Three Days and Three Nights

Twice in this verse the Word of God specifically states that Jesus was to be buried for three days and three nights - 72 hours!

Traditional church teaching is that Jesus Christ died on "Good Friday" and was raised early on "Easter Sunday Morning." Jesus died at about 3pm (the ninth hour) and was buried before sunset (about 6 pm). Even if you counted the last daylight the day he died as one day and the dawn of Sunday morning as one day you could not come up with three (3) days and three (3) nights from Friday (between 3pm and 6pm) to early Sunday morning. The most you would have is 3 days and 2 nights and they would not be real days (12 hours). If the Word of God is true (and it is) then Jesus had to be buried 72 hours.

Joseph of Arimathaea took the body of Jesus down from the tree and buried him in his own newly made sepulchre nearby. Jesus was buried prior to the beginning of the high day sabbath (Passover) which began at sunset (6pm). To discover the truth of God's Word regarding the day Jesus Christ died and the three days and three nights that he was buried in the heart of the earth we must examine the Word of God and not the tradition of man.

In the Bible and in Biblical times the day began at sunset. In our day and time we begin a new day in the middle of the night - at midnight. In the Bible a new day began at sunset, the dark part of the day, and was followed by the daylight portion of the day. This reckoning of 24 hours beginning at sunset was taken from God's reckoning of a day in Genesis:

Jesus Christ was crucified on the 14th of Nisan, the preparation day, and was buried between 3pm and 6pm just before sunset which began the high day sabbath - the 15th of Nisan - passover. The high sabbath of passover was on the 15th of Nisan. It did not matter what day of the week the 15th fell on - it was a special sabbath day. To find out what day of the week Jesus was crucified and what day the passover was that year you must look at the resurrection of Christ and count back 72 hours.

The women came to anoint the body of Jesus very early Sunday morning. The Word of God does not say that Jesus was raised that morning, it says that when the women arrived he was already risen. According to Matthew 12:40 Jesus would be buried 72 hours. You can be assured that as soon as the 72 hours were up so was Jesus. God raised him from the dead exactly 72 hours after his burial. Since he was buried between 3pm and 6pm on the 14th of Nisan he had to be raised between 3pm and 6pm 72 hours later. The women came early Sunday morning and he was already up. He must have been raised between 3pm and 6pm on Saturday - the weekly sabbath day.

Counting back 72 hours from Saturday evening we find that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan and buried just before the 15th began at sunset. He remained buried in the sepulchre 72 hours: Thursday, the 15th of Nisan -(passover-a high day sabbath), Friday, the 16th of Nisan, and Saturday, the 17th of Nisan -(the weekly sabbath).

Jesus was crucified and buried on Wednesday not "Good Friday" and he was raised on Saturday not "Easter Sunday Morning."

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25

Cortright Fellowship
© Copyright March 1997 Michael Cortright