The focal point of all Christianity is the crucifixion and resurrection
of Jesus Christ. However, it is the least understood of most all the
Most of Christianity does not know when Jesus was crucified and when he
was resurrected from the dead. Most teach that Christ was crucified on
a Friday and resurrected on the first day of the week at sunrise.
who are more conservative, look at such scriptures as Mat 12:40 and
this scripture that Christ must be dead and in the grave three days and
three nights for a total of 72 hours -- and to make this fit, they
that he was crucified on a Wednesday, put into the grave just before
and resurrected three nights and three days later just before sundown
NOTE: 1. The only authority for this paper is your bible. We have used the 26 translations of the new testament, plus the Fenton Bible, King James and revised King James translations.
NOTE: 2. We accept what Luke says in Luke 1:1-4, that he is writing an exact order of events and that he has several manuscripts before him of Matthew, Mark, and others of those who were with Christ. Luke is saying that THIS IS THE HARMONY OF THESE GOSPELS, i.e. the chronological order of things.
NOTE: 3. The book of John was written much later and John added to Luke the things that Luke and others had left out. I personally believe that John had the book of Luke in front of him at the time he wrote the book of John.
Careful examination of Luke will show you of his intent. It is important to understand that Luke gives us an orderly account of the crucifixion and resurrection. John fills in on important accounts about the crucifixion week that we also need to understand. John talks about (John 12:1) six days before the Passover, (WHICH IS THE FEAST OF PASSOVER). Jesus had a meal prepared and Mary had a pound of spikenard ointment and anointed his feet. This was on the 9th of Nisan which was a Sabbath (proof will be added later).
The next day Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, which was the 10th of Nisan (John 12:12). Many people saw Him entering Jerusalem and took palm branches and went forth to meet Him shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the king of the Jews." And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it to fulfill scripture. This day was five days before the Feast, or the 10th OF THE FIRST MONTH, NISAN.
We all know that the Feast of Passover is on the 15th. We also know that the lamb without blemish was chosen and penned up on the 10th and then slain on the 14th in the afternoon, NOT in the night portion of the 14th. Check at Exodus l2:3-l8. The lamb was slain on the afternoon of the 14th and blood was put on the doorpost that evening. The Israelites stayed in until after the death angel passed through around midnight which is on the 15th, or the high holy Sabbath a MEMORIAL OF THE PASSING OVER.
There are 7 days of unleavened bread. The first day is a high Feast Sabbath, the 7th day is a High Sabbath Feast day. John refers to the Passover day as the Feast day. PASSOVER WAS THE FEAST DAY -- THE 15th OF NISAN. Now, counting back to the 10th from the 15th, makes the day Jesus came into Jerusalem 5 days before the Feast or the 10th of Nisan, the day they chose the King which is the VERY DAY that the Israelites chose the lamb without blemish to be slain on the afternoon of the 14th. The strewing or waving the palm branches down through all Christian writings has been called or referred to as PALM SUNDAY, the first day of the week.
NOTE: Those who believe in a Wednesday crucifixion have a problem -- 6 days before the Passover, if He was crucified on a Wednesday, would fall on a Friday. Thus Jesus would have had to enter the streets of Jerusalem riding on an ass on the SABBATH, a direct BREAKING of the Sabbath. Exodus 20:10 says all cattle and beasts of burden were also given a Sabbath of rest. Jesus never broke the Sabbath.
Now lets put the rest of the story together. JESUS CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED ON A THURSDAY AND WAS RESURRECTED ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK "WHILE IT WAS YET DARK, AS IT BEGAN TO DAWN TOWARD THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK."
Lets look again at Luke 1. Note what Luke says in verse 4 "that we may know the certainty of what we have been instructed in." Now read the entire chapter of Luke 24 and study it very thoroughly. I am going to pull out the most important parts. Verse 1 of Luke 24 says it is the first day of the week (Sunday) and he tells about those who came to the grave to anoint the body and found two angels. They were afraid and the angels asked, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? :6 "How He spoke to you while He was yet in Galilee, saying, (and THIS IS IMPORTANT) "The son of man must be DELIVERED (#1) into the hands of sinful men (Gentiles), be CRUCIFIED (#2), and the third day RISE AGAIN." :8 - and They REMEMBERED.
Verse 13-14, Two of them traveling to Emmaus were talking together of all THESE THINGS. :15 Jesus came to them, but they did not recognize him, and asked them why they were sad. :18 And one of them whose name was Cleopas answered and said, "Are you a stranger and have you not known these things that have come to pass in these days?" Verse 19-21 are very important. Jesus said, "WHAT THINGS?" They answered and said, "THE THINGS CONCERNING JESUS of Nazareth who was a prophet mighty before GOD and all the people (:20) and how our chief priests and our rulers DELIVERED HIM up to be CONDEMNED to death and have CRUCIFIED Him. (:21) "Besides this, TODAY is the THIRD DAY since THESE THINGS were done.
NOTE: The HANDING into the hands of the Gentiles, the CONDEMNING to death, and the CRUCIFIXION all happened on the SAME DAY, THREE DAYS BEFORE. When you COUNT BACK from the first day of the week, Saturday would be ONE day back, Friday would be TWO days back, and Thursday would be THREE days back. Counting FORWARD from Thursday, Friday would be one day, Saturday would be the 2nd day, and SUNDAY would be the THIRD day.
Christ was crucified on THURSDAY the 14th of Nisan, the 15th of Nisan was on Friday, the High Sabbath, the 16th on weekly Sabbath, and Sunday was Nisan 17, day of the WAVE SHEAF OFFERING, which was the day when the priests harvested (FROM THE EARTH) the very first fruits of grain offering to the LORD. Jesus Christ (BEING HARVESTED FROM THE EARTH), now living, and ascending to the Father, IS THE WAVE SHEAF OFFERING; and it was ON the first day of the week.
Just about now a lot of you are saying, "Hey! What about Mat 12:40 and Mr. Armstrong says the guards were put there on Thursday?" Complete events of when the guards were placed will be discussed, BUT Christ asked them in Luke 24:19, "WHAT THINGS?" and they spelled out WHAT THINGS in detail. Mr. Armstrong did not understand the 3 days and 3 nights and had to have an answer for Luke 24 which was, if you please, ADDING to the scriptures.
In Mat 12:38-40 The scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign. He said unto 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 Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." NOTE what this does not say.
It all comes down to this; what does IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH mean? Jesus always talked to them in parables; never directly. This is a parable or a riddle and was THE SIGN to those Jews. And, believe it or not, they RECOGNIZED the 3 days and 3 nights. THEY KNEW THE SIGNS! And the signs MUST be shown. The problem has been that it has been a riddle in our day also to most all of the Biblical scholars, but NOT ALL.
To find the 3 days and 3 nights we have to show the start and show the finish. If Christ gave them a sign, THEY had to recognize it. H.W.A. booklet makes an assumption that He was resurrected on the Sabbath. He did not show the beginning or the end signs of the 3 days and 3 nights. HE ASSUMED. YOU CANNOT BUILD A DOCTRINE ON ONE SCRIPTURE. ALL SCRIPTURES MUST COME INTO PLAY.
If we want to answer this question we have to let the Bible interpret the Bible (Isaiah 28:9-23). Luke says that the start of the events of the 3 days and 3 nights have to start at the time He was HANDED into the hands of sinful men (Gentiles) EARTHY. The Jews were not of this WORLD; the gentiles WERE (earthy). And also, understand, we have to start with a day portion, NOT a night portion. Jesus said THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS, NOT 3 nights and 3 days.
Jonah was thrown overboard some time in the early hours just as daybreak started (Jonah 1). John the 18th and 19th chapters gives us the KEY. Jesus was taken captive by the Jews in the early hour of the morning BEFORE THE COCK CROWS. Then the Jews had a trial in chapter 18. The Jews knew what hour they handed him to Pilate and they were aware of the beatings and the scourgings, and of Pilate's edict of crucifixion.
Verse 14. And it was the PREPARATION of the Passover, and
sixth hour. He said, "Behold your King!" John here uses Roman
time (12 midnight & 12 noon) This is the only place in all
where Roman time is given. The synoptics and other manuscripts use
reckoning "beginning with sunrise." Jesus had been DELIVERED
into Pilate's hands ALMOST AN HOUR BEFORE. Go back and read Luke 24.
Luke 24:7. The Son of man must be DELIVERED into the hands of sinful
lst event, and be CRUCIFIED, 2nd event. Verse 20 says to be CONDEMNED
We start to unravel the parable here. The Jews were involved with the START of the SIGN, when they handed Him into the hands of the Gentiles. The clock is started from THIS POINT. To answer Mat 12:40 we have to use the rest of the Bible. Things HAPPENED to Christ, BEFORE and AFTER He was CRUCIFIED and while He was on the CROSS (or STAKE), that HAPPENED to JONAH IN THE BELLY OF THE GREAT FISH. The REEDS wrapped around his head = the CROWN OF THORNS on Jesus' head. The prayer that Jonah prayed, Jonah 2:1-9, Psalms 18:5-7. Read all of Psa 18:1-24. All of this happened while Jesus was on the cross that also happened to Jonah IN THE BELLY of the great fish. Now for the FINAL Truth.
Mat 27:62-66 The Jews, chief Priests, and Pharisees went to Pilate on the High Sabbath (the day after the day of preparation), saying, "Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, 'After three days I will rise again.' Command that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day." Pilate said, "You have your watch; make it as sure as you can." So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, SEALING the stone, and setting a guard.
Question: Don't you know those Jews made sure that Jesus' body was in the tomb? You better BELIEVE they did! They opened up the grave and made sure His body was there before they sealed it. They knew it was in the grave when the seal was put on and they made sure the watch understood that they were to remain into the third day -- and the watch was still there into the THIRD day NOT the fourth day. Read chapter 28:11.
Some of the guards came into the city and told the chief priests all the things that had happened at the grave site. Those Jews RECOGNIZED THE SIGN, because it was EXACTLY 72 HOURS BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE WHEN THEY HANDED JESUS INTO THE HANDS OF THE GENTILES. They (the guard) were paid to state a falsehood. The ANGELS and the EARTHQUAKE were the END SIGN TO THOSE JEWS.
The three days and three nights, then, began from the time he was HANDED over to Pilate -- which started AS IT BEGAN TO DAWN on Thursday morning the 14th of Nisan, the DAY portion. It INCLUDES the trial before Pilate, the scourgings and beatings, being condemned to death, being crucified, the crown of thorns, all of His prayers while He was on the cross--with His final prayer, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?, The time while He was being prepared for burial before the High Sabbath; all of Thursday (day portion of 14th), Thursday night, Friday (15th), Friday night, Saturday (16th), and Saturday night up to the earthquake WHILE IT WAS YET DARK (John 20:1)on Sunday (Nisan 17), "As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1). EXACTLY 3 DAYS and 3 NIGHTS!
We have shown when Jesus came into Jerusalem on the 1st day of crucifixion week, which was the 10th of Nisan, counting forward Jesus Christ was crucified on a Thursday. We have also shown counting back from resurrection day, the 1st day of the week, that Jesus was crucified on a Thursday, the 5th day of the week. All are Biblical and are irrefutable answers to the time of events that occurred from Nisan 9 through Nisan 17.
Let us now look at all the rest of the scriptures referring to 'after the third day, or the third day'. MAT 16:21. From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief Priests and scribes and be killed and raised the THIRD DAY.
MAT 20:18-19. "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and DELIVER Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to CRUCIFY. And the THIRD DAY HE WILL RISE AGAIN."
MARK 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after THREE DAYS rise again.
MARK 9:31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being DELIVERED into the hands of men, and they will KILL Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the THIRD DAY."
LUKE 9:22 "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the THIRD DAY."
LUKE 18:31-33 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be DELIVERED to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. And they will scourge Him and put Him to death. And the THIRD DAY He will rise again."
LUKE 24:7 saying,'The Son of Man must be DELIVERED into the hands of sinful men, and be CRUCIFIED, and the THIRD DAY RISE AGAIN.'"
1st CORINTHIANS 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all, what I also received, that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.
ALL OF THESE AGREE WITH --- Luke 24:19-21. And He (Jesus) said unto them, "WHAT THINGS?" And they said unto Him, "The THINGS CONCERNING JESUS of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers DELIVERED Him to be CONDEMNED to death, and CRUCIFIED Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, TODAY IS THE THIRD DAY SINCE THESE THINGS HAPPENED."
Now for some questions:
This DOES NOT refer to Jesus Christ at all. It refers to the prince who is to come, the peacemaker in the Middle-East who will make a peace treaty with Israel. Notice verse 25 and 26. The Messiah will be cut off at the END OF THE SEVEN WEEKS AND 62 WEEKS; NOT in the middle of the 70th week. 7 weeks plus 62 weeks makes 69 WEEKS. This 70 weeks of Daniel have been totally misunderstood by a lot of Biblical teachers. We still have one week on Jerusalem, the Holy City, and the Jews, to be fulfilled. (We have literature on this subject. Please write for it).
For the answer, look at Luke 23:52. This man, Joseph of Arimathea, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Vs.54 then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of rock where no one had laid before. That day was the preparation and the Sabbath drew near, Vs 55 and the women who had come with him from Galilee followed after and THEY OBSERVED HOW THE BODY WAS LAID. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oil and rested the Sabbath days according to the commandments.
They OBSERVED the body the day He was crucified. They BOUGHT THE SPICES the day He was crucified. They PREPARED the spices the day He was crucified. NOTE 1: Mat 28:1. Now after the Sabbath (should read after the Sabbaths, plural). There was a High Sabbath on Friday and regular weekly Sabbath on Saturday. NOTE 2: Mark 16:1 is given most correctly in the King James; HAD BOUGHT. They bought the spices on the day of preparation, the day Jesus was crucified NOTE 3: All through the scriptures the preparation day refers to the preparation of the Passover, NOT the weekly Sabbath.
Finally, what all of this really means is we are today NOT using the same calendar that was used in Jesus' day. THEY were observing New Moons. Today we have been observing Hillel II, a Jewish priest, who in 358 A.D. not only calculated the Holy Days, but also MANIPULATED these calculations so that we could NEVER have two HOLY Days in a row in the Days of Unleavened Bread or on the Day of Atonement.
All of this manipulation has, for the last 1500 years, covered up the true day of the crucifixion and aided, in recient times, to the wrong interpretation of Mat 12:40.
I personally feel that NO MAN has the authority to MANIPULATE the Holy Day calendar or to COVER UP the actual crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ; because THAT IS what has taken place. All other scriptures referring to the THIRD DAY agree and coincide with Luke. If you have any questions or there is something I have missed, I am open to your comments.
by Charles Kimbrough
RETURN TO THE SIMPLE TRUTH