6 March 2011 Welcome - Charles - God-bothering - Three days and three nights

The biblical timetable for the crucifixion and resurrection

To establish a basis for this timetable:

"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God ... called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God ... saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years... And God set them in the firmament ... to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good." from Genesis 1, 5-18

"Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." John 11, 9-10

"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 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." Matt 12, 39-40

These scriptures seem to show three things: that the biblical understanding of a day is a full day of 24 hours, that Jesus understood this, and that Jesus stated he would be in the tomb for 3 full days. How does this align with what the visible, man-organised church claims and does? It doesn't. The man-organised church claims that the events took less than 2 days, discrediting the sign, and that the resurrection occurred on a Sunday, to justify proclaiming that as the sabbath.

As usual, the man-organised church would seem to be deliberately misleading people and trying to make the bible appear to be a non factual statement about something only the clergy can really understand and interpret for us. Or factual, but needing the "assured understanding of evangelical scholarship" (or some such nonsense) to resolve the contradictions. It might be that either the bible is correct or the organised church (which claims to be based on the bible) is correct. But not both. As an indication as to which group deals more honesty with the bible, consider the term "Easter". It is used by the visible church as a name for this festival. The word is in fact derived from the name of the pagan goddess Ishtar or Astarte, who was consort to Baal, the sun-god, and who was falsely worshipped by the idolatrous Israel as Ashtoreth... Throughout the Old Testament, God proclaims such worship as an abomination  2 Kings 23, 13 & Judges 2 11-14

With a clear understanding of what the scriptures mean by a day there is also a need to remember that the Passover festival includes its own sabbaths (high days), as did all the major festivals of Israel. Lev 23, 7. The period of time that Jesus spoke of when referring to his death and resurrection: "so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" can then be illustrated in the following time line. It shows how with regard to the crucifixion the bible is non contradictory, the events are as prophesied and the man-organised church is in error.


Timeline colour key
The minor divisions
down this table
represent intervals
of six hours
 night graphic        Night time
 day graphic        Day time
   real graphic      Jesus' actual time in the tomb, according to the bible
     fake graphic    "Three days" as taught by the "man-organised" churches
Timeline for the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus
Tuesday eve. 14th
night graphic       Last supper  Matt 26, 19-20
Jesus arrested  Matt 26, 47
Jesus before Caiaphas the high priest  Matt 26, 57
Peter's three denials before cock crow  Matt 26, 74
Wednesday night graphic    
day graphic       Jesus before Pontius Pilate the governor  Matt 27, 2
...then sent to Herod  Luke 23, 7
Jesus scourged, then crucified  Jn 19, 1 & 16
Jesus' body placed in the tomb (by Joseph)  Mark 16, 45-46
day graphic tomb graphic  
15th night graphic tomb graphic     Passover sabbath begins; first feast day  Lev 23, 7
Thursday night graphic tomb graphic      
day graphic tomb graphic     Priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to
put a guard on the tomb. He agreed.  Matt 27, 62-66
Passover sabbath ends
day graphic tomb graphic  
16th night graphic tomb graphic      
Friday night graphic tomb graphic      
day graphic tomb graphic     Mary, Mary and Salome buy spices, after one sabbath  Mark 1, 16
 and before the next sabbath  Luke 23, 56
day graphic tomb graphic fake graphic
17th night graphic tomb graphic fake graphic   Start of weekly sabbath
Saturday night graphic tomb graphic fake graphic    
day graphic tomb graphic fake graphic    
day graphic tomb graphic fake graphic   Jesus rises and leaves the tomb
End of weekly sabbath
18th night graphic   fake graphic    
Sunday night graphic   fake graphic    
day graphic   fake graphic   Mary, Mary and Salome bring spices
 and find the tomb already open  Mark 16, 2 & 6
Encounters with the risen Jesus  Matt 28, 9  John 20, 14
Guards bribed to lie about the resurrection  Matt 28, 12-13
day graphic    
19th night graphic        
Monday morn. night graphic        


Answers to a few common questions

How did Jesus move the stone?
He didn't. The stone was moved later (by an angel causing an earthquake on the morning of the first day of the week, i.e. Sunday Matt 28, 2) to reveal that Jesus had already left the tomb, not to let him out. The stone being moved caused some consternation for the "keepers" or "guards" who were later bribed not to tell what had happened.

Was Jesus really dead?
Yes. The bible not only says so, but relates how even then, a soldier speared the body. John 19, 31-35. Also the centurion in charge was sure enough to tell Pilate so. Mark 15, 45

Why, at the end of Matthew 27 and start of 28 is only one sabbath mentioned?
This could be a simple mistake in translation. The Nestle Greek text for verse 1 of chapter 28 actually has gaphic of greek sabbaton "of the sabbaths" (note plural) twice in the sentence, the second being in the phrase "ending of the sabbaths" which is rendered as "first day of the week".

Perhaps they all went to the wrong tomb?
Hardly! Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses are both recorded as having seen exactly where the body was placed. Mark 16, 47

Isn't the evening and morning as a day confusing?
Yes, to us now that we have clocks and are used to counting from midnight. But for people with no clocks, sunrise and sunset were definite points in time, and mid-day was not too difficult. But mid-night? So think of evening as the start of night (dark) and morning as the start of day (light). Something that happened "at evening" happened near the end of the 24 hour interval. I think.

Is it not good enough that 3 days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday - are involved?
No. To accept that is to negate the significance of the sign given to that "adulterous" generation (see Matt 12, 39-40). Also, the various scriptures speak of after three days (see Mark 8, 31 and Matt 27, 63) and on the third day (see Mark 9. 31 and John 2, 19). This is reconciled only by exactly three days, as promised.

What of Mark 16, 9?
Tricky one, this. The verse is "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils." This could be saying that Jesus rose (got up) early on Sunday - not likely for a resurrected person, or it could mean that early on Sunday, Jesus was (already) risen. However, a look at the Greek, comparing verses 6 and 9 where the Authorised Version uses the word "risen" raises another question because verse 9 actually starts "And rising early..." In fact the whole tone of the last 12 verses of Mark is sufficiently different from the rest of the Gospel to suggest it is a later addition, and not authoritative.

... and Luke 24, 21?
In the Authorised Version the verse includes "today is the third day since these things were done." Marshall's Interlinear Greek rendering is "third this day it-leads since these-things happened" Note that phrase it-leads which gives the sense of "these things happened three days previously"

Aren't you just picking isolated verses to make up your own story?
No, not at all. The four Gospels are personal accounts of the events as told by those who were there at the time. Different ones noted different things. I have simply illustrated the timeline with what I think are the most concise references. Read the Gospels in full and compare them. The accounts stand up.

Is Easter a Christian version of the Passover?
No. It is in fact a revamped pagan spring festival that was used by the man-organised power-seeking church to detract from the importance of the crucifixion/resurrection as the real fulfilment of the Passover. It effectively displaced the Passover festival from view and also, with their corrupted timetable of events, provided a reason move the sabbath to the first day of the week. They were still trying to appease the Romans who were really Sun-worshippers (Baal-worshippers).

Is the "Lord's Supper" the Passover?
No. That event occurred before the passover meal, on the day of preparation. It is also worth noting the very obvious fact that it was before Jesus died, and that he died at the correct time for the sacrificing of the passover lamb.

But "Easter" is mentioned in the New Testament!
Sadly, the word is found once in the Authorised Version, in Acts 12, 4 where it is a miss-translation of the Greek gaphic of greek to pasca (pascha) which is translated more than 25 times elsewhere in the New Testament as "the passover". This serves to show how the pervasive Roman teaching influenced even the most careful and God-fearing scholars.

What else is wrong about Easter?
For pagans they may be acceptable, but true Christianity has no use for the rabbits and eggs - fertility rites and symbols, no use for the sunrise festivals - Sun worship - common is some countries, and no use for the hot-cross bun - derived from an offering to the Sun god and bearing not a depiction of Calvary's cross, but a sun-wheel with four equal spokes. Some of the references below go into this in detail.


Some relevant information sources:

As I have said before, the doctrinal reliability of these references is for you to judge: I certainly do not endorse everything in any of them. Some of them are somewhat contradictory, but then we are all seeking to cut through over 1500 years of bad teaching...

The Christian Churches of God (Australia) has a document catalogue for their web site. Read "Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159)" for a much more expansive view of the sequence of events, with Gospel references. Appendix C of "The Passover (No. 98)" has a comparison of events for the Egyptian Passover and the Crucifixion week.

A more detailed examination of why the word "easter" appears in the New Testament is provided by the Trinitarian Bible Society

For another in-depth look at the resurrection timing see Eternal Church of God and Garner Ted Armstrong from two different groups formed from what was The Worldwide Church of God (publishers of the Plain Truth)

Some comments on Easter's origins from the "1 way only" web site copied on the Jackson Snyder website

Why we don't do holidays is an informative article appearing on the Waybright family's website.

The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, by Dr Alfred Marshall, published by Samuel Bagster (1974, ISBN 0 85150 101 X)