Each year, I waste some time trying to understand…again…the three days to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every year, I come to a different understanding, and this year is no different. Understanding the days isn’t what is important about the Resurrection, nevertheless I rework it every year. My method from the prior year made sense then. When I reread it in the current year, it doesn’t seem quite right. This exercise for me brings me closer to these Holy days – by virtue of thinking about what Jesus was doing at almost each and every hour of his life as he traversed though the Passover, on to the Passion, the Resurrection and the Ascension. See a video below.
Here is the story the way I have it figured out this year. I expect some will correct me, and that’s okay, because I’m just surmising from what I read, and as I said, it is not essential that I get this right to know and believe that My Lord and Savior arose from the dead on the third day.
The date for Resurrection-Easter Sunday is connected to the historical Jewish Passover, which Jesus celebrated with his disciples on the Jewish day of Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m. on what we think of as Tuesday.
The history of The Feast of Passover is well documented. The Israelites were delivered out of Egypt as well as from slavery, in about 1450 BC. As God dealt with Pharaoh in particularly harsh ways, the Israelites were “passed over.”
At the commandment of God, the first Passover was celebrated at that specific time. It was the first Feast celebrated after the Tabernacle was completed, just prior to the first anniversary of the exodus out of Egypt.
At the time of the events leading to Resurrection Sunday, the Jewish “day” began at sundown. The Message Bible explains creation and “days” in Genesis: “It was evening, it was morning — Day 1.” So it was that the three days leading to The Resurrection began at sundown on Wednesday (6 p.m. on our Tuesday) and ended at 6 p.m. on Saturday, with Christ rising on Resurrection-Easter Sunday.
Before sundown, the end of the Jewish day Tuesday: In love and humility, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, giving them the greatest commandment, to “love one another.”
The Jewish day Tuesday ended at about 5:59 p.m. Wednesday began at 6:00 p.m. Jesus celebrated the Jewish Passover known as The Last Supper and gave Christians the gift of the first communion – the sacred act of sharing his body and blood with us “in remembrance” of him.
Sometime after Passover, Christ was betrayed and arrested, still on Wednesday. By 6 a.m. on Wednesday, He was tried before Pontius Pilate and sentenced to death at 7 a.m. By 8 a.m. Jesus made His way to Calvary and is crucified on the cross at 9 a.m. on Wednesday – The Third Hour. At noon on Wednesday – the Sixth Hour – the darkness covered the land. At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, “it is finished.” The darkness lifts at 3 p.m. – The Ninth Hour. Christ was buried at sundown on Wednesday, as the next day, Thursday, was ‘a Sabbath high day,” not the usual Saturday Sabbath.
“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.
It was evening, it was morning Day 1: Wednesday 6 p.m. to Thursday 6 p.m. Christ rests in His tomb.
It was evening, it was morning Day 2: Thursday 6 p.m. to Friday 6.p.m. Christ rests in His tomb.
It was evening, it was morning Day 3: Friday 6 p.m. to Saturday 6 p.m. Christ rests in His tomb.
Three nights and three days – Christ was “in the heart of the earth.” ~ Matthew 12:40)
Over a period of forty days, the risen Christ appeared to believers, and then after “opening the minds of the Apostles, Christ “lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven” [Luke 24: 50-51] – leaving behind His assurance of His ultimate gift of grace. Happy Easter and Resurrection Blessings.