The Timeline of the Resurrection: Rising on the Third Day

The three days leading to the Resurrection are always difficult to comprehend. If Christ was crucified and buried on Friday, but rose on Sunday, He did not spend three days in his grave, as the Bible tells us He did, and we know He did. The Jewish day begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. the next day – or from sundown to sundown. In America, today is Tuesday April 3rd at 6:40 pm CDT here at my house. If we translated this to “back then,” Jesus Christ had been in his grave for at least 6 hours and 40 minutes on the day considered Wednesday in Israel.

The date for Resurrection-Easter Sunday is connected to the historical Jewish Passover, which Jesus celebrated with his disciples on beginning on the Jewish day of Wednesday, which began 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, but the delivery of God’s chosen did not happen until God sent his tenth and final plague upon the Egyptian people. The Almighty dealt with Pharaoh in particularly harsh ways, and the final plague sent the Angel of Death to take the first born of each Egyptian household, but the Israelites were “passed over.”

At the commandment of God, the first Passover was celebrated at that specific time, beginning at 6 p.m on the Jewish day of Wednesday (6 pm Tuesday of our traditional day).  It was the first Feast celebrated after the Tabernacle was completed, just prior to the first anniversary of the exodus out of Egypt. The Commandment continues to this day.

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. John 13:1

So at the time of the events leading to Resurrection Sunday, the Jewish “day” every day, began at sundown. The Message Bible explains creation and “days” in Genesis:

“It was evening, it was morning — Day 1,”

Sometime after Passover, Christ was betrayed and arrested, still on Jewish Wednesday.

► By 6 a.m. on Wednesday, He was tried before Pontius Pilate and sentenced to death at 7 a.m.

Via Dolorosa – The Road to Calvary

✟ By 8 a.m. Jesus made His way to Calvary and was crucified on the cross at 9 a.m. on Jewish Wednesday – The Third Hour.

✟ At noon on Jewish 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 before sundown on Jewish Wednesday.

Day 1 ended at sundown at about 5:59:59 p.m. on the Jewish day of Wednesday

Then Christ rested in his tomb for three nights, as He said in scripture:

“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)

Mary Magdalene at the Empty Tomb

Then began the Jewish day of Sunday, which was Resurrection Day. After 5:59:59 pm Saturday, the Jewish Sunday morning, Christ rose from the dead. In the early morning hours of Resurrection Sunday, the Bible tells us “the women” arrived at the tomb and found it empty.

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, and spoke about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3)

…He lifted up his hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, he left them and was taken up tino heaven. Luke 24: 50-51

Last year, Carl Middleton at GOD’s ANSWER is always Jesus posted a timeline as well, and I think we mesh. He has a very interesting story of what happened after Jesus’ trial. It may not be the story you are familar with. Read Jesus and the Passover for another intimate look at Jesus, the Passover Lamb.

At this exact moment, “back then,” Christ was resting in his grave. Resurrection blessings to all my Christian readers. Wishing you and yours a meaningful Easter. To my Jewish friends, blessings for a meaningful Passover.

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook



  • Maggie, this was really interesting. I enjoyed reading it. God bless your witness to the truth. Resurrection blessings to you and your family too!

    • Thanks Pup! and blessings right back to you.

  • Maggie … I agree with your timeline. To keep it simple I don’t worry about the time zone difference between Israel and us. May I add this in agreement …

    The Scriptural time line would be … Jesus eats the Passover meal on Tuesday evening … goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and is betrayed, arrested, tried, crucified and is quickly placed in the tomb on Wednesday evening, the 14th … Passover itself. The opinion that the Lord was already betrayed, tried, condemned and crucified before the evening of the Passover itself seems positively accurate.

    Jesus would had to have died on Passover Wednesday in order to lay three days in the grave, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) and then to rise and … leave an empty tomb by Sunday morning … the first day of the week.

    I find it interesting that the Jews celebrated the bread that didn’t rise … when Jesus, “The Bread of Life” was going to rise three days later.

    The most important point of all … He is risen … Blessings Maggie.