it:
1. Friday crucifixion/burial is clearly ruled out by scripture.
2. Scriptural arguments can be made for burial on either Wed or Thu, each without tap dancing.
3. The difference between the 2 views hinges on whether the passion year was AD 31 (supporting Wed) or AD 32 (supporting Thu).

AD 31 might be correct but the argument here is presented in a weak fashion, almost in passing, and cannot be confirmed by a Berean without the software. Also, the author referenced a "chart above" which is absent as of today. Too bad because such a chart can be powerful in this context.

A Thu burial, like Wed, satisfies the requirement of 3 days and 3 nights:
- Burial occurs Thu, prior to sunset
- Day 1 is Thu in remaining daylight
- Night 1 begins Thu PM at sunset
- Day 2 begins Fri AM at sunrise
- Night 2 begins Fri PM at sunset
- Day 3 begins Sat AM at sunrise
- Night 3 begins Sat PM at sunset
- Resurrection occurs during Night 3.

Multiple Sabbaths is well supported by Mk 16, Lk 23, and Mt 28. But perhaps understated is that the purchase/preparation of the spices between the 2 Sabbaths might be the key between AD 31 and AD 32, as a chart of each might reveal.

AD 31
• Wed (began Tue PM at sunset)- preparation day for Feast of UB; burial before sunset
• Thu (began Wed PM at sunset)- Sabbath for Feast of UB
• Fri (began Thu PM at sunset)- preparation day for weekly Sabbath; buy/prepare spices
• Sat (began Fri PM at sunset)- weekly Sabbath; resurrection near Sat PM sunset
• Sun (began Sat PM at sunset)- tomb found empty before sunrise

AD 32
• Thu (began Wed PM at sunset)- preparation day for 2 Sabbaths (Fri Feast of UB and Sat weekly); burial just before sunset
• Fri (began Thu PM at sunset)- Sabbath for Feast of UB
• Sat (began Fri PM at sunset)- weekly Sabbath. Note- Fri and Sat are back-to-back Sabbaths allowing no time to buy the spices
• Sun (began Sat PM at sunset)- resurrection Sun AM before sunrise; tomb found empty before sunrise

If these sequences are correct for the 2 years in question then maybe the buying of the spices between the 2 Sabbaths could only occur in AD 31, and that AD 32 is ruled out. This is compelling but I remain undecided until I hear the rebuttal from an AD 32/Thu proponent. AD 32 has sound support that I have not yet mastered involving Daniel’s prophecy of 70 Weeks & the Metonic cycle.

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Hello, our chart for AD 31 can be accessed via the following link either by pressing "Control" and "F" simultaneously and searching for "Chronology," or by scrolling down to page 15:


Walt's picture

Thank you Ivan for the link.

Where now can I find evidence, or minimally a discussion, that AD 31 was the year of the passion?

On a separate topic:

I've always been unsettled about one aspect of His crucifixion on the Passover. He kept the Passover and was then crucified on the Passover. Many ministers declare (from their own inference which I find unsettling) that He died at the "very moment" that the Pascal lamb was being sacrificed. Here's my concern:
1. There wasn't just a single Pascal lamb being sacrificed. There was one for every household as described in Ex 12:4. Everyone is to kill it at evening - presumably this is the evening which "begins" the day of Nisan 14 rather than "ends" it. Do you agree?
2. These sacrifices can take hours for all households to complete. The sacrifices, followed by the roasting and eating, is proceeding into the night of Nisan 14. While the full moon of Nisan 14 (by definition a full moon) is rising! This is awesome.
3. So too, Jesus kept the Passover. Then He was arrested later that Passover night, and crucified the following morning, and died later that same Passover day before sunset.
4. The point being, Jesus was crucified at the end of the 24-hour day of the Passover, not at the beginning when all the households were killing their Pascal lambs. He died the same day but NOT the "same moment."

What do you think?




andymurphy's picture

Interesting. This could be as simple as a group of Christians meeting earlier on Sunday morning (before sunrise) as I don't think that the 3 days and 3 nights has to somehow equal 72 hrs. I'll enjoy the present liberty in Christ and meet later! Also, can't be so firm on 31 AD.



Walt's picture

Scott Ashley’s article states “Several computer software programs exist that enable us to calculate when the Passover and … show that in A.D. 31, the year of these events….” This is presented in both the article at the top of this page and the original magazine issue at the link given in Ivan’s post of Aug 15, 2012. I think the stated year AD 31 must be a typo.

Ashley claims in the original article (chart on p.15) that Jesus was crucified on Passover Wed. I’ve used Starry Night Backyard astronomy software and calculated the date of Passover (Nisan 14) in AD 31 to be Monday, Mar 24. That’s a discrepancy. But if Ashley meant AD 30 instead of AD 31 then it is a match – Passover was on Wed that in AD 30.

Additionally, AD 30 is the only year from AD 30-33 (inclusive) that fits the 3-day pattern (Sabbath-nonSabbath-Sabbath) discussed earlier. This was established looking at Jewish calendars from given in Gregorian calendar).

Days of Passover
AD 30 – Wed Apr 3
AD 31 – Mon Mar 24
AD 32 – Mon Apr 12
AD 33 – Fri Apr 1

Note that Passover actually began the preceding night at sunset. The software verified that the Passover full moon was within 0-1 days of these dates, as expected. Of these 4 candidate years, only AD 30 fits the 3-day pattern (UB = Unleavened Bread):

Thu Sabbath UB1 – Fri nonSabbath UB2 – Sat weekly Sabbath UB3

beginning Thu and ending Sat. Based on this analysis, I am utterly convinced that the passion year was AD 30 and that the other three candidate years have been disqualified.

I think Ashley’s analysis of scripture is right on the money, Jesus was crucified/buried Wed before sunset, but his stated year AD 31 was a typo and meant to be AD 30. If not a typo, then AD 31 is a misunderstanding and has been disproved.

Here’s an interesting side thought. Rick Larson, in his DVD The Star of Bethlehem (2007) used the same Starry Night software to conclude that the passion year was AD 33. Fits the Good Friday to Easter Sunday model. The software reveals that year’s Passover full moon rose in Jerusalem within hours of its peak fullness, in the fullness of a total lunar eclipse! Compelling thought. But I think that accepting this argument (favoring AD 33) based on poetry and celestial drama instead of the accuracy of scripture (favoring AD 30) is ill advised. But it is something to meditate on.


Jake's picture

Greetings Walt,

Is it vital, to the sequence of events for the week in question, to know the year Jesus was crucified? If we understand When God's weekly Sabbath occures, then, by accurately putting together the rest of the information provided for us through His Word, won't we be able to come to the truth without a distracting, long discussion about what year it occured?

Our family has also pondered the seeming contradiction about Jesus eating the Passover on the eve of the Passover with His disciples. In John 22, He seems to indicate that He will eat It with them, but also indicates that He will not eat of it until Passover is perfected in The Kingdom Of God. Could it be that this meal is not a Passover meal? In Exo:12:6, according to God, the Passover "lamb" is to be killed at the end of the 14th day. In Mark:15:34-37, according to God through Mark, Jesus was also killed at the end of that 14th day. We know this agrees, so we have faith the meal He ate with His disciples was not a Passover meal. We have faith it was a meal He used to inaugurate the perfection of the true covenant. The Passover meal of which He spoke is still to come.

Shalom and Shalav,


EvanToledo's picture

I'm puzzled at many of the comments attempting to still justify an easily provable false holiday. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia and many exhaustive encyclopedias as well as Catholic history works will confirm that the "Quarto-Decimen" Controversy in the 3rd century AD established Easter as the State Christian holiday in the Roman Empire and resulted in the persecution and murder of many Christians who refused to observe this Pagan-inspired State ruling.

The rationalization back then among early Roman church leaders was a hatred of all things Jewish, regardless if they were commanded in Scripture--hence the abolishment of the Saturday Sabbath, replaced with Sunday, and abolishment of Passover and Unleavened Bread for Easter.

We DO know that the Garden Tomb was already empty while it was still dark, that 1st day of the week (Sunday Morning) So just count backward three days and three nights and you arrive at Wednesday evening. Now use your software to figure what year--the 7 daily cycle has remained unchanged in all recorded history! I tend to believe the Bible over man's computerized chronologies.


EvanToledo's picture

For more fascinating history, see British author H.G. Wells' famous 1920 historical work THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY.

He specifically cites the vast difference between Jesus Christ's teachings and customs and the second and third century Roman church's customs and doctrines.

Something happened then to pervert the truth and adopt non-Christian traditions and philosophies.


Lily's picture


Now on the FIRST day of the week.....

Verse 21

.... besides all this, TODAY is the THIRD day since these things happened.

The bible tells us clearly that Sunday, the first day of the week, was the THIRD day since the death and burial of Jesus of Nazareth, and there He was walking and talking with the men on that day! No one saw Him on Saturday. How much clearer can it be?? Why do people ignore this scripture?? If Saturday was the third day and Jesus rose on that day, where are the witnesses? There had to be witnesses that He rose on the third day for that is the only sign/proof He said He would give!!

Does this mean we are to keep Easter? Of course not! It changes nothing. The Sabbath is still the Sabbath, and Passover is still the day He told us to keep in His memory, but we must teach the TRUTH and stop teaching the lie that Jesus rose on Saturday.


DustinJames's picture


In (late) response to your comment on 8/20/12, I'd like to at least address your question regarding Christ's crucifixion vs. when the paschal lambs were slain on the Passover (whether 31 AD or otherwise). You are correct in your understanding of when the lambs were commanded to be slain: Exo:12:6 and Lev:23:5 tell us that the Passover was to be killed "between the two evenings", as the original Hebrew reads (beyn ha'arbayim). Without going into any outrageous depths of etymology here, the time at which God commanded the lambs to be slain was during what we call twilight - the time of partial light between sunset (first "evening) and total darkness (second "evening"). Hence, BETWEEN these two "evenings". However, this was not practiced rightly by many of the Jews in Christ's day. Since I'm limited to only 1200 characters per comment here, I'll continue this with a quote from Keil and Delitzsch's Commentary on the Old Testament.

(pt 1)


DustinJames's picture

(cont'd from pt 1)

Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: “Between the evenings – Different opinions have prevailed among the Jews from a very early date as to the precise time intended. Aben Ezra agrees with the Caraites and Samaritans in taking the first evening to be the time when the sun sinks below the horizon, and the second the time of total darkness; in which case, ‘between the evenings’ would be from 6 o’clock to 7:20… According to the rabbinical idea, the time when the sun began to descend, viz. From 3 to 5 o’clock, was the first evening, and sunset the second; so that ‘between the evenings’ was from 3 to 6 o’clock. Modern expositors have very properly decided in favor of the view held by Aben Ezra and the custom adopted by the Caraites and Samaritans."

The Pharisees held this rabbinical idea of killing the lamb between 3 and 5pm at the END of the 14th, which is totally wrong, but it was the practice at the time--one of MANY wrong practices they had in contradiction to God's commands (Mar:7:6-9). However, as a result of this error, Jesus was in fact crucified at the same time as the Passover lambs of the day.

(pt 2)


DustinJames's picture

(cont'd from pt 2)

This same error has led many Jews (then and now) to consider Passover the same day as the first Day of Unleavened Bread rather than a separate memorial because the lateness of the slaughter necessitates a later still preparation and cooking of the lamb such that it can't even be eaten until the 15th, roughly 24hr later than God commanded. Consider the timeline of the original exodus. It's ridiculous to imagine the two observances could coincide. If they had waited until the following afternoon to slay the Passover, the destroyer would have already killed all the firstborn in Egypt (including all the Israelites) by midnight on the 14th! Talk about a day late and a dollar short... Naturally, we know Jesus kept every facet of His Father's law perfectly, so He ate the Passover with His disciples the night before His crucifixion, as per the commandment.

I hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if you have any further questions.



It matters not about computer programs that attempt to establish time frames. Man has perverted GOD’s time forever making man’s calculations imperfect at best.

The only document to use without fallacy is THE BIBLE. Bottom line, THE BIBLE clearly states that JESUS was crucified during the Feast of the Unleavened Bread. Thus JESUS died at 3:00 pm Wednesday and then GOD resurrected HIS SON sometime after 6:00 pm Saturday.

The world and sadly the church have perverted this sad and glorious event into a day off from work. This practice only cheapens the loving selfless gift given to us from GOD and the actual death and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST.

Until man stops trying to ascertain and interpret GOD’s Mind for their own justification as too the way man wants to live, man will always fall short of the true Glory of GOD The FATHER, CREATOR and PROVIDER.


StevenSWC's picture

Just skimmed the comments.....I 've been saying this for 25 years. This is not about which year but what day Jesus was crucified. Wednesday is the only day that fits Jesus words. I was never able to put this together and I appreciate the article.

grey wolf

grey wolf's picture

Hello All... I've checked with the scriptures and see what has been said is true. I've been confused for many years about the Friday to Sunday Crucifixion to resurrection. Even under normal math it just doesn't add up. Friday noon to three days would be Monday noon, not Sunday. Adventist believe and teach that nothing is done on the Sabbath of weeks-everything is prepared on Friday afternoon and nothing is done until Sunday. With this in mind, they say that Jesus could not be resurrected on the Sabbath, Saturday.
Second the year BC to AD can be explained through the Chines Callender (so many years BC to the nine months in Marry's womb (almost a year) to first year 1AD in this case we do have a 0-1 year but not counted.
Just a theory.

What about pomegranate as the Garden of Eden's Forbidden fruit instead of an Apple? Would it make more sense that the serpent tricked Eve of eating the seed of the pomegranate, because normal thinking would be, through out the seeds and eat the fruit, unless told otherwise. Thus by eating the seeds they also can represent the seeds of knowledge.
okay I asked and answered.


zeekerx's picture

To Lily - best to ignore what she said. Even the scripture she quoted directly invalidates her argument - Indeed, they came VERY EARLY on the first day of the week (aka Sunday before the sun came up. NOwhere does the scripture at that point say it was the third day. What did they see? Jesus was nowhere to found, and the tomb was open. Ergo, he rose as he said he would - on the third night - Which was Saturday Evening sometime. That means, 3 days, and 3 nights have passed, and so early Sunday would be the start of day 4. Pretty straight-forward. Some people want to make a mountain out of a molehill and cling to a clearly pagan notion of the original easter concept. Everytime they do, while attempting to make others believe it to - clearly in contradiction to the gospel - they directly cause a stumbling block for all of us, causing us to sin.


Lily's picture

To Zeekerx-

Concerning the scripture I mentioned that you commented on, please see the last 2 posts by Mike Exton in this link for clarity...


SonofthemostHighYahweh's picture

I would like to say that you teaching is on point, but one thing your are missing His name was never Jesus and the Creators Name isn't god, they lived over in the middle East, so how could they have had English Names, the let J is only about 500 years old, the Bible in proverbs 30:4 ask the question what's is The Father's Name and His Son's Name if you know it? I will tell you, the Father's Name is YHWH(Yahweh) and the Son's Name is Yahsuha.


Pope's picture

Fail. Here is why;
It was interesting until you said:

"Do you see a problem here? Mark clearly states that the women bought the spices AFTER the Sabbath—"when the Sabbath was past."

You are mistaken. Here is what it says:

"Luke:23:55-56 (RSV)
55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid; 56 then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.[FULL STOP]

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment."

There's a [FULL STOP], meaning a decimal point, meaning it's ending the sentence right there! Then, it continues with the next sentence; "On the sabbath they rested.."

Nowhere does it say in the bible that they prepared spices and ointments ON the Sabbath. (sorry for CAPS)

Now, let's say you are right and they prepared the spices ON the sabbath, then it would contradict the Bible!
"On Sabbath they rested according to the commandment."

According to the COMMANDMENT they are supposed to REST and not prepare spices and ointments, which is 'working'. But clearly it doesn't say that. It says that they prepared the spices 1st, end of sentence, THEN they went to rest on the sabbath according to cmdnt

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

If you had continued reading to the very next paragraph you would see why your statement is a non-issue. You see, nowhere in the article do they state that they women did anything other than rest on the Sabbath, "So they bought the spices after the Sabbath, and then they prepared the spices before resting on the Sabbath. This is a clear contradiction between these two Gospel accounts—unless two Sabbaths were involved!"
The fact of two Sabbaths (a holy day and a weekly Sabbath) is key to understanding the timing of Jesus Christ's resurrection. I would recommend reading both the verses in Mark:16:1 and in Luke:23:55-56 in the New King James Version.

"Now when THE SABBATH WAS PAST, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him."
"And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment."


Lily's picture

@ Lena VA

Yes, 2 Sabbaths. Jesus was crucified on Thursday. Before Sunset on Thursday the women prepared spices and rested for 2 Sabbaths {Friday and Saturday}. After sunset on Saturday they apparently bought MORE spices, to prepare and bring very early to the tomb the next morning {Sunday}. Jesus rose at or after sunset Saturday {the start of Sunday, the third day}, and was no longer there when the women arrived.

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

a Thursday crucifixion doesn't add up to three day and three nights (the only sign that was given of the Messiah -- Matthew:12:40), since it shows that Christ was already resurrected when the women came to the tomb before the sun had risen on Sunday.
Wednesday 1 night
Thursday 1 day
Thursday 2 night
Friday 2 day
Friday 3 night
Saturday 3 day
Since we know that Jesus died around 3pm (the "ninth hour" -- Luke:23:44), and He was placed in the tomb around sunset on that same day (Luke:23:54 "the Sabbath drew near) the only way that three days and three nights (as Jesus Himself said -- Matthew:12:40) is possible (and have His tomb empty before sunrise on Sunday) is if He was crucified on a Wednesday and resurrected at sunset on Saturday.


Lily's picture


People get tripped up thinking it had to be an exact period of "72 full hrs." that Jesus remained in the tomb. Nowhere does the Bible say "3 FULL days and 3 FULL nights". Logically, if a full 72 hrs. passes, then it is no longer the 3rd day, but the start of a 4th! Jesus said He would rise the 3rd day, not the 4th. Remember, sunset is the end of a day- the start of another day.

This is what occurred....

Thursday just before sunset Jesus was placed in the tomb. That evening {sunset} is the start of Friday. So the evening of Thurs. and the day portion of Friday make up the first day.

Friday evening {sunset} is the start of the second day {Saturday}. So the evening portion of Friday and the day portion of Saturday make up the second day.

Saturday evening {sunset} is the start of the third day {Sunday}. Jesus rose on the third day just as He said He would {sometime after sunset and before the women arrived at the tomb very early Sunday morning}.

Luke:24:1 "Now on the FIRST day of the week" {Sunday}

verse 21 ".... besides all this, TODAY {Sunday} is the THIRD day since these things happened."

Sunday is the day Jesus was seen {proof}. He was not seen the day before.


ixthys's picture

For those who want to twist scripture to fit theology... please stop. The Lord said three days. If He died 3pm, then anyone without an agenda would assume He would rise 3 days later exactly 3PM!
Try explaining that to the Jews who wondered about Jesus... "oh... He didn't really mean a FULL three days." Of course He meant 3 full days. The God of the universe doesn't need someone to explain to Him the meaning of 3 days.

One note to ponder: For all those who wonder about His ministry and historical dates, I humbly believe that His ministry was only 1 year long (70 weeks to be exact) and not 3 years long. If He is to be the passover lamb, Biblically the lamb was to be only 1 year old (not 3 years old).


Skip's picture

Hello ixthys,

I really have to agree! 3 days is 3 days. Pretty simple.
But I was wondering, why do think Jesus' ministry was only one year? (aside from the fact that the Jews sacrificed a one year old male lamb.) Just wondering.

Malachi 3_16-18

Malachi 3_16-18's picture

Hi ixthys,
Yes, 3 days & 3 nights means exactly 72 hrs. Jesus died around 3 pm on Wednesday, but Joseph of Arimathea had to then obtain His body from Pilate, prepare it for burial, & finally lay Him in the tomb (Mt 27:57-60). Notice that the Sabbath (an annual one) was drawing near (Lk 23:54). So by the time He was laid in the tomb, it would have been around 7 pm that time of year, rather than 3 pm. 72 hrs later would be just before sunset in the late afternoon ending the weekly Sabbath.
Re Jesus’ ministry, it couldn’t have been only 1 year in length, as it spanned at least 3 Passovers (Jn:2:13; 6:4; 13:1). Considering that His ministry began before the first of these Passovers (Jn:2:11, 23), the length of time at minimum was slightly more than 2 yrs, & could have been over 3 yrs.
The literal Passover lamb’s being only 1 yr old seems to stretch the lamb analogy too far. After all, a lamb is no longer a lamb but a sheep after the age of about 1 yr.

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture


In regards to Jesus' ministry not being three years, if you read in the book of John there are three different Passover seasons mentioned, Passover only comes once a year, for there to be three Passovers, there had to be three years (John:2:13; 6:4; 11:55-57)!


clafond's picture

This is all well and good - but let us not get so hung up on the details of the timing that we miss the real point. It doesn't matter when He arose as much as that He did arise. It is similar to the fact that we don't really think Jesus was born in December. In both cases we are remembering the events - not the days.


brothers_against_paul's picture

Friday is the least likely day of the week Jesus would have died. There are 6 days of the week much more likely. Only on Fridays were the paschal lambs slain at 2pm. But Jesus gave up the Ghost at 3pm by his own will and that of the Father's. 3pm is the time of day paschal lambs were slain for Passover. Jesus was The Paschal Lamb. God didn't miss it by 1 hour as most Christians profess to the unsaved world (Jews included). No, God got it exactly right to the very hour. (See Jewish Encyclopedia for discussion of time the paschal lambs were slain on each day of the week for preparation day before Passover).

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Thank you for the research on this important topic.

Dear Lily, multiple translations render Luke:24:21 in the way H.G. describes:

Here's our recent Beyond Today program on the topic:


Seuamuli's picture

Hi Scott, If wednesday to Sabbath was the 72hours, can you explain what the men heading to Emmau chating with Jesus said that this day is the third day since this took place. which means Sunday was the third day of resurrection while Thursday was supposed to be the crusifixon day? also the wave sheaf is always sunday so that means the wave sheaf has to wave on the fourth day and the sign of the first?

Malachi 3_16-18

Malachi 3_16-18's picture

Hi Clafond,

Yes, it is very important that our Lord and Savior rose from the dead. Without Him being resurrected, we would all be without hope (1 Cor:15:13-22).

But it also matters very much WHEN Jesus rose from the dead, because His being in the grave for exactly three days and three nights was the sign/proof He was our Messiah (Mt 12:38-40). The time frame given by most of mainstream Christianity teaches a completely different space of time in the tomb, stretching the “three days and three nights” prophecy by calling the 1 ½ days between a supposed Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection “three parts of days and nights.”

Malachi 3_16-18

Malachi 3_16-18's picture

Hi Seuamuli,

Great question! I think it’s best answered by an article I read on, which explains the “third day” issue. Here is the link:

I hope this helps.

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Hi Seuamuli, excellent questions!

So, Luke:24:21 can be translated as the three days having already passed (e.g. La Palabra 2010, Chinese Union Version 2011, Reina Valera Contemporánea 2011, etc.):

We find Christ our firstfruits (1 Cor:15:20) rising from the dead when the wave sheaf was cut (on Saturday evening at twilight)* and presenting Himself in the heavenly temple as the wave sheaf was offered in the physical temple (on Sunday):

* Re: Christ’s body was placed in the “tomb just before sundown (John:19:39-42)” (Scott Ashley):

This passage does give “the impression that the” “before sundown” “burial was hasty” (Expositor’s, John:19:40-42). Why the urgency?

Note that the body hadn’t even been requested either until (1.) “evening approached” (Mark:15:42, NLT 2007, NIV 2011) or until (2.) “evening had come” (NKJV, ESV 2011) and “It was becoming dark” (ERV 2008) because “it was already evening” (HCSB 2009). Add to this the time it took to return from Pilate (Mat:27:58; Mark:15:43-44).

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Now, let’s jump forward in time.

So Luke:23:53-54, which clarifies John:19:42, has been translated two ways: (1.) “the Sabbath was about to begin” (Mounce Reverse Interlinear 2011)—versus (2.) “the Sabbath was beginning” (ESV 2011), depending on whether we interpret the imperfect tense of the verb verb ‘epephosken’ (LEB Reverse Interlinear 2010) to mean that what is incomplete is either (1.) the day, or (2.) the twilight: “This was late on Preparation Day,” (1.) “•and when the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin [L” – literally (2.) – “and the Sabbath was beginning]” (EXB 2011).

If Christ’s being buried when the Sabbath (1.) “was about to begin” (GNT 1992, CEV & NASB 1995, CJB 1998, NLT 2007, NIV 2011, VOX 2012) – i.e. “the Sabbath was quickly approaching” (CEB 2011) – this would accord with “And if a man…is put to death…you shall bury him the same day” (Deut. 21:22-23 ESV) per request (John:19:31), and would explain how the women had just enough time to return and prepare spices and ointments prior to the (full) onset of the Sabbath (Luke:23:56). However, does ‘about to begin’ mean the stone was rolled shut sometime well after 3 PM and yet earlier than 6 PM on Wednesday?

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

(This would assume the guys didn’t wait as long as possible for the ladies to return with the spices.)

If the resurrection occurred of 4 days later on late Saturday afternoon, then this poses a problem since – as “it is written” in the OT (Luke:24:44-46 ESV) – Christ was prophesied to rise “on the third day” (Matthew:16:21, 17:23, 20:19; Luke:9:22, 18:33, 24:7,46 ESV 2011), not the fourth (not parts of 4 days). Exactly 72 hours later, yes—“‘but God raised him on the third day’” (Acts:10:40 ESV).

The only way Christ could have fulfilled this prophecy (CJ Gennaro 2014) is if the burial and ‘resurrection of Christ occurred...near sunset’ (“la resurrección de Cristo ocurrió... cerca de la puesta del Sol,” Mr. Armstrong & Hoeh 1974, “¿En qué días ocurrieron la crucifixión y la resurrección?,” WCG)—with the stone rolling shut (Mark:15:46) precisely as the annual Sabbath (2.) “was beginning” (Luke:23:54 RSV, NRSV, NRSVA 1995, NET 1996, EXB & ESV 2011)—rather than ‘just before the start of the Sabbath’ (“unmittelbar vor Beginn des Sabbats,” Hoffnung für Alle 2002) or even ‘immediately before the commencement of the Sabbath’ (“unmittelbar vor Beginn des Sabbats,” Neue Genfer Übersetzung).

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

We find the Sabbath ‘already’ (“gei,” Conferenza Episcopale Italiana) “just beginning” (GWT 1995, ISV 2010)—indeed, it ‘was already beginning’ (“ya estaba comenzando,” BLP 2010).

“That is…the new high day Sabbath had just begun as Joseph of Arimathea finished the burial” (Hoeh 1979, “The crucifixion was not on Friday,” WCG)—as “twilight was coming on” (Darby).

“Jesus rose…Saturday evening when the day ended, three days and three nights after he was buried…as the new day began” (WCG 1988, “The resurrection was not on Sunday”) in the twilight dusk “near sunset”:

His “‘resurrection occurred…Saturday night [at twilight], when the wave sheaf was cut…ascension occurred when it was waved before the altar [on Sunday]’” (Hoeh 1978, Pasadena BBS, cit. Lane 2004)—“resurrected at the end of the Saturday Sabbath”:

“Thus, Jesus rose…around sunset…exactly three days and three nights after He was placed in the tomb just before sunset on Wednesday” (UCG 2014):

Ken Doig

Ken Doig's picture

"How long was Jesus in the tomb?" distorts the intent and reality of Jesus using the Sign of Jonah (Matthew:12:40). He was predicting His DEATH and resurrection, not his BURIAL and resurrection. This is confirmed because He “was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits.” (1 Peter:3:18-19) Jesus went "into the heart of the earth" at about 3:00 PM. The count starts then. No persons or angels rolled back the stone from his tomb at 3:00 PM on the Saturday Sabbath.

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Hi Ken,

I see Jonah's entombment "into the heart of the seas" (Jonah:2:3, ESV 2011) for 3 full days and nights (counting from when he was swallowed) as typifying Christ's burial "in the heart of the earth" (Matthew:12:40) for the same time period (counting from when He was entombed):

Regarding 1 Peter:3:18-20, per the passage "Jesus apparently confronted these rebellious spirits at the time of Noah's Flood":

Ken, the reason why I believe Christ "did not go places and preach while dead" (Nunn 2013):

is because I find Christ - who clarifies that He indeed, did die (Revelation:1:18, cit. Nunn 2013) - "describ[ing] death as a condition like sleep" (John:11:11-14)--a state elsewhere described as one of "total unawareness" (Ecclesiastes:9:5-10):

However, I do agree that Christ was resurrected on the Saturday Sabbath.

Norbert Z

Norbert Z's picture

Ken Doig, I've heard that reasoning around scripture before, it relies on the idea that Jesus said "heart of the earth" but He didn't use the word, "grave". Therefore it must only mean how long He was dead. Yet by that same line of reasoning Jesus did not use the word "dead/die" so therefore it also cannot mean how long He was dead. Think about that.

What He does say is, "as Jonah was *in* the belly of the fish three days and three nights". Jesus wasn't "in" anything other than the sepulchre. I would seriously suggest you really reconsider which idea is distorting the intent and reality of what scripture is witnessing.

Sven Bengtsson

Sven Bengtsson's picture

Very interesting. Thank you so much. Ive got two question though.

If I understand it correctly the weekly sabbath could fall on different dates of the Nisan month, different years. Like in this case it began on the 17:th of Nisan. But other years it would be on a different day? Is this correct, and if so could you please explain.

Also, if I understand it correctly, it has nothing to do with our days of the week. Like, where does our way of naming days come into the picture. As far as I understand, our weekdays has nothing to do with, it being friday our sunday.

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

The names of the week on our calendar are, in one sense, arbitrary, but the seventh day has always been the seventh day (the Sabbath). God has delineated the days of the week, the names of the days we use don't make those day somehow different; i.e. Saturday, Sabado, Samstag, lordag: they all refer to Saturday, even though they are in different languages.

It is true that the weekly Sabbath could fall on different dates of the month, but we can know historically what dates the Sabbath falls on. Which is how we can know when Jesus Christ was resurrected based on three days and three nights.

H.G. Hennis

H.G. Hennis's picture

Regarding Luke:24:21b, many English versions inadequately translate the Greek verb αγει as "__ is" in this part of the verse (like εστιν, a different verb). In this temporal context other Greek scholars have translated αγει as: "__ passes" (Brown), "__ is passing" (Young), "__ has been" (Brooks), "___ has already allowed... to pass" (Turner), "___ have already passed" (Verkuyl), etc.

Greek manuscripts from Egyptian sources omit σημερον ("today"), so some translations do not include it. The misleading translation of "today [is the] third day" could be translated as, "today it passes it, [the] third day," which was a promised "third day" (Luke:24:7-8), and which these two disciples have already been partially informed of after the discovery of the empty tomb and the explanation by angels (Luke:24:22-24, Luke:24:4-9).

As Turner, Verkuyl, and Brooks independently suggest, the third day has already passed. A translation of "__ has passed" could be understood as a Greek "perfective present... [which] emphasizes the present reality of something which came into being in the past... [and] the perfective idea of existing results…" (Brooks 89-90).

H.G. Hennis

H.G. Hennis's picture

In Mark:16:9, the first Greek word is the aorist participle αναστας ("after rising," "after having risen," "after [He] arose," etc.). This participle helps determine that the resurrection had already taken place before the time of the controlling verb εφανη ("He was seen," "He was manifested," "He appeared," etc.). The context of Mark:16:6, Mark:16:14, and the collective Gospel accounts rule out a simultaneous resurrection and appearance to Mary Magdalene, since the tomb was ALREADY EMPTY and Jesus Christ HAD ALREADY RISEN some time BEFORE He visibly appeared to her (cf. Matthew:28:6, Luke:24:6, John:20:1-2, John:20:10-18).

The HCSB 2009 translation of Mark:16:9 reads:
"Early on the first day of the week, after He had risen, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons."

According to Expositor's Bible Commentary, "There is no implication that the earthquake [of Matthew:28:2] had anything to do with releasing Jesus: the stone was rolled back, the seal broken, and the soldiers made helpless, not to let the risen Messiah escape, but to let the first witnesses in." Walls were no obstacle to the risen Christ (John:20:19, Luke:24:36-37, Jn:20:26).


ariver32's picture

Obviously the author of this document did his research and I believe his findings are probably true. He clearly explains that the church has deviated from the bible and we are just following traditions. The problem with his research is the following:
1.0 The church was instituted by Christ sometime at the beginning of the 1st century. As people of faith the exact, season, date and hour is meaningless. Christ said "Go and make disciples" (paraphrasing). Furthermore, No where in the bible Jesus said "Hey Guys this is good material...go and write it down".

2.0 All scholars (protestants and Catholics) agree that the first written book of the New Testament was 1st of Thessalonians (~63AD) and the last book John's writings (~90AD). About 30 years after the events the writer is describing in this document.

3.0 The bible was not compiled until the year 325AD, council of Constantinople. For 200+ years all Christians were not using the bible.
4.0 This site limits my comment, but to summarize it. "The bible is the Daughter of the Church; the church is NOT the daughter of the bible. Church and traditions came First.


ariver32's picture

And we all know all your opinions are true because we found them in the internet....right? Mark, can computer soft wares calculate the birth of Jesus. The software developers don't know history.


Lloyd's picture

Some of you cite Matthew:28:6 and John:20:1, but I didn't see anyone mention Matthew:28:1-4. It clearly says, " it began to dawn toward the first day of the week...there was a great earthquake...the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door..." It was about dawn when the angel rolled back the stone, and a great earthquake seems to have heralded the moment at or about the resurrection. Also, if the stone was rolled back around dawn, what purpose would it serve to have a risen Jesus just sitting in the sealed tomb for any length of time before that? Therefore, I count sunset Saturday to dawn Sunday as the third night. If Jesus was buried before sunset on Wednesday, that would be 4 full nights. I'll also allow the liberty that a day was any part of a day, and not necessarily the entire day. Therefore, I conclude the crucifixion was on a Thursday. You can haggle over what year it was, but a Wednesday burial before sunset means 4 nights, not 3. Thus, the 2 Sabbaths could have been consecutive Friday and Saturday Sabbaths. The spice purchase could have been done Saturday night for Sunday's tomb visit. This resolves any inconsistency.


yosoy's picture

Oh boy! I never cared to celebrate the Christian holidays. Even in my youth I learned of the pagan influences but I was an adult when I pondered the Friday to Sunday crucifixion and resurrection.

Because of an issue I had with my former pastor about tithing/giving I was relieved of my teaching duties and eventually I left the church. I've recently started back studying the scriptures and praying and learned of the high Sabbath. Its obvious to me now that Good Friday and sunrise Sunday are traditions of men that makes the Word of God non effect.

In light of the new found evidence already in plain sight in the scriptures I believe the Messiah rose shortly after sunset after the Sabbath equally the 3 days and 3 nights as prophesied.

I don't agree with a lot of things that's going on in the Christian Church today that don't line up with the scriptures. Pray for me as I seek a body of sanctified believers that follow the Word of the Most High to the fullest of the letter.


pupil's picture

Hello everybody

Zeekerx, and all, look at the following from LITV 2001 4th edition.

Matt:16:21 Jesus showed "His be killed, and to be raised on the third day."
Matt:17:23 Jesus "they will kill Him, and on the third day He will be raised."
Matt:20:19 Jesus "And the third day He will rise again."
Matt:27:64 chief priests and Pharisees "command that the grave be secured until the third day,..."
Mk 9:31 Jesus "And being killed, He will rise up the third day."
Mk 10:34 Jesus "And on the third day He will rise again."
Lk 9:22 Jesus "be killed, and be raised the third day."
Lk 18:33 Jesus "And on the third day He will rise again."
Lk 24:7 2 'angelic beings' "the Son of Man must be delivered..crucified, and the third dayto rise again."
Lk 24:46 Jesus "So it is written, and so the Christ must suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."
Acts:10:40 Peter "God raised up this One the third day and gave to Him to become visible."
1 Cor:15:4 Paul "..that he was raised the third day according to the Scriptures."

That's twelve witnesses in this translation who testify that on the third day not the fourth He would rise from the dead. to be cont..


pupil's picture

contin...Both the angels and Paul testify that according to the Scriptures (old testament - Hebrew Bible) Jesus was to be raised ON third day. Jesus knew when He would rise again; when to expire; how long buried; when He would rise. There are many more witnesses that say ON or THE third day than there are that say 'after' three days.

Matt:27:63 uses the phrase after three days. In v63 'after' (metah) is used - also in Mk 8:31. In 27:64 'until' (heos) is used. 'After' may also be translated amid, or among. In Mk 9:31 as with the other refs previous post no 'after' is used. Until, on, 'the' third day is greater than the two 'afters'.

Often we use phrases that are general, when we don't actually mean it literally. This is both common and acceptable. Does ANYONE in this forum always, ALWAYS state the exact case with exact facts and figures, about everything? Every language allows for generalities.
Joseph: from ruling in Egypt till his death it was 80 years. Gen.15;13 God says of Israel -400 years in affliction. Ex 12:40,41 God says 430 years. Stephen: Acts:7:6, 400 years (round figure).

Hosea:6:2 of Christ rising from the dead and the apostles as the foundation of the Church

Malachi 3_16-18

Malachi 3_16-18's picture

Hi pupil,

The Bible at times uses generalities, as you point out, and at other times, precision is crucial. It is not for us to decide to turn to generalities when God uses specifics.

We must get rid of our own presuppositions, and instead of trying to manipulate the time frame to fit long-held religious tradition, we need to go to the Bible, putting all the Scriptures together in an unbiased manner.

From the original Greek, we should choose the meaning which best fits the Biblical context, regardless of tradition.

To me, Matthew:12:40 makes it clear: Jesus Christ was in the grave for exactly three days and three nights. This period shouldn't be rounded up or down, because it is the sign by which He is our Messiah. Neither does this verse have to contradict any of the other verses regarding the length of time Jesus spent in the tomb.


DanielSnedden's picture

Hi Lloyd!
I think you are reading things into the scriptures that are not there. The earthquake and stone being rolled away were not a sign of the time of resurrection. Jesus was resurrected before that. It was not necessary for Him to wait for the stone to be rolled away. He would have no problem leaving the tomb.
I agree that the two Mary's went to the tomb shortly before sunrise on Sunday morning. The resurrection occurred before they arrived. There is no mention of the soldiers seeing Jesus leave the tomb. They simply witnessed the earthquake and stone being rolled away and the angel. I believe the key to understanding the event is understanding God's Holy Days and how they fit into the crucifixion and resurrection. Keep studying and God will guide you.

H.G. Hennis

H.G. Hennis's picture


Thanks for acknowledging more than one Sabbath during that week, which is a big step to understanding the Biblical chronology. Your suggestion of two consecutive Sabbaths (Friday-Saturday) overlooks the Sabbath, non-Sabbath, Sabbath pattern that was pointed out by Walt in the comments above. As the NT records, the women bought spices "when the Sabbath was past" (Mark:16:1). Mark:16:1's purchase was apparently after the annual high Sabbath (cf. John:19:31), since these religious women worked as they "prepared spices and fragrant oils" on a non-Sabbath, then after that work they obediently "...rested on the [weekly] Sabbath according to the commandment" (Luke:23:56).

The NT doesn't explicitly state that the earthquake of Matthew:28:2 was simultaneous with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Matthew:28:6 revealed he was not there. According to Expositor's, "There is no implication that the earthquake had anything to do with releasing Jesus: the stone was rolled back, the seal broken, and the soldiers made helpless, not to let the risen Messiah escape, but to let the first witnesses in." Walls were no obstacle to the risen Christ (John:20:19, Luke:24:36-37, John:20:26).

H.G. Hennis

H.G. Hennis's picture

Regarding the suggestion of a Thursday crucifixion:

According to the chart at, there was not a Nisan 14th Passover day that fell on a Thursday during the years 28-33 CE (by the common methods of determining the Hebrew calendar mentioned with the chart). Even Walt's HebCal site's pre-Gregorian approximations applied retroactively do not yield a Nisan 14th Passover on a Thursday during those years.

It is unlikely that Jesus Christ was crucified outside of this year range based on the following Biblical criteria:

1 - Jesus Christ was born <= 2 years before the death of Herod the Great circa 3-4 BCE (cf. Matt:2:1-3, 16, 19-22)
2 - Jesus Christ's ministry started when he was near 30 years old (Luke:3:23)
3 - Three annual spring Passovers are mentioned during Christ's ministry (cf. John:2:13, 2:23, 6:4, 12:1, 18:39, etc.)

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