This brings us to another problem, especially for those who believe in the Friday crucifixion and death. As was stated earlier, they have claimed that in that day, any part of a day was considered to be a full day. So, since Jesus was in the tomb for part of the day on Friday, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday, then they conclude that he was in the grave for three days, fulfilling what the scriptures had said about him coming back to life again. However, at this point it does not appear that any part of a day constituted a full day as those who believe in the Friday crucifixion and death have claimed. It looks like we will still need to have a full evening and a full morning for it to be considered one day.
With that being said, then there is no way, or should I say that it is impossible for them to get three evenings and three mornings from Friday evening, after sunset through Sunday morning, just before sunrise. It cannot be done. The best that they can do is two evenings and one morning, consisting of Friday evening, Saturday evening, and Saturday morning. This is actually a total of one and a half days, which is not even close to the three day that has been spoken of in the scriptures. Maybe this is why Richard Francis Weymouth (Weymouth New Testament) decided to use the phrase, after two days instead of after three days to describe the length of time before Jesus would be raised from the dead. It was closer to the actually amount of time that had passed, but even this did not help the cause of those who believe in the Friday crucifixion and death. For the longest time, there has been a problem trying to understand how those who believe in the Friday crucifixion and death were able to get three days from Friday evening to Sunday morning. We even tried to find an employer who would give me three days of pay from Friday evening through Sunday morning before sunrise and have yet to find a willing employer. The best that we could find were ones who would give me two days of pay for that time period. With all that has been discussed thus far, do you think that it is possible for Jesus to have died on another day other then Friday?
In order to answer the question, we need to re-examine some of the evidence that we have discovered thus far. Let us place this information into our table and see what we have. In our last table, we showed Day 6 as Good Friday, which we labeled in accordance with those who believe in the Friday crucifixion and death. We know that Day 6 went from Thursday evening after sunset through Friday evening before sunset, which would have covered the time period surrounding the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus. We discovered however, that it was impossible for them to get three evenings and three mornings from Friday evening, after sunset through Sunday morning, just before sunrise. Therefore, let us remove that information from our table.
Identifying Event for the Day
Wednesday evening after sunset
Thursday evening before sunset
Thursday evening after sunset
Friday evening before sunset
Last day of the week
Friday evening after sunset
Saturday evening before sunset
The Sabbath Day
First day of the week
Saturday evening after sunset
Sunday evening before sunset
Saturday evening would have been the next evening following the Sabbath. When the women arrived at the tomb early Sunday morning before sunrise, they found the rock blocking the entrance to the tomb had already been rolled away and that the tomb was empty.
Here is what our table looks like with our additions and the one deletion. As you can see, we now have a total of three full days and three full nights available to which Jesus could have stayed in the belly of the earth as he claimed he would. Or should we say a total of three nights and three days, since a day was counted from the evening after sunset of one day to the evening of the next day before sunset. We have the first night that he would have been in the heart of the earth, which began on Wednesday evening after sunset; the second night, which began on Thursday evening after sunset, and the third night, which began on Friday evening after sunset. And we have the first day that he would have been in the heart of the earth, which began on Thursday morning after sunrise; the second day, which began on Friday morning after sunrise; and the third day, which began on Saturday morning after sunrise. The three days that Jesus spoke of in the twelfth chapter of the gospel according to Matthew, would have ended on Saturday evening, at sunset. Now, we know that Jesus was not there when the women arrived at the tomb early Sunday morning to anoint his body with the spices that they had brought, because according to the scriptures, it was still dark and before the sun rose. Now technically speaking, Sunday morning before sunrise is actually Saturday evening, just after sunset continuing until just before sunrise. This means that Jesus actually rose sometime on Saturday evening, sometime just after sunset and just before sunrise, which was still known as the first day of the week.
Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher (tomb) be made sure (secure) until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error (deception) shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch (guard): go your way, make it as sure (secure) as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure (secure), sealing the stone, and setting a watch (guard) (Matthew 27:62-66).
In this passage we see something that once created a serious conflict for us. Because we once subscribed to the philosophy that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday, we had been taught that Jesus died and was buried on the same day, which was the day before the day before the Sabbath. You know that day was where everyone was required by law to rest. However, in this passage, the scripture mentions that it was the next day, that followed the day of preparation, when the chief priest and Pharisees went together to Pilate and made their request. From this passage, one gets the sense that the on next day following Jesus’ death; these men went to Pilate to make their request. But what happened to the next day being the Sabbath day? Now, this was somewhat confusing to us when we first discovered this passage. Was this the correct interpretation of this passage? What was this day of preparation about? Was this day of preparation the actually day that Jesus died? Let us see if we can determine when this day of preparation actually occurred and what role did it play in the death of Jesus.
And now when the even (evening) was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counselor (prominent council member), which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved (asked for) the body of Jesus (Mark 15:42-43).
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on (near) (Luke 23:53-54).
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar (John 19:13-15).
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought (asked) Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith (immediately) came there out blood and water (John 19:31-34).
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound (bound) it in linen clothes (strips) with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher (tomb), wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulcher was nigh at hand (nearby) (John 19:40-42).
In the above passages, it appears that the day the scriptures are referring to is not the same day that Jesus died. And yes, just like you, we were taught that he died the day before the Sabbath, which would had been on Friday because Saturday would have been the Sabbath.
Enjoy your blessings - KW