I recently received a question from someone about the timeframe of Yeshua’s death and resurrection. The question they asked was, “Did Messiah really die on Friday and rise on Sunday? If so, how is that 3 days and 3 nights?”

All four Gospels tell us that he rose on the first day of the week:

“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.”
Matthew 28:1

“Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen… Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.”
Mark 16:2

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 24:1

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” John 20:1

It is very clear that Messiah resurrected on the first day of the week, but more importantly, it was the day of FirstFruits.

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the FirstFruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:20

This is important to note because the Biblical Feasts are a prophetic shadow of the Messiah. We see that he died on Passover as the Lamb of God, he was the FirstFruits of the resurrection on the day of FirstFruits, and he poured out the Holy Spirit on Pentecost – in Hebrew, it is known as Shavuot and is the celebration of the giving of the Torah.

Many people make a big deal about his resurrection being on Sunday, but that is not what is so significant. The thing that really matters is that he rose on one of Yahweh’s Appointed Times. These appointed times were established to be prophetic about Messiah. If you are wondering where the Appointed Feasts are listed, you can read about them in Leviticus 23.

We have been taught that He rose on Easter Sunday morning at sunrise, but is that true? A Jewish day begins at sunset and ends at sunset. This means that the first day of the week began Saturday evening at sunset, and ended Sunday evening at sunset. Notice that John says the women went to the tomb while it was still dark and Yeshua was already gone.

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” John 20:1

This means Yeshua resurrected sometime during the night (before sunrise), and since the first day of the week began Saturday evening at sunset, He could have risen anytime from the moment of sunset to the just before the women arrived at the tomb. It is very likely that he rose at the very moment the day of FirstFruits began, at sunset on Saturday evening, and was only discovered to be missing the next morning when the women came to the tomb.

If Yeshua resurrected on the day of FirstFruits (the first day of the week) could He have really died on Friday? Think about it, if he died on Friday and rose on Sunday, that does not give us 3 days and 3 nights. In all reality, it only gives us 1 day and 2 nights, because if He died on Friday evening and was buried just before sunset, then we cannot count Friday as a day in the tomb.  If he rose on Sunday before sunrise, we cannot count Sunday as a full day in the tomb either. This only gives us Saturday as one full day in the tomb. However, most people who hold to the Good Friday to Easter Sunday theory state that if He was in the grave on any part of the day, it counts as a full day. So, giving the benefit of the doubt, and following the concept that any part of the day counts as a whole day, does this theory give us 3 days and 3 nights? The answer is still, “no”. At the very best this only gives us 3 days and 2 nights (Friday night and Saturday night), but the Bible tells us that he would be buried for 3 days and 3 nights.

“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.” Matthew 12:40

It is impossible to get 3 days and 3 nights from Friday to Sunday. This is because he did not die on Friday. If we examine the Scriptures, we can easily determine what day he died.

We know that Messiah was crucified on the “Preparation day” for Passover:

“Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
John 19:14

The confusion comes because the other Gospels say “preparation for the Sabbath”, and many people mistakenly assume this is referring to the regular weekly Sabbath when it is actually referring to the first day of Unleavened Bread, but John clarifies this for us:

“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath for that Sabbath was a high day, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”
John 19:31

So we see this was not a regular Sabbath, it was the High Sabbath also known as the first day of Unleavened Bread. This means that Messiah did not die on Friday as many have assumed, He died on the Preparation day for Passover, at the same time the Passover lambs were being killed and was buried that evening just before the Passover meal was to be eaten. The next day was the High Sabbath, beginning the Feast of Unleavened bread. He remained in the grave until the day after the regular Sabbath, and he rose on the third day also known as FirstFruits. We only need to count backwards 3 days from His resurrection to find out what day He died.

Consider the following timeline. Wednesday afternoon at 3:00pm on the 14th day of Aviv, at the time the Passover lambs were being killed in the Temple, Yeshua (the Lamb of God) died. He was placed in the tomb just before sunset Wednesday evening, the time when people were starting to celebrate the Feast of Passover, eating the lamb, matzah, and bitter herbs. He was in the grave for three FULL days and three FULL nights (Wednesday night, Thursday day, Thursday night, Friday day, Friday night, Saturday day), and he rose at sunset on Saturday evening, just as the first day of the week was beginning.

Biblical Crucifixion Week
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14Died 15Grave 1 16Grave 2 17Grave 3
18Raised 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

As you can see by this calendar illustration, if Messiah died on Wednesday evening, He would have been in the grave for 3 full days and 3 full nights. The Good Friday theory only leaves Him in the grave for approximately 36 hours, but when we realize that He died on Wednesday, we can see that he was in the grave for a full 72 hours (3 full days and 3 full nights).

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3 thoughts on “Good Friday to Easter Sunday

  1. If, as you correctly show, he was raised on the first of the 7 Sabbaths [counted between the waving of the body of our firstfruit [on the previous day] and ] it appears that he was raised on the 3rd of the unleaveneds [or 3rd day of unleavened bread] which corresponds with Hosea 6 “after 2 days he will revive us: in the 3rd day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight… Lev 23 says you shall count 7 Sabbaths even unto 50 days, when you shall bring out of your habitations[upper room] 2 leavened wave loaves [namely the OT words of Yahushuwah and the NT words of Yahushuwah, both leavened with the Rouach ha Qodesh, or Breath [Wind] the Holy.

  2. I did not finish the first sentence of the previous post. He was raised on the 1st of the 7 Sabbaths [counted between the waving of his body and Pentecost, or Shabuot Heb. We all see the correspondence between Shabuot [the OT type] and “the day of Pentecost” [the NT fulfillment or antitype] We see the significance of the “Holy convocation” called first of the unleavends [the sabbath when the bread of life was offered] but I have questions:

    1. What was the significance, in antitype, of the 7th day of unleavened bread, which was also an “holy convocation” in Leviticus 23? Clue: Thomas was not present on the 1st of the Sabbaths when the new priesthood was inaugurated for 7 days.

    2. We all agree the Yahushuwah fulfilled the Passover lamb offering in the midst of the week[Wednesday] in the midst of the 70th week of Daniel, and his blood fulfilled the drink offering and his UNleavened words fulfilled the grain offering, but what is the significance of those 2 LEAVENED loaves which the apostles were to “bring out of their habitations” on that windy day of “Pentecost”? What exactly do they represent?
    3. If, in fact, the sheaf [body of Yahushuwah] was waved in the process of being wrapped with 100 pounds of Aloes by Nicodemus and Yahuseph of Arimatheia on the “day after the Sabbath” meaning the first day of unleavened bread [Thursday that year] what day of the week was 50 days later?
    4. What was the fulfillment in antitype of the 13 animals which were offered and 12 were waved on Shabuot? see Lev.23:18-21]

  3. Hey Lex, just came across your site after listening to your interview with Rob Skiba. I have been interested in the timing of Jesus death and resurrection for awhile now. After reading this page I have a question and comment about a possible error.
    You said “He died on the Preparation day for Passover, at the same time the Passover lambs were being killed”. The Passover meal is not eaten until after the lambs have been killed. So then what meal was Jesus and his disciples eating the evening before, the one typically called the last supper? I have always thought that the ‘last supper’ meal was the Passover meal. That seems to be the case with verses like Matthew 26: 18-21. But if he died at the same time the lambs were being killed then I am confused.
    My comment is about when you list the counting of the days and nights, just before the calendar image. You start with ‘Wednesday night’ followed by ‘Thursday day’ then ‘Thursday night’. Nights always precede the day. You have it backwards, along with have an extra ‘Wednesday night’ and missing ‘Saturday night’. It should be “Thursday night, Thursday day, Friday night, Friday day, Saturday night, Saturday day”. I hope that makes sense.
    Your comments on these would be appreciated.
    I look forward to reading more of your material.

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