Jesus was in the grave for 72 hours, three days and three nights.
by Gavin Finley MD
WAS JESUS IN THE GRAVE ONE NIGHT AND ONE DAY?Jesus told us very clearly and unmistakably how long He was going to be in the grave.
OR ONE NIGHT, ONE DAY, AND PART OF ANOTHER NIGHT?
OR WAS IT THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS?
"For just 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."
So the matter is quite simple really.
Do we believe the words of Jesus?
Or do we discount His words in favor of rabbinical Jewish tradition or ecclesiastical Christian tradition?
The First Night-Time
His burial at sunset of that Wednesday evening marked the beginning of the first night. That sunset at the end of Nisan 14 Passover, according to Hebrew reckoning, marked the beginning of Nisan 15. Nisan 15 is the first day of the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread. This was a "high day", a non-Saturday Sabbath. This is something Christians are not usually familiar with. Regarding His burial He was entombed in the sepulcher before sunset as the Nisan 14 Passover came to an end and was in the grave just in time for the sunset that marked the beginning of Nisan 15, the high holy day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
So as Jesus/Yeshua was buried at sunset on that Nisan 15 Wednesday evening, the sinless Unleavened Bread of Heaven, was in the grave, fulfilling the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This was the supreme priestly act of Christ our Sacrifice Lamb, and His tasting of death to fulfill the redemption that would ensure the promised communion of God with men. This was the Second of the Seven Feasts of Israel.
The First Day-Time
The first daytime began on Thursday at sunrise, continuing the 24 hour passage of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and ended on Thursday night at Sunset.
The Second Night-Time
The second daytime began on Thursday night at sunset and ended on Friday morning at sunrise.
The Second Day-Time
The third daytime began on Friday morning at sunrise and ended on Friday night at sunset.
The Third Night-Time
The third night-time began on Friday night at sunset and ended on Saturday morning at sunrise.
The Third Day-Time
The third daytime began on Saturday morning at sunrise and ended on Saturday night at sunset.
Sunset Saturday night begins first day of the new week or what we would call Sunday. This sunset transition from Saturday to Sunday marked the terminus time for the 72 hours and completed the three days and three nights in which Jesus was present in heart of the earth in the realms of death. The Scriptures show that Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday which by Hebrew reckoning begins at sunset on Saturday night. He rose from the grave at sunset right at the very beginning of the first day of the week.
In this manner and in this precise timing of theree daya and three nights in the grave Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits. This is the Biblically correct accounting of three days and three nights which saw our Redeemer in the realms of death.
So Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. In doing so He fulfilled the third of the Seven Feasts of Israel the Feast of Firstfruits.
ANOTHER CONSIDERATION FOR THE CHRONOLOGY OF PASSION WEEK.There are some other Hebrew Feast connections here as well to help us lay out Passion Week.
THE SADDUCEES WERE RIGHT, AND THE PHARISEES WERE WRONG.
See this YouTube video on the Seven Feasts of Israel.
Resurrection Sunday came on the Feast of Firstfruits which is the first day of the week following the weekly (Saturday) Sabbath of Passover. The Karaite Jews follow this reckoning today as did the Sadducees 2,000 years ago. Yes, even though the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection from the dead they did in fact get the timing of the Resurrection of Yeshua/Jesus right.
The Pharisees were wrong in placing Firstfruits on Nisan 16, the day following the Nisan 15 Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. And so are the Rabbinical Jews today. It seems that right now many Messianic Jews follow in lockstep with the Orthodox Rabbinical teachings. Hopefully, this will change.
PLACEMENT OF THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS ON THE HEBREW CALENDARThe placement of the Feast of Firstfruits on our Hebrew calendar also effects the placement of the Feast of Pentecost, which comes 49 days later on day # 50. The counting of the omer is from Day #1, Firstfruits. So that would be from the morrow after the weekly (Saturday) Sabbath following Passover. So we count out the fifty days of the omer from Firstfruits Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. See the calendar for the passion year, 32 A.D., at the head of this article.
ALSO DETERMINES THE PLACEMENT OF THE FEAST OF PENTECOST
This same pattern of seven sevens of 49 and then 50 to begin the new block of seven sevens is also seen in the Jubilee cycles.
See this PowerPoint on the Jubilee Cycles and the Seventy Weeks Prophecy.
AN EXHORTATION FOR MESSIANIC BELIEVERS WHO SEEM AVERSEFor Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua who continue to insist on a Nisan 16 Firstfruits here are some things to consider. Which day on the Hebrew calendar did Yeshua rise from the grave as the FIRSTFUITS from the dead? Was it on Nisan 16, as the Pharisees affirm, on the morrow after the Nisan 15 first day of Unleavened Bread, just 24 hours after He was buried? Or was it on the first day of the week, a Sunday, on the morrow after the seventh day Sabbath thereby allowing three days and three nights after he was placed in the tomb?
TO CELEBRATING FIRSTFRUITS ON RESURRECTION SUNDAY
Then ask yourself this question. Might His Resurrection from the dead, right at the sunset outset of the first day of the week, (Resurrection Sunday), be His ACTUAL FULFILLMENT of the moed? In rising from the dead on the first day of the week was He not giving His actual stamp of approval on the Sadducees reckoning of a Sunday fulfillment of Firstfruits? Did Jesus in His Sunday Resurrection not definitively mark out this Sunday as the true Holy Day of Firstfruits, placing it clearly and authoritatively on the Hebrew calendar? Was this not HIS true, valid, sure, and definite fulfillment of the Feast of Firstfruits?
Then ask yourself this question. If the traditions and teachings of the Rabbinical priesthood we have today carries right on from the Pharisees teachings 2,000 years ago and all the way back to the Babylonian captivity and they are continuing to declare and teach their midrash, their doctrine crosswise of Yeshua’s Resurrection on the Sunday should they really be so intent on blindly following Rabbinical tradition? Should the human opinions of rabbis be placed over and above the very TIMING and ACTION of Yeshua Hamashiach Himself?
IS SUNDAY PURELY PAGAN? DO PAGANS POSSESS TOTAL OWNERSHIP OF THE NAME, SUNDAY?In scripture the sun appears to be a picture of the sovereign God, God the Father, who presides as ruler in the heavens.
IS SUNDAY, THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, TO BE GIVEN OVER TO THE PAGANS?
This is evident in this apocalyptic promise of the end-time deliverance at the last day.
"But for you who fear My Name, the SUN of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings;
and you will go forth and skip about like calves released from the stall. The name "Sunday" might seem abhorrent to many Christian and Messianic believers since pagans worship the physical sun. But as Jacob interpreted Joseph's dream of the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to him is not the sun a symbol of God the the Father?
As the Scriptures make plain, Resurrection Day did indeed come on the first day of the week. There is no question about that. So then, should we allow pagans to march right on into the holy time of the Seven Feasts of Israel and take exclusive ownership of the first day of the week just because of its name Sunday? The first day of the week is important and auspicious as the first day of the week. Resurrection Sunday, begins at sunset on Saturday night. At that time, right at the outset, Jesus rose from the dead.
A WEDNESDAY CRUCIFIXION ON NISAN 14.If Jesus was crucified on Nisan 14, Passover, a Wednesday, and He did indeed enter Jerusalem on Nisan 10 four days before a Wednesday Nisan 14 Passover, then the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem came auspiciously on the seventh day Sabbath. So instead of Palm Sunday it would have been Palm Sabbath.
THEN BACK FOUR DAYS TO NISAN 10, PALM SABBATH
CORRECTLY COUNTING THE OMER.From Firstfruits Resurrection Sunday day #1 we count the fifty days of the omer. Day 1 is the Feast of Firstfruits, and counting out 49 days, seven neat weeks each ending with a Sabbath, we come to the next day, the 50th day, the first day of the 8th week, the Feast of Pentecost. This 50th day comes on another first day of the week, Pentecost Sunday.
TO PENTECOST SUNDAY.
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