The image at the end of this essay (below) is a graphic representation that lays out the narrative and timeline of the Crucifixion of Christ.It begins with the six days before Passover inscribed in John 12:1 and terminates with the High Sabbath at the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. A Sabbath that occurs outside of the Weekly Sabbath is called a High Sabbath or a Special Sabbath. These Sabbaths are parts of a feast or other special events and can occur on any day of the week.
Jesus ate the Passover with his disciples on the evening of the fourteenth of Abib, or Nissan, the first month of the Israelites’ sacred year. The Israelites considered evening, at sunset, to be the beginning of the day. So, as an example, if the 14th of Nissan is on our Wednesday, which is their Fourth Day, then Wednesday, the 14th of Nissan, begins on our calendar at sunset on our Tuesday. Consequently, Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal on Tuesday evening on our Calendar, which they considered to be the Fourth Day on their calendar, which is our Wednesday.
As you can see on the graphic, the shaded areas are the night time (the hours between sunset and sunrise; marked “PM” on the graphic) and the days begin at sundown, which is the line to the left of each shaded area. The unshaded areas represent the day time (the hours between sunrise and sunset; marked “AM” on the graphic).
Tradition says Jesus was crucified on Friday, and resurrected on Sunday. No amount of manipulating the calendar period beginning on Friday just before sunset and ending on Sunday morning can equal the three days and three nights that Jesus said He would be in the tomb (See Mat 12:40). The reason for this faulty tradition is that the church leaders that came up with this tradition did not recognize that the Sabbath spoken of in Mar 15:42, and Luk 23:56, was the Special or High Sabbath on the first day of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:7), and NOT the Weekly Sabbath.
When the women came to grave after the resurrection, that was the day after the Weekly Sabbath. Thus there were two Sabbaths during Passion Week. The first being the first day of Unleavened Bread; the second being the Weekly Sabbath. Jesus was buried just before sunset on Nissan 14, the first day of Passover, also known as the Preparation Day. As soon as the sun set, it became Nissan 15, which is the High Sabbath on the first day of Unleavened Bread.
That is why Nicodemus was in a hurry to bury the body. Had he waited unit after sunset then it would have been a Sabbath and he would not have been able to bury Jesus until Friday, the day after the High Sabbath. Jesus would have remained on the cross with the two malefactors until Friday, almost two days later. At that time a good bit of decay or corruption would have set in (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27; 2:31). As a result of all these events, Jesus was in the grave a full three days and full three nights, just as he said in Mat 12:40. The graphic makes this easier to follow.
When the women came to the tomb to anoint Jesus body with embalmments in the early morning the day after the weekly Sabbath (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), which was Sunday, the first day of the week, the grave was empty (Matthew 28:6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:3; John 20:2). Jesus resurrection took place just after the same hour of his burial 3 days before, which would have been right at sunset on our Saturday night or their First Day of the Week, which is Sunday.
These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. 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 ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Leviticus 23:4-8
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. John 12:1
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