Throughout the book, we have alluded to Jesus being in the grave for three full days and three full nights, in contrast to the common Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition. Now we will thoroughly examine the timing of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. By the end of this chapter, you will have no doubt that the commonly held views of how long Jesus was in the grave are simply not biblically accurate.
Matthew the Pharisees challenged Jesus to prove with a sign that He was the prophesied Messiah. His answer?
“An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” Matt. 12:39-40
Here it is most plain that Jesus would be in the grave for three days and three nights—in other words, three complete 24-hour days.
How, then, does the “Good Friday-Easter Sunday” tradition fit? Can 72 hours (three days and three nights) fit into a period between late day Friday and early Sunday morning? Why do so few even seem to question this only sign that Christ said He would give that He was the Messiah? Could He have been wrong on this single great proof of who He was and still have been the Messiah?
Since no one directly witnessed His Resurrection, we must examine the only available authority on this great event—the Bible! The apostle Paul said to
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” I Thes. 5:21
While most willingly accept the common traditions of men, true disciples (learners, students) of Jesus want to know what HE says.
Consider what is at stake in Jesus’ statement in
“An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” Matthew 12:39-40
If He failed His only sign, then He is not our Savior and nothing He said can be trusted. In effect, if His prophecy of this sign failed, then He must be considered a false prophet. He would be a fraud and should not be followed—and mankind has no savior!
Do not confuse the resurrection itself with the question of “how long” Jesus would be in the grave before His resurrection took place. The length of time He was to be in the grave was the test of His sign—not the actual resurrection.
While it is embarrassing to watch so-called “Bible experts” try to explain away Christ’s only sign, they really have no choice. If Christ’s sign remains intact, the Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition would be exposed as groundless—false—and collapse in a heap!
Some Bible commentaries leave one nearly breathless in astonishment when they assert that three days and three nights, in the Greek language, can mean three periods of time—either day or night. Friday night, Saturday daylight and Saturday night are portrayed as these three “periods” of time.
At least some are honest enough to acknowledge that the Friday-Sunday tradition is, in fact, only about half the length of time that Jesus said He would be in the grave.
Can we know for certain or must we speculate on the meaning—the definition—of a day or the meaning of a night? Does the Bible leave this definition open to opinion—with one man’s opinion as good as another?
In Jonah it plainly says, “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Johah 1:17
Most scholars acknowledge that this Hebrew phrase must mean a 72-hour period. Without getting into specifics, there is no room for any “approximations of time” theories in the Hebrew.
Jesus said His time in the grave would be “as Jonah.” The word “as” means there is a comparison. In other words, just like Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three entire days, Jesus was to be in the grave for three entire days. This comparison does not allow one to “negotiate” the meaning of the Greek, as some like to do, since the Hebrew phrase can only mean three full days.
Did Jesus understand the length of a “day” or the length of a “night”?
He did! In John He asked, “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” John 11:9
In several places, the Bible mentions that Jesus rose “the third day.” How long was this? The first half of the creation chapter, In Genesis plainly states that God
“divided the light from darkness. And God called the light Day and the darkness He called Night. And the evening [darkness] and the morning [light] were the first day…And the evening [darkness] and the morning [light] were the second day…And the evening [now three periods of darkness called night—three nights] and the morning [now three periods of light called day—three days] were the third day.” Genesis 1:4-13
This is the Bible’s definition of the length of time accounted for within the phrases “the third day” and “three days and three nights.” It spanned three periods of darkness and three periods of light. Six times 12 hours equals 72 hours!
We have now established the exact duration of Christ’s time in the tomb as a 72-hour period. He was there for three days and three nights “as Jonah was.” We will shortly examine four additional scriptures that prove the same thing.
In Mark Jesus warns against “making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.” Mark 7:13
How is it that intelligent, well-educated Bible scholars seem to “know” that Jesus was crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday? What is it about Jesus’ clear, straightforward sign that they cannot accept? The answer lies in the comfort of long-held—but clearly false—traditions!
One of the most important rules of Bible study is to gather all of the scriptures on a subject to gain the complete picture. There are other scriptures that prove the 72-hour duration of Christ’s time in the tomb.
John states, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…But He spoke of the temple of His body.” John 2:19-21
Clearly, the use of the phrase “in three days” means that Christ’s time in the tomb could not exceed 72 hours—or it would not be within the three-day period.
Conversely ,Matthew establishes Jesus’ time in the tomb as not less than three days, or 72 hours, for it says,
“After three days I will rise again.” Matthew 27:63
Examining two additional verses in Mark’s gospel account proves the same parameters of John 2 and Matthew 27 Notice:
“And He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31
A late Friday afternoon entombment means a late Monday afternoon resurrection. It is as simple as counting one, two, three! If this verse stood alone without other scriptures to qualify it, it must be admitted that Christ’s use of the word “after” does not, by itself, limit His time in the tomb to 72 hours. He could still be there longer. He just could not be there one bit less than 72 hours. This much should now be clear.
We are now ready for:
“They shall kill Him; and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day.” Mark 9:31
This verse presents another limitation on Christ’s time in the tomb. Consider! This verse, if taken by itself, places His time in the grave between 48 and 72 hours. The phrase “the third day” caps the duration at 72 hours—but it also creates a minimum of 48 hours—or the period would be somewhere in the second day! Again, if this verse is to be taken alone, a Friday afternoon crucifixion requires a resurrection somewhere after late Sunday afternoon and no later than late Monday afternoon.
The Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition distorts the truth of what actually happened. Since the originators of this false doctrine had no sound biblical proof or authority, they resorted to fraudulent tactics to legitimize their fabrications. One such claim was that Hermes, the brother of Pope Pius (about the year A.D. 147) “had received instruction from an angel, who commanded that all men should keep the Pasch [Passover] on the Lord’s day [Sunday]”(Antiquities of the Christian Church, Joseph Bingham, p. 1149).
In time, Sunday came to represent the Passover as the time of Christ’s crucifixion and burial, and the resurrection. However, since it was not logical to condense the events of three days and three nights into only one day, the idea of a Friday crucifixion was born. The above-mentioned letter from Hermes was used to validate the position of Anicetus, Pius’s successor, who disputed with Polycarp over the issue of transferring Passover to a Sunday. Trained by the apostle John, Polycarp held fast and taught the observance of Passover as Christ and the apostles had always done. Yet, the bishops of Rome had other ideas.
Thus, the letter from Hermes was either a forgery or it was deceptively written by Pius, who died just before Polycarp’s visit to Rome (Apostolical Fathers, James Donaldson, p. 324). The bishops at Rome had decreed that they possessed the power to supersede and change the times and laws of God (see
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Daniel 7:25
They rewrote history and changed the order of events to introduce their false doctrines.
Their effort to change the day of the resurrection to Sunday was simply a continuation of a Babylonian tradition—that Nimrod (father of the Babylonian Mystery Religion) was resurrected on a Sunday. By A.D. 321, Roman Emperor Constantine established Sunday as part of the official state religion, thus legitimizing all the various traditions attached to that day.
As we saw in Chapter Eight, Jesus’ crucifixion occurred on Passover day, the 14th of Abib (or Nisan), the first month in God’s Sacred Calendar. This occurred in the year A.D. 31, in which Passover fell on a Wednesday. Many fail to consider the prophecy that the Messiah would be
“cut off…in the midst of the week” Dan. 9:26-27.
Wednesday falls in the middle of the week—the very day upon which Passover fell in A.D. 31. According to the Roman calendar, this date was Wednesday, April 25.
Between the ninth and twelfth hour (3:00-6:00 p.m.), Christ died :
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
23:45: And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
23:46: And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 23:44-46
With Governor Pilate’s permission, Joseph of Arimathaea procured the body, wrapped it in linen
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. John 19:40
and placed it in the sepulcher
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
23:51: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
23:52: This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
23:53: And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. Luke 23:50-53
By the time the burial was complete, the Sabbath
“drew on” Luke 23:54
Thus, the burial took place on Passover day, shortly before sunset.
Passover is a preparation day; it precedes an annual Sabbath. This annual Sabbath (called the First Day of Unleavened Bread) was called a high Sabbath or
“high day” John 19:31
and fell on a Thursday that year. It was on this day that the high priest and the Pharisees came to Pilate to ensure that Christ’s tomb was securely guarded and sealed
Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
27:63: Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
27:64: Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure 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 shall be worse than the first.
27:65: Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
27:66: So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. Matt. 27:62-66.
Mark records what occurred on that Friday:
“And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him.” Mark 16:1
Mark jumps to Sunday morning.) The phrase,
“and when the Sabbath was passed,” Mark 16:2
refers to the high day that occurred on Thursday. Since the women could not buy spices on the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday), Friday was the only time they could have done so.
“And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56
After buying the spices, they returned and prepared them to be applied to Christ’s body in the tomb, which they planned to do after resting on the weekly Sabbath (Saturday).
Luke states, “Now upon the first day of the week [Sunday], very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Luke 24:1
The women found the tomb empty
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Luke 24:3
Two angels in shining garments informed them that Christ was already
“risen” Luke 24:4-6
Mark states that the women were present
“at the rising of the sun.” Mark 16:2
This means Jesus was resurrected before sunrise.
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. John 20:1
further tells us that Mary Magdalene came early “when it was yet dark” and found the stone that sealed the tomb was already rolled away. No sunrise resurrection could have occurred—because Jesus was already resurrected!
Nowhere does Scripture record that Jesus rose at sunrise on Sunday morning. However, it does tell us that Christ would be in His grave for three days and three nights. Anyone willing to believe the Bible should not find this difficult to accept. In fact, it is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn. Christ was placed in the tomb just before sunset on Wednesday. Three complete days (three days and three nights) bring us to the end of the weekly Sabbath, just prior to sunset, when Christ was resurrected—just as He had prophesied!
The Sacred Calendar reveals that Passover occurred on a Wednesday in A.D. 31. By first establishing the day of the week and day of the month of Passover in 1931, we can arrive at the day of the week and day of the month of the Passover in A.D. 31. Precisely 100 19-year time cycles would have elapsed. Following this method helps greatly in computing the difference of elapsed time between the Roman and Sacred calendars during that 1,900-year time span. After this, we can safely calculate the month and week in which Passover fell in A.D. 31.
Various Hebrew calendar software programs calculate when Passover or any other Holy Day fell in almost any year, even before A.D. 31.
The following historical accounts will further validate the evidence presented here.
In the seventh year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, a decree was made to rebuild Jerusalem Ezra 7
It followed the decree of Cyrus, in which he acknowledged that
“the Lord God of heaven” had charged him “to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah” Ezra 1:2
Artaxerxes’ decree became significant because of a prophecy revealed to Daniel.
Daniel states, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Daniel 9:25
This shows that there are 62 weeks + 7 weeks—69 prophetic weeks (or 483 days). Applying the day-for-a-year principle
After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. Num. 14:34
And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. Ezek. 4:6
we arrive at 483 years from the decree until the beginning of Christ’s ministry.
The decree was made during the seventh year of Artaxerxes’ reign (457 B.C.). This date is historically well documented. By subtracting 457 from 483, we come to the year A.D. 26. When counting from B.C. to A.D., astronomers correctly add one year since there is no year “zero,” while historians and chronologists generally neglect to do this. Adding one year brings us to A.D. 27—the prophesied year of the beginning of the ministry of the Messiah.
Luke tells us, “And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age…” Luke 3:33
The context of this verse is after John the Baptist had begun his ministry and just before Jesus began His. Since Jesus was 30 years old in A.D. 27, He would have been born in 4 B.C. Remember, we must add one year to compensate for no year “zero.” Thus, from 4 B.C., advancing 30 years brings us to A.D. 27. This leads us to the next historical proof that further confirms when Jesus was born.
Shortly after Christ’s birth, an angel warned Joseph in a dream that he and his wife Mary were to take the child and flee into Egypt. They stayed there until the death of Herod
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Matt. 2:15
Christ was an infant less than one year of age when Herod died.
Matthew shows that Herod
“slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.” Matthew 2:16
Herod knew the child’s approximate age, but went beyond that age to include those up to age two, to make sure that the prophesied Messiah would not escape execution.
To better establish the exact time of Herod’s death, we find in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews a reference to a lunar eclipse. A footnote in the Whiston translation of Josephus states, “This eclipse of the moon (which is the only eclipse mentioned by Josephus) is of greatest consequence for the determination of the time for the death of Herod…and for the birth and entire chronology of Jesus Christ. It happened March 13th, in the year of the Julian period 4710, and the 4th year before the Christian era” (Bk. XVII, ch. vi, sec. 4). According to Josephus, Herod died the following year, 3 B.C.
Soon after Herod’s death, the angel instructed Joseph to return to the land of Israel with Mary and Jesus, who would have been about one year old.
As mentioned, Jesus was 30 years old Luke 3:23
when He began His ministry in A.D. 27. Now, we will see how the chronology of the temple harmonizes with the chronology of Jesus:
“Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign show You unto us, seeing that You do these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and will You rear it up in three days? But He spoke of the temple of His body” John 2:18-21
This occurred on the first Passover during Christ’s ministry, in A.D. 28. The Jews said that the temple had been under construction for 46 years. By adding one year to compensate for no year “zero,” this means that the temple’s construction began in 19 B.C., the 18th year of Herod’s reign.
In Antiquities, Josephus wrote, “And now Herod, in the eighteenth year of his reign… undertook a very great work, that is to build of himself the temple of God…” (Bk. XV, ch. xi, sec. 1). From 19 B.C., we advance 46 years since the beginning of the reconstruction of the temple, arriving at A.D. 28—the first Passover after the beginning of Christ’s ministry.
Other historical evidence involves the time of the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,Luke 3:1
begins by explaining, “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea…” It then describes the beginning of John’s ministry.
The reign of Roman Emperor Tiberius began in about A.D. 11 or 12, since he reigned concurrently with Augustus Caesar for about 2 years. If we add the 15 years of Tiberius’ reign to A.D. 11 or 12, we arrive at A.D. 26 or 27. Here again we see the biblical chronology verified by history. The 15th year of Tiberius brings us precisely to the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry, which was just before the time of Christ’s ministry.
Historians agree that Pilate ruled for ten years.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,Luke 3:1
shows that during the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign, Pilate was governor. Some historical accounts, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, date Pilate’s rule from A.D. 26 to 36. When he was recalled, he immediately sought help from his close political ally, Emperor Tiberius. Yet, while Pilate was en route to confer with him, Tiberius died, in A.D. 37. With Tiberius’ death, Pilate’s rule ended the same year. Therefore, Pilate’s ten-year rule would have had to coincide with the years A.D. 27 to 37.
Now let’s recap: Pilate’s governorship over Judea began in early A.D. 27, during the 15th year of Tiberius’ rule. Meanwhile, John the Baptist began his ministry in early A.D. 27, which preceded Christ’s ministry by several months.
Christ’s ministry would not have begun until the autumn of A.D. 27 since (1) He was 30 years old when His ministry began and (2) He was born in the autumn of 4 B.C. Christ’s ministry could not have begun later than A.D. 28 because, at that point, the temple’s 46-year construction would have been finished. Thus, the autumn of A.D. 27 corresponds with numerous secular and historical proofs, as well as Scripture.
Remember the prophecy in Daniel, which established 483 years, from 457 B.C. to A.D. 27.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9:27
establishes the length of Jesus’ prophesied ministry: “And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [margin: desolator].”
Christ was to confirm the covenant for one week. According to the day-for-a-year principle, the seven days of that week equal seven years. Yet, in the midst of the week, the Messiah was to cause the sacrifice and oblations to cease. This was done by offering His own life to cover the sins of humanity, as part of God’s Plan of salvation. The Messiah was
“cut off” Daniel 9:26
in the “midst of the week”—after 3½ “days,” or prophetic years. His earthly ministry lasted precisely 3½ years. Then He was cut off—crucified—in the middle of the week—Wednesday. In this prophecy, the “midst of the week” had a dual meaning, as does most prophecy.
Since Christ’s ministry began in the autumn of A.D. 27, this means that He was crucified in the spring of A.D. 31, or 3½ years later.
John records the first Passover of His ministry in A.D. 28:
“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did.” John 2:23
Afterward, Christ began teaching in the area of Judea near Jerusalem.
Luke records an event during the Passover season in the second year of His ministry, in A.D. 29:
“And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the first, that He went through the corn fields; and His disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.” Luke 6:1
The term “the second Sabbath after the first” means the second high day, which was the Last Day of Unleavened Bread. Although this event is covered in
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
12:2: But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
12:3: But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
12:4: How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
12:5: Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
12:6: But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
12:7: But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
12:8: For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. Matthew 12:1-8
And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
2:24: And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
2:25: And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
2:26: How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
2:27: And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
2:28: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Mark 2:23-28
only Luke’s account, written in Greek, makes clear which Sabbath this was. The Greek term, deuteroproton sabbaton, literally means “the second Sabbath of the first rank”—or the second high day of that Passover season.
John records the following, which preceded the third Passover (A.D. 30) of Christ’s ministry:
“And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He said unto Philip, Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” John 6:4-5
This is also recorded in
And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. Matthew 14:15
And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
6:36: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. Mark 6:35-36
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. Luke 9:12
The fourth and final Passover of Jesus’ ministry is the most documented Passover of all. All four of the gospels cover it in detail. Notice
“Now the feast of unleavened bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill Him; for they feared the people.” Luke 22:1-2
John records, “And the Jews’ Passover was near at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.” John 11:55
Christ’s final Passover completed His earthly ministry of 3½ years. Again, it began in the autumn of A.D. 27 and ended in the spring of A.D. 31, on a Wednesday—in the “midst of the week.” Traditional Christianity claims that Christ’s crucifixion occurred on a Friday, in A.D. 33. However, it can easily be documented by God’s Sacred Calendar that none of the four Passovers during Christ’s ministry fell on a Friday. The four Passovers fell on Monday (A.D. 28), Saturday (A.D. 29), Wednesday (A.D. 30), and Wednesday (A.D. 31), respectively.
Who will you believe? Theologians, scholars, higher critics and other traditionalists, who reject the sign that Jesus gave? Or Jesus’ own words that He would spend three full days and three full nights—72 hours!—in the grave?
It is now time to read a final account: the two angels’ statement to the women at the tomb. This time notice Matthew It states,
“He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.” Matthew 28:6
This would be impossible if Christ had been in the grave one second more or one second less than 72 hours. The One who said, “Are there not twelve hours in a day?” was well aware of exactly how long His sign required that He remain in the “belly of the earth”—the grave.
Not only did Jesus state that He would fulfill His sign, but it was also established by the mouth of two witnesses
At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. Deut. 17:6
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Deut. 19:15
who happened to be mighty angels of God.
Based on when Jesus was buried (sometime between three and six o’clock on the day of His crucifixion), His sign as our Messiah was that He must rise at the same time 72 hours later. Otherwise, He is an impostor and a fraud, and we have no Savior
Unless you desire to make
“the word of God of none effect through [man’s] tradition” Mark 7:13
you must now admit that an accepted, popular tradition has crashed in a heap of rubble.