Jesus' Three Nights and Three Days in the Tomb
The established ‘Christian’ Churches have celebrated Christmas as the Birth of the baby Jesus on the 25th of December from approx. AD 336; shortly after Constantine established the Roman Church in approx. AD 313. Prior to that, it was celebrated at various times, usually in April or May, which is the lambing season, and would have been the only time that Shepherds would have been guarding their flocks, (Luke 2:8). This timing has veracity in this logic, but Constantine decided to incorporate the Christian celebration with that of the mid-winter Pagan festival of “Saturnalia”; which started on the 17th of December, and ran till the 23rd. Later, on the Gregorian Calendar, it changed to the 25th. The Julian Calendar gives Christmas day as the 7th of January; and although most countries now use Gregorian for reasons of commerce and coordination, many eastern countries still keep the Julian for festivals and celebrations. The Julian Calendar started in BC 45, by the order of Julius Caesar. The Gregorian of Pope Gregory in AD 1582. As is apparent, there are 13 days difference between the two, in the celebration of Christmas.
The difference in the average length of the year between Julian (365.25 days) and Gregorian (365.2425 days) is 0.002%. The Julian Calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months, as listed in Table of months. A leap day is added to February every four years.
Easter has a variable date, but is always in the Spring, which “Christendom” celebrates as the death of Jesus Christ (Good Friday) and His Resurrection on (Easter Sunday); which does not allow the time total given by Jesus in Matt. 12:40 and elsewhere in The Bible (3 days and 3 nights), as the Christendom teaching only allows 2 nights and one day.
Proof of death in the East, is that due to the ambient temperatures, by 3 days corpses rot quickly, and smell very strong! This was emphasised by Jesus, when he delayed travelling to the death of Lazarus deliberately (see: Lazarus Raised). That was to prove beyond doubt Jesus’ power from His Father, to raise to life a dead person, who as Martha said “stinketh”! This was one of Jesus’ evidential miracles, and should have been taken as proof positive by the Sanhedrin and the High Priest, that He was/is their Messiah.
The same point regarding the “third day”; is made strongly by Dr. Bullinger in his Companion Bible Appendix 148.
Since Constantine, much “standardisation” of some parts of Church Ritual has taken place. One of those is the “Christianisation” of the Calendar, see above and (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar); which in turn involved the dropping of Jewish dating and Customs.
Christian Churches today teach and keep their own versions of Biblical events, without considering sufficiently their Jewish origins; and this in part is because of the teaching of “Replacement Theology” see: Replacement Theology (Spiritual Israel)? meaning the replacement of Israel with the “Church”, as initially taught by Rome and some of the early Church fathers (all Gentiles)!
One of the consequences of this is the clearly wrong teaching, that Jesus was crucified on “Good Friday”; and Resurrected on Easter Sunday! Jesus said that the “Sign of Jonah” was all that would be given to the Jewish Authorities, when they demanded a sign of His Messiahship (Matt. 12:40).
When remembering that the Jews have a weekly Sabbath (Saturday), and various Ceremonial Sabbaths (or High Holy Days); when reading all references to the crucifixion accounts in the Gospels; it is clear that Jesus was Crucified on the Wednesday, as it was the Preparation Day for the Passover (John 19:31), and to satisfy Jewish Law, bodies were not to be left out on Holy Days (Lev. 23:5-7).
Jesus was laid in the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea on “Preparation day” which was Wednesday afternoon (Luke 23:50-54), and remained there until the start of the “first day of the week” (Saturday after dusk; or until 3 stars were visible)!
So; Jesus was “in the bowels of the Earth” (Matt. 12:40), on Thursday (Passover and High Day or Ceremonial Sabbath); also on Friday; and Rose at the end of the ‘weekly Sabbath’ (as the Jewish Calendar day starts at sunset). Therefore, Jesus was in the “heart of the Earth”, for 3 nights and 3 days; by Jewish, and therefore correct Biblical reckoning!
That Jesus rose from the dead, is only disputed by sceptics who will not be convinced by any "proof" or argument. Many Scholars, and many lay people who have delved the Bible accounts, and also the historic record, have been left with unshakable conviction of the reality of the Risen Christ Jesus; even though they set out to “disprove” the Bible accounts, and were left with no doubt as to the authenticity of the claims of Jesus!
Josephus: His Ref. to Jesus, "The Wonder Worker":
For the Atheist and the Evolutionist
Did Darwin become a Christian on his deathbed? (By Malcolm Bowden)
Bible Text Corruption:
Approaching and Understanding Scripture, The Bible
If you have questions or comments, please click here.
Or go to Chapters 1 to 22 or
SUBJECTS GROUPED or