Defining Days and Nights
● Jonah 1:17 . .The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
● Matt 12:40 . . As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
● John 2:19 . . Jesus answered and said to them: Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.
Biblical days are somewhat ambiguous.
For example according to Gen 1:4-5, God decreed that night and day be kept distinctly separate and be called by their own names in order to clearly distinguish between the two conditions. And according to Gen 1:14-18, He decreed that day is when the sun is up, and night is when the sun is down.
But then at Gen 2:5, the entire creation endeavor is labeled day.
I recommend we narrow the meaning of day down to just one relative to Easter by falling in line with Jesus Christ who, better than anyone else, is undeniably qualified to tell us how to understand a day as it was understood during the years when he himself was living in Israel.
● John 11:9 . . Jesus answered: are there not twelve hours in the day? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light.
This world's days are of course illuminated by the sun as per Gen 1:14-18.
Days divided into twelve equal periods of sunlight were regulated by what's known as temporal hours; which vary in length in accordance with the time of year. There are times of the year at Jerusalem's latitude when days on earth consist of less than 12 normal hours of daylight, and sometimes more; but when Jesus was here; the official number of hours was always twelve regardless.
I don't exactly know why the Jews of that era divided their days into twelve equal periods of sunlight regardless of the seasons, but I suspect it was just a convenient way to operate the government and conduct civil affairs; including the Temple's activities (e.g. the daily morning and evening sacrifices)
In order to avoid confusion; I highly recommend working with the 12-hour day that Jesus Christ gave us in his statement at John 11:9, i.e. let Day be daytime and let Night be nighttime; viz: the three days and three nights of Jonah 1:17, Matt 12:40, John 2:19-22 indicate three times when the sun was up, and three times when the sun was down.
NOTE: Even little children know the difference between night and day; especially those afraid of the dark, and they know that night begins when the sun goes down and day begins with the sun comes up. When a supposed adult can't even understand things as elementary as those, then I have to seriously question their understanding of things that are beyond a child's ability to grasp.
● Matt 11:25-26 . . Jesus said: I praise you,
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the
wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this
was your good pleasure.
According to Matt 26:17-20, Mark 14:12-17, and Luke 22:7-15, Christ ate his Passover prior to being taken before Pilate.
According to John 13:1-2, John 18:28-29, John 19:13-14, and John 19:31, the Jews ate their Passover after Jesus was dead and buried.
The Jews were somehow unaware that their religious calendar was tardy the year that Christ was crucified. He, being a prophet in direct contact with God, would of course have known the precise moment that Passover that year was supposed to begin; which is no doubt at least one of the reasons why Christ ate his own Passover before the Jews ate theirs.
Ironically, the Jews were careful to avoid going after Jesus during Passover.
● Matt 26:3-5 . .Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. But not during the feast-- they said --or there may be a riot among the people.
Due to their religious calendar's error, the Jews inadvertently crucified Jesus
during the very season they wanted to avoid. Apparently it was God's wishes that
His son be put to death smack dab on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, which the Jews wouldn't have done on time had their calendar been accurate.
The Special Sabbath
In regards to Yom Kippur, the Bible says: "It is a sabbath of complete rest for you. You shall humble yourselves. Beginning on the evening of the ninth of the month, you shall keep your sabbath from evening to evening." (Lev 23:32}
That verse is useful for proving that Saturday doesn't have a lock on sabbaths.
Two more special sabbaths like Yom Kippur's are Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-25) and the beginning and the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Ex 12:16, Lev 23:5-8)
When people are unaware of the existence of special sabbaths, they invariably misunderstand John 19:31 to be speaking of the usual Saturday sabbath instead of the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; which commences at night with the Passover dinner of roasted lambs that were slaughtered and cooked that afternoon prior to sundown. (Ex 12:8, Ex 12:18)
NOTE: John 19:14 verifies that John 19:31 is speaking of the Feast's sabbath instead of the usual Saturday sabbath.
Seeing as how Lev 23:32 reveals the existence of sabbaths other than Saturday's, then I'm convinced in my own mind that two sabbaths occurred during the week of Christ's crucifixion.
There was the beginning of the feast of unleavened bread which commenced at sundown the day that Christ was crucified, and there was the regular Saturday sabbath spoken of at Matt 28:1 and Mark 16:1-2.
A Catholic once suggested to me that the two sabbaths were together, i.e. they fell on the same date. So I countered that the suggestion would not work to Catholicism's advantage seeing as how the standard Good Friday model is short by one night.
With a little creative accounting it's possible to produce three days with the Good Friday model by counting all day Saturday as one of the three days Christ predicted at John 2:19, and then counting Friday afternoon and Sunday morning as two days; thus adding up to three. But no amount of accounting can produce three nights as per his prediction at Matt 12:40.
The only way that Good Friday's one-night deficit can be rectified in a sensible manner is by giving the Feast's sabbath and Saturday's sabbath their own dates; viz: have them run consecutive instead of coincident, i.e. back to back; viz: as one was ending, the other was beginning so that the Jews had two sabbaths in a row to contend with that year; a situation that, although uncommon, is not all that rare. For example in 2008, Passover fell on Sunday. So the usual sabbath began with sundown Friday followed by the Feast's sabbath beginning with sundown Saturday.
Two consecutive sabbaths-- the first on Friday and second on Saturday --would push Jesus' crucifixion day to Thursday; which we have no choice but to do in order to come up with those three days and three nights or be the laughing stock of the entire non Christian world because even a third grader can see right off that the standard Good Friday model's arithmetic doesn't add up.
However, Friday is pretty much set in concrete as the traditional, as well as commercial, day of Christ's crucifixion; so I expect that we're stuck with it now even though defending Good Friday's chronology makes about as much sense as insisting that NASA has been lying to us and the moon really is made of green cheese.
According to John 18:28 and John 19:13-14, Jesus was crucified on the day when Jews were slaughtering Passover lambs and roasting them with fire ready to eat by sundown. According to the 12th chapter of Exodus; the date was supposed to be Nissan 14 on the Jewish calendar.
Jesus predicted that he would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights (Matt 12:40).
The preponderance of evidence indicates that his dead body returned to life on the third day rather than during the third night (Matt 17:22-23, Mark 9:31, Luke 9:22, Luke 24:46, Acts 10:40, 1Cor 15:4). So right off the bat we can rule out a nighttime resurrection; i.e.. Christ's dead body revived when the sun was up rather than when the sun was not up.
So then, seeing as how Christ passed away on the cross during the afternoon of Nissan 14 prior to sundown, then counting three nights from thence results in his body returning to life during the daylight hours of Nissan 17. Due to certain women arriving at the cemetery early in the morning on the third day, and thus discovering Jesus' body gone; then we should be pretty safe in concluding that Christ walked out of his grave sometime before noon.
As an example: in 2017, the afternoon of Nissan 14 fell on Monday, April 10. Had the Lord been crucified on that day, then his first night in the heart of the earth of the three he predicted as per Matt 12:40 would have been Monday night. From thence it is very easy to deduce that his third night in the tomb would have been Wednesday night, resulting in his body rising from the dead during the daylight hours of the very next day, which would have been Thursday, April 13.
NOTE: There's quite a bit of confusion going around related to the time of the women's arrival at the cemetery; for example Matt 28:1
"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher."
The Greek word translated "came" is ambiguous. It can not only mean came, but also went, i.e. it can indicate travel as well as arrival and/or coming as well as going. Here's the same verse from another translation.
"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb."
Seeing as how the preponderance of evidence indicates that Jesus' dead body revived on the third day rather than during the third night, i.e. when the sun was up rather than when the sun was not up, then it's safe to conclude, in this case at least, that "went" is the appropriate translation of the Greek word erchomai, i.e. the women left their homes during early morning twilight; and by the time they met together and journeyed to the cemetery, the sun was fully up.
NOTE: The original languages of the Bible contain a lot of ambiguous words, and translators are not always sure how best to interpret them; so sometimes the onus is upon the reader. In those cases, it becomes necessary to compare scripture with scripture. Caveat Lector.
The Importance Of Correctly Sequencing The Events
Q: Well so what if the outside world is laughing at Good Friday just so long as Catholics believe in it?
A: Irrational portrayals of Easter week contribute not just to the mockery of Catholics, but of all Christians the world over; and worse: the losing of people's souls in hell; here's why.
● Luke 18:14 . . I tell you, this man went down to his house forgiven rather than the other
No; Jesus didn't say "forgiven" he said justified.
The koiné Greek word is dikaioo (dik-ah-yo'-o) which essentially means to regard as innocent.
In order for God to grant the tax man innocence, He couldn't merely forgive him; no, God had to exonerate him; and how does one legally do that without initiating a miscarriage of justice when there is evidence enough to indict?
Well, according to the Bible, Christ was restored to life for our justification (Rom 4:25). In other words; though Christ's crucifixion was sufficient to obtain forgiveness for people's sins; his crucifixion alone wasn't sufficient to make it possible for people to obtain an acquittal.
● 1Cor 15:17 . . If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.
An acquittal can be defined as exoneration; viz: an adjudication of innocence, which is normally granted when there is insufficient evidence to convict. In other words: by means of Christ's resurrection, God was able to cook the books so that it appears the tax collector never did anything bad. On the surface; this looks very unethical, but from the divine perspective it's all on the up and up.
It's not too difficult to appreciate just how serious this is relative to the outside world. If they can be persuaded to mock the sequence of events during Easter week, they can just as easily be persuaded that Jesus' resurrection never happened; viz: they will miss the opportunity to get their records expunged and thus be exonerated. A record of their sins will remain on the books, hanging over their heads like a sword of Damocles. Out ahead, at the Great White Throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15, those books will be opened for review.
● Mark 16:15-16 . . He said to them: Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be spared; whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Heal The World