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Treasure Digest: Be Ready to Give an Answer: Why Don't You Believe in Good Friday or Easter Sunday?

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Be Ready to Give an Answer: Why Don't You Believe in Good Friday or Easter Sunday?

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Jesus offered both the fact and the details of His resurrection as the only divine sign to His generation that He was "greater than Jonah" and "greater than Solomon" and that His message should lead its hearers to repentance (Matthew 12:39-42 Matthew 12:39-42 [39] But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: [40] 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. [41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. [42] The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
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). He said that He would be three days and three nights—a period of 72 hours (John 11:9-10 John 11:9-10 [9] Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. [10] But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.
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; Genesis 1:5 Genesis 1:5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
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)—in the heart of the earth (the grave), just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish (Jonah 1:17 Jonah 1:17Now 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.
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). Elsewhere, He said that He would "be killed, and after three days rise again" (Mark 8:31 Mark 8:31And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
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).

The problem with the commonly accepted belief regarding the crucifixion and resurrection is that there are not three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. We believe the weight of scriptural and historical evidence leads to the conclusion that Jesus died on Wednesday afternoon, was hurriedly placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea shortly before sunset that same afternoon (the eve of an annual Sabbath, the first day of Unleavened Bread; John 19:30-31 John 19:30-31 [30] When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. [31] The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) sought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
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, 42; Mark 15:42-46 Mark 15:42-46 [42] And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, [43] Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly to Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. [44] And Pilate marveled if he were already dead: and calling to him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. [45] And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. [46] And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulcher which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone to the door of the sepulcher.
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) and was resurrected by the Father shortly before sunset on Saturday, three days and three nights after being placed in the tomb, exactly as He had said.

This explanation is consistent with the details found in Scripture. It does not require a strained fitting of three days and three nights between Friday evening and Sunday by speculating about parts of days and nights. It reconciles the accounts of the women and the spices, found in Mark 16:1 Mark 16:1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
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and Luke 23:56 Luke 23:56And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
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. In the first account, the faithful women obediently rested during holy time and afterward procured the spices. In the second account, the women prepared the spices and afterward rested during holy time. These accounts are reconciled by understanding that there were two periods of holy time during the week in question. Jesus was crucified on the Passover (Matthew 26:18-20 Matthew 26:18-20 [18] And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, The Master said, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples. [19] And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. [20] Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
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; 1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
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), which was the preparation day (Mark 15:42 Mark 15:42And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
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) for the first annual Holy Day on the Jewish calendar, the first day of Unleavened Bread. The women waited until this day was over, then bought and prepared the spices, then rested again on God's weekly Sabbath day, and then proceeded to the tomb to apply the spices to Jesus' body early on Sunday morning.

They visited the tomb after the holy Sabbaths (plural) of that week (as the original Greek of Matthew 28:1 Matthew 28:1In 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 sepulcher.
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should be translated). The annual Sabbath (annual Holy Days also are called "Sabbaths" [Leviticus 16:31 Leviticus 16:31It shall be a sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
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; 23:24]) was Thursday, and the weekly Sabbath was Saturday. When they arrived at the tomb early Sunday morning, they found it empty and heard the announcement from the angel that Jesus was alive and was not there (Mark 16:6 Mark 16:6And he said to them, Be not affrighted: You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
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). (From Fundamental Beliefs, pages 17-18).

For More Information: Fundamental Beliefs, Holidays and Holy Days.

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