Three Days and Three Nights


The purpose of this study is to reveal the true story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ; Not according to the traditions of men, but in the true light of Gods word.

The tradition of man teaches that Jesus was crucified on "Good friday" and arose from the grave Sunday morning, but there is no scriptual or historical proof for this teaching. The "Good friday" doctrine does not allow for Jesus to be in the grave for "Three days and three nights" as he himself said he would be. Jesus said "For as Jo `-nas was three days and three nights in the whales belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."(Matt.12:40) Our Lord was precise,"Three days and three nights". If Jesus died on the cross on a friday afternoon at about the ninth hour ( aprox. 3:00 p.m.) and arose from the grave before dawn on Sunday, that is not even two days. If this is true as men teach,then Jesus is a liar and God`s word is not true. God forbid, for "He is not a man that he should lie". (num.23:19 ) "Let every man be a liar, but let God`s word be true." (Romans 3:4)

Many have tried to use a Jewish idiom that say`s a part of a day is the same as a whole day. This may work in some instances, but again Jesus was clear; "Three days and three nights". To say that it happened any other way is again to call The Lord a liar. Instead of trying to explain or make an excuse for a man made tradition, we should seek to find the truth in the Holy scriptures. That is what we will do in this study. First let`s look at where this "Good Friday" tradition began.

Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was celebrated on different days of the week to coincide with the Jewish Passover, therefore there was not a "Good friday" before that time. In 325 A.D.,Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to be converted to Christianity convened the Council of Nicaea that issued the Easter Rule, that states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox.Two points were made by the council;(1) Easter should be celebrated on the same day by all,and (2) Jewish custom was not the criterion to be followed. Shortly after the council, Constantine wrote a letter to those bishops that were not present stating "Relative to the Sacred festival of was declared to be particularity unworthy for this Holiest of all festivals to follow the customs of the Jews. We ought not therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews. We desire to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews for it is surely shameful for us to hear the Jews boast that without their directions we could not keep this Feast." Once again the traditions of Men changed God`s law. The set dates for "Good friday" and Easter are an invention of the Catholic Church. The "Good friday" doctrine did not exist until nearly threehundred years after the crucifixion of Christ.

Let us now look at the true story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will follow with the scriptual and historical proof.

The crucifixtion and resurrection of our LORD JESUS CHRIST,according to a thorough study of the Holy scriptures,was on this wise.
Late in the afternoon of tuesday the thirteenth of nisan, the first month in the jewish year,the disciples of Jesus came and asked him; where shall we prepare the passover meal? It would soon be evening, the beginning of wednesday the fourteenth,(the jewish day begins at sundown). According to GOD`S commandment the passover lamb must be killed on the evening of the fourteenth and eaten in that same night.
When evening was come, Jesus sat down with the twelve disciples to eat the passover. Matthew, Mark and Luke called this day the first of unleavened bread because unleavened bread was to be eaten with the passover lamb. This was not the first day of THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD which GOD commanded to be on the fifteenth day!
After the meal, Jesus went out into the garden to pray. It is there that Judas came with the chief priest and elders with swords and clubs, and betrayed Jesus with a kiss. They carried him away to the high priest, and then when morning came they deliverd him to Pilate. It is still wednesday the fourteenth,the Passover day.
At the third hour Jesus was crucified on the cross. Darkness was over the whole land from the sixth hour until the ninth hour . About the ninth hour Jesus gave up the ghost.
When evening came, Joseph of Aramethea came to Pilate to claim the body of Jesus; Thursday the fifteenth had began at sundown, the first day of THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, it was a "High day", a Sabbath day in which no work was to be done. Even though it was a sabbath, Joseph and Nicodimus had to hurry to take the body down from the cross and prepare it for burial.They wrapped it in clean linen with about a hundred pounds of spices. They rested for the remainder of the sabbath.
On the next day, friday the sixteenth, after the the "High sabbath", Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of JESUS, and Salome, bought and prepared more spices and ointments to finish the burial. They rested the next day, Saturday the regular sabbath.
Very early in the morning, on Sunday, the first day of the week, they returned to the tomb to bring the spices and ointments they had prepared to finish annointing the body. THE TOMB WAS EMPTY, JESUS HAD ALREADY RISEN!!

Now let`s begin our study in the Word. When studying the Bible, it is often important to understand the times and customs that were in place during the particular time period you are studying. In this study, concerning the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we must realize that the Jews lived under a different calender of days then we do now. (see Graph) For us today, on the Gregorian calender, a new day begins at 12:00 p.m. midnight and ends at 12:00 p.m. midnight twenty-four hours later. For example, if it were now Monday the 1st, at 12:00 noon, then Tuesday, the 2nd would begin at 12:00 midnight.
On the Hebrew calender, at the time of Jesus`s ministry on earth, a new day would begin at sundown. As an example, if it were now Monday the 1st at 12:00 noon, then Tuesday the 2nd would begin at sundown.(aprox.6:00 p.m.) Evening begins at the going down of the sun, and the new day begins at evening. This is still true today regarding Jewish Holidays. Notice that the first day of creation began with the evening,"And the evening and the morning were the first day." ( Genesis 1:5)


In the eleventh chapter of Exodus we read"And Moses said,Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservent that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel."( Exodus 11:4-7) God was about to bring the final plague upon Egypt and free Israel from over fourhundred yeas of bondage. "And the Lord spake to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house; And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats; And ye 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. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper post of the houses, wherein they shall eat. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it....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 the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever."( Exodus 1-8,12-14)

About fifteen hundred years later,on the 13th of Nisan, the first month in the Hebrew year, the disciples of Jesus came and asked him, "Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?"(Matt 26:17 ) It would soon be evening, the beginning of the 14th, the day that God commanded the passover lamb to be killed,"...and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening."(Exodus 12:16) "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even (evening) is the Lord`s passover."(Lev. 23:5) "...thou shalt sacrafice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun..."(Deut 16:6)

Jesus sent Peter and John to prepare the passover,( Luke 22.8) "And when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve (Apostles)." (Matt 26:20) It was now the 14th; the passover had been killed and prepared for the passover meal. "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." (Exodus 12:8) After the meal, "....they had sung an hymn" and "went out into the mount of Olives" (mark 14:26) "And he was withdrawn from them about a stones cast, and kneeled down, and prayed". (Luke 22:41) After Jesus had prayed a little while, he came to his Disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter,"What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt 26:41) Then Jesus went away and prayed a second time, and returned and found them asleep again. "and he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time....Then cometh he to his Disciples, and saith unto them, sleep on now, an take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold he is at hand that doth betray me." (Matt 26:44,45-46) As soon as Jesus had said this, Judas came with a great multitude of people with "swords and staves", the chief priest and elders. When they had layed hands on him they " led him away to Ca`-ia-phas the high priest...." ( Matt 26:57)

When morning had come; ( it is still the 14th), "the chief priest and elders of the people took counsil against Jesus to put him to death: and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pon`tius Pilate the governor" (Matt 27:1-2)

The word of God say`s that they took him to a place called Golgatha, which is interpreted, The place of a skull, "And it was the third hour, (aprox. 9:00 a.m.) and they crucified him". (Mark 15:25) "and when the sixth hour (aprox. 12:00 a.m.) was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the
ninth hour
(aprox. 3:00 p.m.)....And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice,....and gave up the ghost."(Mark 15:33,34,37) Remember, it is still the fourteenth, the Passover. Jesus, the lamb of God, was slain on the cross on the same day that God had commanded the Passover lamb to be slain fifteen hundred years earlier.

Up to this point we have reviewed the story of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ that most christians are familiar with; but now comes some very important points which must be made to secure the fact that the Lord was indeed in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

In verse forty-two of the fifteenth chapter of Mark we read "And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Ar-i-ma-thae`a, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the Kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus". This is where so many make the mistake of assuming that Jesus was crucified on a Friday; because it say`s " was the preparation, that is the day before the sabbath." You may ask, but isn`t the sabbath on Saturday? Yes Saturday is the seventh day, the weekly Jewish Sabbath, but there are also other sabbaths.

In the book of Leviticus we read, "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the chldren of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feast of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feast."(Lev. 23:1-2) In verse three, the seventh day sabbath is described as being " holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings." Then in verse five, "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord`s passover" Remember the fourteenth is the day the Lord was crucified. "and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day (the fifteenth) ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein."(Lev. 23:7,7) So we see that the day after the passover, is a sabbath day, but not the regular saturday sabbath. We can see this also in John 19:31, "The jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that day was an high sabbath,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away" "High sabbath indicating that it was not the regular sabbath. (note: The jews wanted the legs of those on the cross broken so that there deaths would come more quickly. The legs of the two thieves crucified along with Jesus were indeed broken, but the legs of the Lord were not broken,"For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A BONE OF HIM SHALL NOT BE BROKEN."(John 19:36) God commanded concerning the passover lamb,"In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof."Again in Numbers 9:12, "They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it; according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it." (Exodus 12:46) And also Psalm 34:20<"He Keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken".) So we see again that the day after Jesus was crucified was a "High sabbath", but this in itself does not prove it could not have been a friday. Let`s continue with our story.

Joseph of Arimathaea had come to claim the body of Jesus, and the Bible say`s,"And there came also Nic-o-de`-mus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was cruciified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein never a man was yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."(John 19:39-42) Luke said "And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on"(Luke 23:54) Because when Joseph had come to claim the body, "even was come", the high sabbath had already began. Joseph and Nicodemus had to hurry to remove the body from the cross, carry it to the sepulchre and prepare it for burial. Because it was the high sabbath the burial customs were not completed. The burial would be completed after the sabbath.

Now comes some very important scripture that most people miss, or at least are confused by. In Mark 16:1 we read,"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag-da-le`ne, and Mary the mother of James, and Sa-lo`me, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him" In Luke 23: 55,56 it say`s "And the women also, which came with him, (Joseph) from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments: and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment." If Jesus was crucified on 'Good Friday", these two verses would be contradictory. How could the sabbath in these two verses be the same sabbath? How could the women return and prepare spices and ointments and rest on the sabbath,(Luke 23:55,56) when according to Mark 16:1 they had not bought the spices untill after the sabbath? There is only one answer, There were two sabbaths. The women had bought the spices after the "High sabbath", prepared them and rested on the regular sabbath. The "High sabbath" was on Thursday the fifteenth. They bought and prepared the spices on Friday the sixteenth, and rested Saturday the seventeenth, the regular sabbath.

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them."(Luke 24:1) Matthew 28:1 reads, "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Mag-da-le`-ne and the other Mary to see the sepulchre". In this verse, the Greek text reads "Sabbaths", indicating again that there were two sabbaths.

By putting the scriptures together from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we find that it was Mary Magdalene that came to the tomb first, "....early, when it was yet dark....and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre."John 20:1) "And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid,and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again".(Luke 24:2-7)

"....Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the Third day"(Luke 24:46)

Count the Days

Tuesday the 13th, was the day the Disciples asked Jesus where to prepare the passover meal.

Wednesday the 14th,Jesus and his Disciples ate the Passover meal in that night. Jesus was crucified in the morning at the third hour, and gave up the Ghost at the ninth hour.

Thursday the 15th, the first Day of Unleavened bread, was a "High Sabbath",no work was to be done.

Friday the 16th, the Women bought and prepared spices to anoint the Lords body.

Saturday the 17th, the regular seventh Day Sabbath, no work was to be done.

Sunday the 18th, the first Day of the week. The day the women came to anoint the body and found the tomb empty.

Jesus gave up the Ghost at the ninth hour on wednesday the 14th.

From the ninth hour the 14th to the ninth hour the 15th is one night and one day.

From the ninth hour the 15th to the ninth hour the 16th is the second night and day.

From the ninth hour the 16th to the ninth hour the 17th is the third day and night. Three days and three nights!

The Lord arose sometime between the ninth hour on the 17th and sunrise on the 18th,satisfying the three days and three nights.

After reading the "Three Days and Three Nights" study, a visitor to this website asked this question; How does the Sunday the 10th Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (known as Palm Sunday) by Christ line up with a Wednesday the 14th (Passover) crucifiction?
I welcome My visitors question.

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