How Many Days was Jesus in the Tomb?
Jesus Resurrected on the First Day
(Matt. 28:1) “Now after the Sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.”
(Mark 16:2) “And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.”
(Luke 24:1) “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.”
(John 20:1) “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.”
Three Days and Three Nights
(Matthew 12:40) “for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
(Mark 8:31) “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
(1 Cor. 15:4) “and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
(Luke 24:5-7) “and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'”
Sabbath time constraint at the beginning and end of the “Three Days”
(Luk 23:54) That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
(Luk 23:55) And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.
(Luk 23:56) Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
(Mar 16:1) Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
(Mar 16:2) Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
Feast Day Sabbaths
(Lev. 23:5-8) On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’”
Nissan 14: Wednesday – Passover/Last Supper
Nissan 15: SABBATH #1 Thursday – Unleavened Bread/Trial
Nissan 16: Friday – Crucifixion
Nissan 17: SABBATH #2 Saturday – 7th Day Sabbath
Nissan 18: Sunday – Resurrection
Not 3 days & nights in the tomb
Last Supper/Passover violations:
Exo 12: 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.
22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.
The actual Last Supper account has:
- no mention of eating the lamb or bitter herbs
- no mention of slaying the lamb or fire to cook the lamb
- violations of the requirement to stay indoors and not go out of the house until morning
According to this model, Passover took place before the trial, but actually the trial took place before Passover, not after:
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
It is mentioned during the trial of Jesus that Passover would be held the following day:
Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane
In Pilate’s Court
28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.
39 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
Nissan 13: Wednesday – Last Supper
Nissan 14: Thursday – Passover/Crucifixion
Nissan 15: SABBATH #1 Friday – Unleavened Bread
Nissan 16: SABBATH #2 Saturday – 7th Day Sabbath
Nissan 17: Sunday – Resurrection
Solves the full 3 days & nights in the tomb
Considering that Jesus is the Passover lamb, his crucifixion falling on the actual day of Passover would also be more significant.
Jesus personally kept the feasts:
John 7 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
Christ’s death is what the Passover was pointing to:
1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Matt 26: 17 Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’”
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
Mark 14: 12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
Luke 22: 7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.
Now the key here is that the feast begins on the 10th day of the month and the actual killing of the lamb occurs on the 14th day:
Mat 26:2 You know that after two days the Passover comes, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified.
Exodus 12 1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
Nissan 13: Thursday – Last Supper
Nissan 14: Friday – Passover/Crucifixion
Nissan 16: SABBATH Saturday – 7th Day Sabbath and Unleavened Bread
Nissan 17: Sunday – Resurrection
Not 3 days & nights in the tomb