Did Yeshua really rise on "Sunday"?
(not even close)
The Passion Week in the Calendar of the First Month.
Beginning of Year (first), Secure a Lamb (10th), Passover (14th), Unleavened Bread (15th to 21st), First Fruits (16th). Note that the term "First Day of the Week" refers to a day on the Lunar Calendar, which was nowhere near a "Sunday" that year.
(NM = New Moon, W = Work day, S = Sabbath)
|1 Lazarus raised from dead.|
|2||3||4||5||6||7||8 Anointing at Lazarus' house|
|9||10Triumphal Entry||11||12||13||14 Yeshua slain||15 Yeshua in tomb.|
|16 First Fruits||17||18||19||20||21||22|
Was Yeshua in the tomb 3 days / nights?
Yes, and no excuses ...
One of the biggest inconsistencies in the Scriptures (as commonly understood) has to do with the timing of the Resurrection. It's the issue of the "3 days and 3 nights". Some of the common approaches are to:
- just ignore it
- explain it away as a metaphor
- use some variation of the "Wednesday Passover/Crucifixion" that only works with an extra Saturday Sabbath
But there is a better solution that gives 3 actual days and 3 actual nights in the tomb, and agrees with all the Biblical details. It involves a proper understanding of a seemingly simple question: "When does a day begin?"
The Roman day starts and ends at midnight. The Rabbis and most Jews today count their days, especially the Sabbath, from evening to evening. Is this really what the Bible teaches? Consider the following points, which will be proved by Scripture.
- Just as in English, there are two meanings of "day": the "complete day of 24 hours" and the "daylight portion".
- The Biblical "complete day" starts at sunrise, and ends at dawn, right before daybreak, which is the sunrise of the next day.
- The evening, the night, and the time up to and including the early morning dawn before sunrise are all considered part of the "complete day".
- A "work day" is the daylight portion, from sunrise to sunset. Similarly, the Sabbath is a "rest day" of the same length.
The diagram below illustrates this concept.
This makes sense intuitively. But does it agree with the Bible? Yes. The first day of Creation begins with God bringing forth light. The story is progressive, and proceeds through the day, encountering the evening, then through the night, then the early dawn morning. At that point, the first day is completed.
The sunrise signals the beginning of the second day. This story proceeds through the day, encountering the evening, then through the night, then the early dawn morning. At that point, the second day is completed.
The same pattern describes the third day. The first three days are shown below:
The days contain longer descriptions as they progress. First God creates a group of animals, then he blesses them, then evening comes, etc, up to the early dawn morning. The sequence is very obvious in the sixth day. First God creates some land animals, then he begins to work on the Garden of Eden. He creates the man, then some animals for the garden and shows them to the man, who spends some time naming them. Then he creates the woman, then he blesses them, then then he tells them what to eat, then it's evening, then through the night, then the early dawn morning.
What happens next? It's now the sunrise of the seventh day, and God rests. It's the Sabbath. That's right, verse 1:31 ends with the morning of the sixth day, and verse 2:2 is the Sabbath. The Sabbath does not begin at evening. It begins after the early dawn morning of the previous day, at daybreak, or sunrise, when all new days begin.
That's how the days are described in Genesis. Notice that this is consistent with the rest of Scripture. Some examples follow. Most of these are simply narratives of the day-to-day history of the Israelites and serve as practical examples of how they understood the calendar.
And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 16.23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 16.24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 16.25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 16.26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. 16.27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.
And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.
And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails ...
7.6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. .... 7.10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? .... 7.13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel ....[It was already evening, and Joshua was still lying on the ground, then the LORD talked about "tomorrow", showing that the new day had not yet begun].
And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.
And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night. 19.11 Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.
But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 6.17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 6.18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 6.19 So when ... they see Jesus walking on the sea .... 6.21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. 6.22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there ...
Traditionally, Leviticus 23:32 "from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath" has been used to demonstate that the days start at evening. But those same verses in Leviticus prove the opposite. Notice that this concerns the Day of Atonement, which is the tenth day of the month (23:27), but that the fast begins on evening of the ninth day of the month. (23:32). Those are two adjacent days, with two different date numbers: the ninth and the tenth. If the day really began in the evening, it would just be one date.
23.26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23.27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 23.28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 23.29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 23.30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 23.31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 23.32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
How do these new insights apply to the "3 days and 3 nights", and the Resurrection?
And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
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.
When applied to the Resurrection, the Biblical reckoning is 24 hours later than the traditional interpretation! This provides the "3 days and 3 nights". And this is what it looks like:
There seems to be a problem, however, when John 20:19 is read in most English translations.
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. 19 Then the same day at evening [#3798], being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Note that the word translated "at evening", Strongs #3798, can also be translated "late". It was "late" in the first day of the week, that is to say, the first day was almost over, and the sunrise of the second day was approaching. With this understanding, the general time frame is the same as when the women approached the empty tomb: at the end of the first day, right before sunrise.
A similar situation is seen in Luke 24:13:
And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus ...
A preposition present in the Greek is ignored in the common English translations.
With the preposition properly translated, it reads:
- Contrary to Jewish tradition, the Biblical Day begins at sunrise, not sunset.
- A work day is the 12 daylight hours; the same applies to a rest day.
- Yeshua was in the tomb for three days and three nights.
- The Resurrection, appearance to the women at the tomb, and also to the disciples in the room all took place near the very end of the 24 hour first day of the week, just before the sunrise which begins the second day.