For “Scripture Sunday:
I feel very remorseful, guilty and sorrowful, because I missed going to church this last week.
“How do you get three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning?
Why would Jesus make a point of saying three days and three nights if He didn’t mean it? Is this a contradiction in the Bible or is there a simple explanation everyone would understand if they celebrated the festivals of the Bible as Jesus and His disciples did?
But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 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.”
In our Fundamental Beliefs “8. Three Days and Three Nights,” we state, “Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the Father after His body lay for three days and three nights in the grave. The length of time that He was in the grave was the only sign He gave to prove He was the Messiah.”
Jesus had done many miracles, but still the Pharisees sought “how they might destroy Him” (Matthew 12:14). So Jesus didn’t offer them more miracles as a sign, only this reference to the length of time He would be in the grave.
Strangely, though, most Christians today do not believe that Christ was literally three days and three nights in the grave as He promised, since it is not possible to count three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
For a detailed explanation of the biblical chronology of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, including a helpful chart, see “Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?””
Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?
Jesus and His disciples followed the command found in Leviticus 23 describing the “feasts of the Lord.” “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover” (verses 4-5). Biblical days started in the evening, so after that Passover ceremony, but still on the Passover day, Jesus was arrested, beaten and crucified. He died around 3 p.m. (“the ninth hour” of daylight in the Jewish system of time keeping; Matthew 27:45-50;Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46) and was buried before sunset. In fact, the Jewish leaders were urgent that Jesus’ body not remain on the cross the next day.
“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).
Most people today would see the word Sabbath and assume this means Saturday, since the regular weekly Sabbath day taught in the Bible is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. But most miss the fact that John called it a “high day.” What did he mean? Let’s quickly go back to Leviticus 23. What comes right after the Passover (the 14th)?
“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it” (Leviticus 23:6-7).
This First Day of Unleavened Bread was an annual Sabbath day—a high day. And it can come on different days of the week.
So the logical explanation is that Christ was exactly right about the three days and three nights. People today are just confused about when He died and was resurrected. It couldn’t have been on a Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
The accompanying chart shows the math that works—the chronology of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection that matches the biblical festivals and confirms the sign of Jonah—the only sign Jesus said He would give!
You can learn more in the section “Holy Days vs. Holidays.”
You can also see above detailed infographic that you can copy on the “Chronology of Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection” on our infographics page.
The Chronology of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
“Jesus Christ said He would be in the tomb for three days and three nights. What is the biblically accurate chronology of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection? This time line perfectly accommodates three full nights (Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night) and three full daylight periods (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). This is the only time that fits Jesus' own prophecy of how long He would be in the tomb. And fits perfectly with all the details recorded in the Gospels.”
What does the Bible really say about the timeline of events for Jesus' death?
Jesus Christ ate an evening Passover meal with His disciples (at the beginning of Nisan 14, Jewish reckoning) and instituted the New Covenant symbols (Matthew 26:26-28). Jesus was then betrayed by Judas, arrested and during the night brought before the high priest.
Jesus was crucified and died around 3 p.m. (Matthew 27:46-50). This was the preparation day for the annual —not weekly—Sabbath, which began at sunset (Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:31). Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb just before sunset (Matthew 27:57-60).
This was the high-day Sabbath, the first day of the biblical Feast of Unleavened Bread (John 19:31; Leviticus 23:4-7). It is described as the day after the “Day of Preparation” (Matthew 27:62). Wednesday night and the daylight portion of Thursday were the first of three days and nights Jesus’ body was in the tomb.
The high-day annual Sabbath now past, the women bought and prepared spices for anointing Jesus’ body before resting on the weekly Sabbath day, which began at Friday sunset (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56). Thursday night and the daylight portion of Friday marked the second of three days and nights Jesus’ body was entombed.
The women rested on the weekly Sabbath day, according to the Fourth Commandment (Luke 23:56; Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus rose near sunset, exactly three days and three nights after His body was placed in the tomb, fulfilling the sign of Jonah and authenticating the sign He gave of His messiahship.
The women brought the prepared spices early in the morning while it was still dark (Luke 24:1; John 20:1). Jesus had already risen (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:2-6; Luke 24:2-3; John 20:1). He did not rise on Sunday morning, but near sunset the day before— three days and three nights after being put in the tomb, just as He foretold.”
We have been gradually cleaning up the yard at Roni’s place, which I inherited. It will be a bigger job to clear all the mess out of the buildings. She had stuff strewn everywhere.
Sorry this wasn’t done on Sunday like it usually is. We had been having a four-day yard sale here, and anyone who has had a yard sale knows how much work that is, especially if you haven’t had one for a couple of years. I have been sorting out stuff that I don’t need for those two years and storing it in a 10 x 20 enclosed carport. It took ages to get it all out and displayed.
But after two days the intermittant rains came, which meant covering and uncovering the 20 tables of items. Well, not really, as four tables were in the carports. For one more time, I will say that I won’t have another yard sale!! My helper had a bunch of stuff stored in that carport, too, and he sold some fishing stuff and tools, but he also said “I’ll never have another yard sale” It took several days to get the remnants of the sale in boxes to be donated or put back in the carport. I have kept the ‘cream of the crop’ to take to a Sunday sale at the great big flea market about 15 miles from here. There are some of the best items that I still have to sell to get some income, so I put the larger things on Craigslist.
On Saturday, when I was getting ready to go to church and the Yard Sale was supposed to be closed, people who had been there on Thursday and Friday kept on uncovering the tables to look for items that they had seen and wanted to buy them. My helper had wanted to go bass fishing but had to come here and tell people about his items, just like I did. But I had managed to make some ground bison and onions into a pretty tasty potluck dish, but as I couldn’t get to church we ate some, then I froze the rest.
But sales were slow due to the rain and I wish we could have put everything under lock and key for the Sabbath. So that we could sell things while sorting it out and putting things away, we opened again on the rainy Sunday, but it was a dismal day, and we got tired and closed it up early. Then we were clearing all the tables and items out of the yard Monday and Tuesday.