Christ Jesus’ Resurrection, according to Robert Lowry’s 1874 hymn, “Christ Arose”:
Up from the grave he arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives for ever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose! ~ chorus
Christ Jesus’ Resurrection, according to the New Testament Scriptures:
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. ~ John 20:1-10, ESV
Why don’t more believers question the late day Good Friday crucifixion and early Sunday morning resurrection? Clearly, 72 hours cannot be crammed in between the Lord’s burial on Good Friday and His resurrection on Sunday morning. So why don’t more believers challenge the Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday belief with the only SIGN that Christ Jesus says He would give that would prove He is the promised Messiah? That sign is the Lord being in the grave three days and three nights (cf. Matthew 12:40). Now, based on ancient Jewish day calculations, there can be no doubt that Christ Jesus is saying in the above verse that He would be in the grave at least three 12-hour days and three 12-hour nights, or 72 full hours!
Be that as it may, there are several New Testament Scriptures that declare that Christ Jesus would arise on the third day (cf. Matthew 17:23, 20:19; Luke 9:22, 18:33, 24:7, 24:46; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:4). Therefore, since Christ Jesus is Jewish, then there is no way that any of these, or other, “third day” references could pertain to the Gregorian calendar’s Friday through Sunday morning three-day period. Indeed, the “third day” that is mentioned in the Scriptures with reference to the Lord’s resurrection pertains to Him arising on the morning of 18 Nisan/Abib, which is the morning after the third day of the week of Unleavened Bread!
The point here is that the burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus are based on Jewish dates and NOT Gregorian calendar days! Then too, every Jewish day is from sunset to sunset, which means every Jewish holiday begins at sundown on the dates before the listed days on the Jewish calendar. For example, 14 Nisan/Abib begins during the night hours of 13 Nisan/Abib, and so forth! Lastly, every Jewish day consists of 12 hours of darkness, which in this case are the night hours before a Jewish holiday, and every Jewish day consists of 12 hours of light, which in this case are the day hours of every calendar listed Jewish holiday. Having said all of that, Christ Jesus’ burial and resurrection dates are as follows:
- Passover Feast/Day of Preparation – This date is 14 Nisan/Abib. Christ Jesus died on this date, at the same time the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple. His Jewish followers put Him in the tomb during the day hours of 14 Nisan/Abib, burying Christ Jesus right before sundown, right before the evening hours of the 1st day of the week of Unleavened Bread started.
- 1st day of the week of Unleavened Bread – This date is 15 Nisan/Abib, and it also is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is the first of the annual High Sabbaths. No work was permitted. The First full Day (1st full night and 1st full day in the grave);
- 2nd day of the week of Unleavened Bread – This date is 16 Nisan/Abib, which today is celebrated as the Feast of First Fruits, but it was NOT the Day of First Fruits, when Christ Jesus arose. The Second Day (2nd night and 2nd day in the grave);
- 3rd day of the week of Unleavened Bread – This date is 17 Nisan/Abib, and during the Passion Week this day is the weekly Sabbath (a regularly observed seventh-day Sabbath). No work was permitted. The Third Day (3rd night and 3rd day in the grave); traditionally, a Jewish harvester would pick the ripened firstfruits of Barley, bundle the ripened firstfruits into a sheaf, and then take the sheaf to the Temple priests so that they could wave that sheaf before the Lord on the Day of First Fruits.
- 4th day of the week of Unleavened Bread – This date is 18 Nisan/Abib, and it is also Christ Jesus’ resurrection day. Some Christians believe He is resurrected at the same moment He was crucified on 14 Nisan/Abib, but since the morning of the Feast of First Fruits fell on 18 Nisan/Abib, the morning after the Passion Week’s weekly Sabbath, Christ Jesus could not have arisen from the dead at the same hour He was crucified on 14 Nisan/Abib. He arose way before the hour He was crucified, because John 20:1 says He arose on the first day of the week, while it was still dark! During Passion Week, 18 Nisan/Abib, thus, is the Sunday the Temple priests waved the firstfruits’ sheaf of Barley, as well as the date of the morning the women went to the tomb and found that the Messiah was already gone.
Notice that Christ Jesus arose after the Third Day had been completed. In other words, He was in the grave the full 72 hours—three 12 hours of darkness and three 12 hours of light (see blog entry April 6, 2012: Good Friday vs. Passover). Thus, if the sign the Lord gives the Jewish people in His day is three days and three nights in the grave, then being buried at the end of 14 Nisan/Abib and resurrected after the end of the Third Day (17 Nisan/Abib) of the week of Unleavened Bread, means this picture makes a better three-day scenario, which definitely includes a full 72 hours of being in the grave, than counting either the days or the hours He is in the grave from Good Friday to the morning of Resurrection Sunday! AMEN!