And Yeshua said, "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" (Matt 12:40). And, "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 of the scribes, and be killed, and AFTER three days rise again." (Mark 8:31) This was the only “sign” the Messiah promised to prove He is the Son of G-d, and He promised it as prophecy, an upcoming event.
It was a prediction, a prophetic statement, and had to be fulfilled exactly the way He said it, or it would nullify His ministry altogether, even to those who did believe Him, as they were Jews who were looking for solid evidence that He was Messiah. But certain believers have told the world that He died on Friday evening and rose on the first day of the week (Sunday). Is that really three days and three nights? Count it out...from Friday evening at sundown to Saturday evening at sundown is one day.
Scriptures clearly state that he rose at the beginning of the week [Saturday Night] while it was still dark; so, according to tradition, He was only in the grave for a night, a day and maybe half a night! Which makes the “Christ” of many believers a liar.
Below is a basic timeline of the events of that week:
The Resurrection is the foundation of Messianic faith (those who believe in the Messiah). It is seen above on the far left, at the beginning of the first day of the week. It is necessary to point out that the Biblical day starts in the evening. So, the Messiah rose at the very beginning of Saturday Night, the first day of the week, labeled "1" at the far left above, also seen as the start of the week starting on the right and moving left through the week.
We have his Passover Seder secured on the chart on the evening of the 14th: this has to be borne out by scriptural witnesses:
The next few verses go on in that chapter and tell us of how they were to handle the blood, that they should eat the lamb, having roasted it in fire, and that nothing of it shall remain till morning. Then hvhy makes a defining statement: "It is the Passover of hvhy ." Killing it, handling the blood, eating it, are all part of the 14th of the month, all part of the Passover of hvhy !
This is confirmed in several other places in scripture:
In all of these instances, the definition of "The Passover of hvhy " from Exodus 12:6-11 is both to kill and to eat the meal, those are all the "ordinances" of the meal as hvhy commanded, not just to kill it on the 14th! So, the Passover Seder should be on the 14th, at evening, and Messiah's was.
| Here is a time chart of all the accounts of the Passover event Messiah experienced:|
(John is clearly NOT giving a chronological account).
|21:1||Approached Jerusalem||11:1||Approached Jerusalem||19:28,41||Toward Jerusalem||12:1||In Bethany 6 days before Pesakh (not clear if another day passed or not)|
|21:10||entered the city||11:11||Entered Jerusalem, returned to Bethany||19:37||From Mt Olives [in Jerusalem]||12:12||The next day (four days before Pesakh) Entered the city|
|21:17||left to Bethany and spent the night||20:1||One of the days|
|21:18||returned to Jerusalem the next morning||11:12||The next day|
|22:15||Having “gone”||11:15||Into Jerusalem|
|22:23||On that day|
|22:46||From that day|
|11:19||Evening left the city|
|13:1||Leaves the temple|
|26:1||“it came to pass”||13:3||On the mount olives|
|26:2||“after two days WILL BE the Passover”||14:1||And it WAS the Passover, and unleavened bread after two days.|
|26:6||Anointed in Bethany||14:3||In Bethany (again) anointed, reclining (eating)|
|26:17||Beginning of matzah! “Where do YOU [Yeshua] want to eat the PASSOVER?!”||14:12||On the first day of MATZAH! When the Pesakh Lamb is sacrificed (Nisan 14). “Where do you want to eat the PASSOVER”!|| 22:1|
| Matzah approaching!, the one called Pesakh!|
Came the DAY OF Matzah, of sacrifice of Paskhal
|26:18||“I will observe the Passover with my Disciples”.||22:8||Prepare for us the PASSOVER||13:1||before Passover he “knew”|
|26:19||They prepared PASSOVER||14:16||They prepared THE PASSOVER.||22:13||Prepared the PASSOVER|
|26:20||Evening, reclining to eat [Passover]||14:17,18||Evening, reclining and eating||22:14-16|| Will not eat it AGAIN until the kingdom comes!|
And while eating, He said “I have Desired to eat THIS PASSOVER [which they were eating]
| Supper taking place|
Buy for holiday unleavened bread coming up!
|26:30||Sung Hallel, Passover custom! Went to Mount Olive||14:26||Sung Hallel, went to Mount of Olives||22:39||Went to mount|| 14:31|
| They leave|
In the garden
|26:34||In THIS NIGHT you’ll deny me||14:30||THIS NIGHT you’ll deny me||22:58-59||A little time and an hour passes|
|27:1||Morning came||15:1||Immediate Morning delivered to Pilate|| 22:66|
| Became day; delivered to Pilate|
Herod in Jerusalem
|18:28||Morning came [Pharisees kill lamb on 14, but eat Passover that evening on 15 Nisan: this is what they were "Preparing" for]|
|executed (no time specified)||15:25||Third hour they executed him (9am)||22:32||executed (no time specified)|
|27:45||The sixth hour (noon) darkness fell||15:33||Sixth hour darkness fell||23:44||Darkness at 6th hour (noon)||19:14||6th hr; behold your king|
|27:45,50||Ninth hour died||15:34,37||Ninth hour died (3pm)||23:44,48||Ninth hour died (3pm)||19:30||dies|
|15:42||Evening came before Preparation before Sabbath OF UNLEAVENED BREAD Gives us the date of 15 Aviv[Nisan] (lev 23:6) AFTER Pesakh [lev23:5]||23:54||Evening came before Preparation before Sabbath OF UNLEAVENED BREAD (lev 23:6) AFTER Pesakh [lev23:5]Morning came [Pharisees kill lamb on 14, but eat Passover that evening on 15 Nisan: this is what they were "Preparing" for]|
|23:56||Prepared aromatics and perfumed liquids BEFORE SabbathThis is before the "regular sabbath", number 6 in timeline above|
|28:1||“Late Sabbath, evening, on the beginning of a Sabbaton (a high day) Bikkurim! He ROSE!||16:2||After elapsing the Sabbath, first of High Day [Bikkurim, the day after the Sabbath, lev 23:11] Wave offering and beginning of counting of Omer, another Sabbath.||24:1||One of the Sabbaths, deep at dawn, came to the tomb. RISEN!||20:1||On one of the Sabbaths, while dark, find Him gone!|
|16:9||Having risen on the first Sabbath (Of Omer?)||24:30||ate "lekhem", but clearly still "unleavened"|
[One thing to remember is that John was written much later than the other gospels; therefore, John would not have been as concerned about setting down the chronology, as the other gospels already did that three times over, and all agree chronologically. What John does is establish the hour of execution, which was only clearly given in Mark, though Matthew and Luke allude to the "sixth" hour, as John clearly states, which is noon]
So when was the Messiah executed? When Messiah said “three days and three nights”, He was not speaking rhetorically, symbolically, nor about spiritual light and dark, but about the sun traversing the sky 3 times and darkness covering Jerusalem 3 times during His predicted time in the grave. Yeshua is equating Jonah’s time in the fish to His time in the “belly of the earth”, and at the same time referencing other prophecies about the resurrection. Jonah cried out to G-d, and it was three days and three nights before he cried out, and AFTER that G-d answered, spoke to the fish, and caused the fish to "vomit" him out. This is a clear picture of the resurrection, which the Messiah gave as the "type" for His time in the belly of the earth. To ignore it is irresponsible. The Passover itself is also a picture of the resurrection, and the Jews came up out of the Red Sea after three days of journey after the Passover.
To establish when He was executed, we have to look at many things. The synoptic gospels each show Him entering the city of Jerusalem four days before Pesakh [Passover], and the “inspection” begins right away. “While He was teaching, the chief priests and elders of the PEOPLE came to Him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” This was the beginning of the inspection of the Paskhal lamb, which was required to make sure that it [He] was a proper sacrifice. He responded to all of their questions and made them stunned at His “authority” [Mark 11:31-33], His worthiness to be the sacrifice. According to Exodus, the lamb was to be “brought in” on the tenth of Nisan. It was to be inspected for four days.
In all the synoptic gospels, when the Passover “started”, [protos], it says that “unleavened has started”, PROTOS AZUMOS. Then, it says “then came the day of unleavened bread in which it is necessary to sacrifice the paskhal lamb.” By definition from Exodus 12, this is the 14th of Nisan [the first month]. Exodus 12 and Leviticus 13 clearly explain that they were to eat the paskhal sacrifice “at night”, after having been killed on the 14th, so the evening of the 14th was time for the Seder. The 15th is when the Pharisees ate it, and Jews today still do. Why, we do not know, except that all men continue to take liberties with the Word with which no one has been bestowed.
Exodus says that it must be slain AND eaten on the 14th, and all old testament witnesses agree!
The "Between the evenings" phrase is what throws us (seen in the text below, Exodus 12:5). The Bible interprets this for us! Exodus 16:12 uses the phrase "between the evenings" as speaking of the quail provided for food. That passage shows the quail would be available to them for eating at the time of bein ha erevim. The birds would start to come in to roost at dusk. This is different than "in the evening, as seen in Leviticus 23:32: "It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even." That is how the word erev is used. "From even unto even you shall celebrate your Sabbath." From erev unto erev is the expression used. There is no "bein ha erevim" used here. Erev is clearly used here in reference to sundown, an evening, for we know that G-d's day starts at sundown, as shown in Genesis 1. See the scripture at the top of this page. In each verse here erev is used for evening and not bein ha erevim. In Exodus 12:8, ".. and you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening, [between the evenings, which is defined as dusk]." Verse 8, "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, (this is the 14th!) roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." "At even" is ba erev meaning evening or sundown. Verses 11 through 12," And thus shall you eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; And you shall eat it in haste: it is YHVH's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, (the 14th!) and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am hvhy ." Bein ha erevim in verse 6 above means between the evenings, dusk or twilight, which means it was killed just before darkness at the start of the 14th!. It did not use the terms erev or ba erev which means evening or sundown, it uses the term bein ha erevim.
Another example of the interpretation of "bein ha erevim", "between the evenings", follows: Exodus 30:8 describes the tabernacle lamps, "And when Aaron lights the lamps at even he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense." That term shows it would be lit in the evening toward dark or twilight. It would not make any sense to light the lamps and waste precious oil at 3:00 P.M. The Almighty is a practical, conservative Being who does not waste anything! Exodus 12:18, "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, [ba erev], you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at even." This is a block of seven days in which we must eat unleavened bread. This scripture shows that the time period begins at sundown and ends at sundown seven days later. Remember, G-d's days begin and end at sundown! From sundown the fourteenth to sundown the twenty-first is when we are to eat unleavened bread which is observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Leviticus 23:6 shows that we eat unleavened bread seven days. Remember to always let the Bible interpret the Bible! This scripture states: "And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto hvhy : seven days you must eat unleavened bread." Use the Bible to interpret the Bible when in one place it states to eat unleavened bread seven days, and in another it states to begin eating it on sundown the 14th until sundown the 21st. You will have no problem sorting out when the Passover is to be eaten and when the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. The Jews changed their observance of this command, whether intentionally or not, and killed the lamb on the afternoon of the fourteenth so as to technically keep the command to kill it on the fourteenth! They would kill it later in the day as the fifteenth day was drawing near around 3:00 P.M. and then they would eat it later after sundown on the fifteenth. That is not what it says, as we will read later; it doesn't say that killing was all there was to it. In other places it calls it observing or keeping the Passover. Killing the lamb was not all there was to the Passover service. There were other steps, such as eating it with the herbs and the unleavened bread! The point is they had to "observe" it.
There is no debate over the fact that the lamb was killed on the fourteenth. Exodus 12:6 says "keep it up until the fourteenth." The Hebrew word translated "until" is "ad" and it first appears in Genesis 3:19, "In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till [ad] you return unto the ground;" The Hebrew word "ad" means: as far as, up to a point in time, as much as, even to, until, till or unto. It does not mean through, or past a point in time. So they kept it up until and not past the fourteenth. Then verses 7 through 12, "And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, herein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night [note in that night], roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And you shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YHVH's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am hvhy ." This scripture shows it was still the same night. They kept it up until the fourteenth day, between the evenings they killed, roasted and ate it. They kept it "that" night and the death angel passed through the land "that" night. The same night they ate the Passover and put the blood on their door posts, the night of the fourteenth.
Now we have to discuss "Unleavened Bread", since in the first century Jews spoke of the two festivals as one:
Unleavened Bread is the feast remembering the departure from Egypt. It became a Sabbath, and this is the "Sabbath" that the priests were trying to avoid in the gospels.
|ה בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן, בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר לַחֹדֶשׁ--בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם: פֶּסַח, לַיהוה.|| |
5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk, is the L-RD'S passover.
|ו וּבַחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה, חַג הַמַּצּוֹת לַיהוה: שִׁבְעַת יָמִים, מַצּוֹת תֹּאכֵלוּ.|| |
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the L-RD; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread.
This fifteenth day described in verse six above is the "sabbath" they were trying to avoid violating by having Him on the tree, not the usual 7th day Sabbath (Friday evening to Saturday evening). The next verse, however, says "in the first day" (of the seven days of eating matzah), you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of servile work", making it a Shabbat, a day of rest; but, the Torah does not call it a Shabbat, but a "Mikrah Kadosh". It is later custom that called it a Shabbat. Later custom also labeled the 14th day as "Preparation Day", since the Jews moved their Passover Seder to the 15th, only killing the paskhal lamb on the afternoon of the 14th. This "Preparation Day" is the day Messiah was killed. So, the "High Sabbath" of the Jews was moved to the 15th day. This changing of the feast was done after the time of Ezra, and was a "new" tradition. Messiah clearly did NOT move His Passover Seder. We see this in all the gospels. "With great desire have I desired to eat THIS PESAKH with you!" We also see in the gospel of John where the priests would not enter the court of Pilate, not wanting to defile themselves because they wanted to keep the Seder in the night of the 15th! They merged the Passover Seder with Unleavened Bread. All earlier celebrations, however, have them as separate feasts in the Old Testament, by the Word of hvhy . Israel in the Exodus observed their first seder the night of the 14th, spent the day of the 14th "preparing" to leave by baking Matzot and receiving all the wealth of Egypt, whose firstborn all died on the night of the 14th. They left Egypt on the NIGHT of the 15th, as the scriptures clearly state. So, the feast of unleavened bread starts on the 15th of Nisan (though the Pesakh was eaten with Matzah on the first night of counting). Yes, the religious Jews had merged Pesakh/Matzot, but Yeshua did NOT. He celebrated HIS Passover on the 14th, as instructed by Torah. He became the Passover Lamb on that day, killed at the same time the Pharisees were offering their Paskhal lambs at the wrong time! The Saducees and many in Yisra'el had kept their Seders the night before! This is proven history.
The Messiah was executed at noon on Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan; He died at three o'clock, the same time the Jew's Paskhal lamb was slain [which was a breaking of Torah! He took into His flesh the breaking of Torah!] He was placed in the tomb at dusk just before/on the 15th; He remained in the tomb until shortly after sundown on the 18th, having been in the grave for the "even" of the 15th and 16th and 17th, and for the "day" of the 15th, 16th, and 17th. He arose on Bikkurim, or Firstfruits, and presented Himself to the Father that day as a "wave offering", the "Firstfruits from among the dead".
Some have asserted that the Emmaus walk throws the timing off; the Luke account [the only account of that event] does not say, "this is now the third day", but says in the Greek, "having gone through three days til today"...Starting from the Sunday afternoon at the Emmaus walk and working back on the calendar proves that there is still no possible way He could have died and been buried on Friday afternoon, and still fulfill His own prophecy. From Sunday afternoon to Saturday afternoon is one day. But, we must bear in mind He arose on Saturday night after sundown, and from Saturday night to Friday night is still only 1 day, and only 1 night.. By this understanding, there is only really one day in the grave, since according to this tradition He was killed at 3:00 on Friday afternoon. Each gospel account says He was buried "at evening". The only "day", therefore, that He spent in the grave was Saturday, according to tradition. So, He saw one full night and one full day in the grave, and rose early on the very next night. It just doesn't match what He said, nor what the gospels actually record. He rose on the first of the week, on Bikkurim, or "Firstfruits", which occurs after Passover, after the first ordinary Sabbath after Unleavened Bread has started. (Lev 23:11). Bikkurim, therefore, is always on a Sunday [which in the Bible starts at sundown on Saturday night]. Messiah rose on Saturday night, at the end of the 'third day' in the grave. He presented Himself before the father hours later, since on Sunday morning He told Mary not to touch Him because He had not yet 'ascended', and on Sunday evening He told the disciples to touch Him. This is the fulfillment of "Bikkurim", presenting the Firstfruits before G-d, He being the Firstfruits from among the dead.
A difficult verse to think on is 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:
Yes, the walk to Emmaus was on Sunday, but it is a misunderstanding and mistranslation that Sunday was the third day since the execution. Instead of writing down the verse in Greek, which most don't know, we ought to use what others have shown concerning this verse, which will have greater weight.
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
The New Berkeley Version in Modern English-- Gerrit Verkugl
The Syriac New Testament Translated Into English From The Peshitto Version -- James Murdock
The Syriac Reading can be confirmed by 2 of the oldest manuscripts in Estrangelo Aramaic: the Sinaitic Palimpset and the Curetonian Syriac.
A more direct, literal translation from the Apostolic Bible reads:
Most compelling, however, is the Aramaic Peshitta text, which is better preserved and predates the Greek:
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 after 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 Yeshua's 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 Yeshua, the risen Messiah talking to them. Only when they sat down to eat and He blessed the bread [which, though called "lekhem" is actually unleavend matzot, because they were in the fourth day of that feast] and gave it to them, were their eyes opened and they recognized Him as Yeshua. He then instantly disappeared from them.
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. Yeshua 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 Yeshua said He would rise on the third day, or those afterwards that state He did rise on the third day.
All of the above verses state a prediction that He would be raised "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 Yeshua rose from the grave late on the Sabbath, late on Saturday afternoon. This was 3 days and 3 nights AFTER He had been executed, 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.
Actually, Luke 13:32 above is often translated differently, where instead of the word "perfected", they translate it as "reach my goal." The verse then tells the story of Yeshua 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 execution, so let me show them for you so that you don't have to search for them and send them in an e-mail. :-)
All these verses are answered the same way. Yeshua 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 execution. The verse Yeshua so often referred to from Jonah, was where Jonah was in the great fish 3 days and 3 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 being found AFTER 3 days.
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 executed, 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.
It's different than what we were taught. Why and how did this happen? The council of Nicaea did this for several reasons: they weren’t Jewish, and did not allow Jewish bishops to come to the council, and they didn’t understand that Passover contained “High Sabbaths”, which the next day was! It was the feast of unleavened bread. A High Sabbath is a Sabbath that may or MAY NOT fall on the weekly Shabbat! This one did not! [Given Constantine’s hatred of Jews and immediate expulsion of all Jews from the “Catholic Church”, it is probable that He ignored this fact for the purpose of “having nothing to do with this odious people”