LETTER: What the Bible reveals about Christ's death, resurrection
To the Editor:
What does the Bible have to state about the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?
* Three days and three nights — Matthew 12:38-40: Three days and three nights in the earth. Matthew 16:21: Be raised on the third day. The emphasis on three days and nights would indicate a time of 72 hours. Christ was to be in the tomb for three days and three nights and arise. After three days. (Mark 8:31): This would indicate nothing less than 72 hours. On the other hand, if Christ were raised from the dead “in three days,” it could not be more than 72 hours. By harmonizing these verses, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the time period in question was 72 hours.
* Died at 3 p.m. — Matthew 27:46-50: Ninth hour, or 3 p.m.
* High Sabbath and regular Sabbath — Wednesday — The day before the high Sabbath. Died at 3 p.m., the day before the high Sabbath. Buried between 3 and 6 p.m. 6 p.m. started the High Sabbath. John 19:31: “Bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a High Day.)” Luke 22:1 The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. Thursday — The High Sabbath/Passover. Friday — The day after the high Sabbath. The day before the regular Sabbath.
Compare: Mark 16:1 bought spices after the Sabbath (high). Luke 23:54-56 prepared spices before the Sabbath (regular). How could spice be bought after the Sabbath and prepared before the Sabbath, unless there were two Sabbaths that week? Saturday — the regular Sabbath. Arose between 3 p.m. — 72 hours later: but before 6 p.m. Matthew 28:1 (Dawn - beginning): Mary Magdalene came toward the first day of the week.
The Bible does not mention that the Lamb of God was crucified and died on Friday, but the Word does state that Jesus was crucified on “the day before the Sabbath.”
The Bible gives no grounds for speculation in regard to which Sabbath is meant in this instance. It was the day before the high Sabbath. It was not the day before the regular Sabbath. The Gospel of John makes this very clear. (John 19:31)
Alastair D. Sutherland