On what day was our Savior resurrected?
Correcting the Sunday myth!
Most believers seem to think that Yeshua (Jesus) was resurrected on a Sunday and attempt to use Luke 24:1-10 as proof and justification to change God's seventh day Sabbath to the first day. But is this a huge mistake! Where and when did God ever tell us that Sunday is now HIS Sabbath? The answer lies indisputably in the Bible which, when viewed from a "Hebrew perspective", tells us that Yeshua was resurrected at the end of the Sabbath; not early on a Sunday morning (the first day).
Man has debated the time of Messiah's resurrection for the last two thousand years. Catholics and Christians have even based their Sunday worship on the mistaken assumption that "Jesus rose on a Sunday". Rather than to view the Bible from God's perspective and the clear Scriptures He provided, we have used our limited, human mindsets to lead us down the wrong path and come up with the wrong conclusions - which means our view of the Gospels is skewed.
In order to back up this very serious allegation, we will use hermeneutics: allowing Scripture to intepret Scripture:
Matthew 12: 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall NO SIGN be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Matthew 16: 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall NO SIGN be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
What was the "sign of Jonas"?
Matthew 12: 40 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.
Matthew 12: 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
The SIGN for which we are searching is "Three days and three nights" (Luke 24:21) 72 hours from death/burial to resurrection of our Savior.
Matthew 16: 21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Matthew 17: 23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
Matthew 20: 19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
(See also Matthew 27:64; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:34; Luke 9:22; Luke 13:32; Luke 18:33; Luke 24:7; Luke 24:46; Acts 10:40; and 1 Corinthians 15:4.)
A thorough study of the Bible reveals that Yeshua was in the grave three days and three nights, and it tells us that He died on Passover which was during the High Holy Days (14 Nisan [see Leviticus 23:5]). This article will show that He was in the grave just before sunset on Wednesday night, according to Scripture (John 19:31); all day Thursday and Thursday night; all day Friday and Friday night, and all day Saturday (as Jonah was in the whale three days and three nights) until just before sunset on Saturday when He was resurrected.
To begin with, in order to discern exactly when our Savior rose, it is important recognize a few things - beginning with the fact that the "dawning of a new day" according to YHWH is at twilight as it is getting dark; not first light in the morning!
(NOTE: According to Aramaic scholar and author Andrew Gabriel Roth, Aramaic literally reads "b'ramsha din b'shabata", or "in the evening of the Shabbat". The literal meaning of ramsha is "evening" or erev, but here it is used idiomatically. The dawn and set of the sun is not the only use; there is the "dawn of a new era" or as John 19:31 reads "mitil d'shabata negha", "the Shabbat was dawning." When we compare other verses that record this event, the time of the day being referred to is clearly more than half a day before literal dawn. In John chapter 19, when they put Y'shua into the tomb, they still refer to it as being "day", both in Aramaic and Greek. The "dawn" metaphor "to begin" is confirmed in John 19:42. A more literal form, "mitil d'shabata aiala", would be read as "the Sabbath was beginning/ entering/ coming about". What is true for "dawning" is also true of "setting" in the sense of "conclusion", as is meant here. This agrees with Greek version, Aramaic information in Matthew, and with other writers in the NT.)
Genesis 1: 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.
We also need to note the time that Yeshua was placed into the grave, which was at sunset - or approximately 5 p.m. (March-April timeframe). No matter what the days are called on our modern calendars, there is no way that 72 hours beginning sometime in the evening can end early on the morning three days later - which is what most Christian scholars are trying to insist.
The Bible tells us that Yeshua died at 3 p.m. (the ninth hour - John 19:14); that He was buried later that day (John 19:31); and that He was in the grave "three days and three nights" (72 hours).
Matthew 27: 45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
Matthew 27: 46 And about the ninth hour, Y'shua cried out with a loud voice and said, My El! My El! Why have you spared me?* (See also Mark 15:33-34 and Luke 23:44)
*The above scripture was borrowed from the Aramaic English New Testament by Andrew Gabriel Roth, which was translated directly from Aramaic into English. Roth writes: Y'shua was not necessarily quoting Psalm 22, although the imagery of the Pslam (Psalm) is certainly intended by Matthew. Greek is transliterated Eli, Eli lama sabacthani, but Peshitta and Psalm 22 read: Eli, Eli lama azbatani.
Many Bibles read "forsaken" from which came a false teaching that the Father left Y'shua destitute (Marcionite thinking). Isaiah 53:4 indicates that "we" reckoned him smitten of Elohim, but it is not YHWH who tortured his own son, it was men motivated by religious tradition. Psalm 22 references those who scorned Y'shua for his Faith in YHWH, and called him a worm (detested), but Father YHWH does not forsake the righteous, nor does He at any time "forsake" His own Son, see Psalm 9:9, 10; 37:25; 71:11; Isaiah 49:14-16. Y'shua says "Eli" (my El), he is in great physical pain after being brutally tortured, those around him were confused to what he was saying, "Eli-yah" or "Eliyahu".
If Hebrew eyewitnesses were not sure of what he was saying, it shouldn't be a surprise that Greek transliteration was also wrong, putting "lama sabacthani" rather than "lemana shabakthani". Perhaps the reason Y'shua says "why are you sparing me" is because he has proven his commitment by laying down his life and has already endured about six hours of the execution! So, it's not a matter of being "forsaken" but that he literally means, "Father, I'm ready, why can't we finish this?" In a matter of moments from saying this, he dies, which fully supports this interpretation.
This being just before the High Holy Day, the Judeans wanted Him off the cross and in the grave before sundown so as not to desecrate the holiday, which meant He was in the grave at approximately 5 p.m. shortly after His crucifixion - which means that 72 hours later would also fall at approximately 5 p.m.! Here are the Scriptures to verify these facts:
John 19: 14 "Now it was the preparation day of the Passover, about the sixth hour."
John 19: 31 It was preparation Day, and the Judeans did not want the bodies to remain on the stake on a Shabbat, since it was an especially important Shabbat. So they asked Pilar to have the legs broken and the bodies removed. (Sterns Complete Jewish Bible)
Now, many people think this Shabbat fell on a Friday (since God's seven-day cycle begins at sundown on Friday evening). However, as we mentioned above, John 19:14 tells us it was not a regular Shabbat, but a High Holy Shabbat. Therefore, the Judeans wanted the bodies of Yeshua and the thieves off the crosses before sundown.
This means that Yeshua was placed in his grave before sunset that evening.
John 19: 41 In the vicinity of where he had been executed was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been buried. 42 So, because it was Preparation Day for the Judeans, and because the tomb was close by, that is where they buried Yeshua. (Sterns Complete Jewish Bible)
The above Scripture shows that Yeshua was placed in the heart of the earth approximately 5:00 p.m., or before sunset on the day He died. Seventy-two hours must end at the time we start the counting - about 5:00 p.m., or before sunset, that night.
Even on the eve of His death, Messiah Yeshua kept and fulfilled the Passover: He died on Wednesday the 14th of Nisan, and He rose some time after 3:00 p.m. on the Sabbath exactly three days later, depending on when He was placed in the grave. The Sabbath is in commemoration of YHWH's rest at creation (Genesis 2:2), and Yeshua's rest after His redemption of mankind. The Sabbath is for a reminder of the sign (three days and three nights) of who Yeshua HaMashiyach (Jesus Christ) is: He the Lord of the Sabbath.
Now, exactly how do we know that He died on the 14th of Nisan and that, that particular 14th of Nisan fell on a Wednesday? Because the 14th of Nisan is the day on which YHWH declared that the Feast of Passover should be celebrated FOREVER (Leviticus 23; Exodus 12:14)! And because of a series of events that took place just prior to the crucifixion:
- Yeshua, the Passover Lamb, fulfilled Zechariah 9:9 when, on 10 Nisan (a Sabbath - Saturday), He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as the people waved palm branches: 9 Rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Tziyon! Shout out loud, daughter of Yerushalayim! Look! Your king is coming to you. He is righteous, and he is victorious. Yet he is humble - he's riding on a donkey, yes, on a lowly donkey's colt. The Bible tells us that it was a Sabbath Day's journey from Bethany. He then taught in the Temple for three days: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
- As promised in Exodus 12:25-28 there was to be an explanation of the Passover service. This Messianic fulfillment took place when Yeshua showed His disciples how to celebrate the Passover Seder the evening before His death. During this time He explained how HE IS the fullfillment of the Passover seder (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Just as He delivered the Israelites with a mighty hand from the bondage of Egypt, so is He delivering us from the bondage of sin with His mighty right hand! It was here that He explained the meaning of His person in the Passover elements. Afterwards, He and His disciples went to Gethsemene, where they spent part of the night.
- During the night Yeshua was arrested and we are told that His trial continued until aproximately 9 a.m., when He was crucified. At 3:00 p.m. (the 9th hour) on Wednesday He died.
The following, borrowed from Derech Ministries, provides an indepth explanation:
Pesach/Passover happens in the spring of the year, on the 14th day of the Hebrew month Nisan. It was the day that God delivered His people from Mitzrayim/Egypt. God's deliverance was so awesome, that the calendar was forever changed. The month of Nisan (known as Aviv/Abib before the Babylonian captivity) became the first month of the Hebrew religious calendar from then on, as ordered by God in Shemot/Exodus 12:2. Pesach is a one day feast that is immediately followed by the seven-day Hag HaMatzot/Feast of Unleavened Bread.
God declared that Pesach be observed as a memorial forever (Shemot/Exodus 12:14) and it was to be kept as a service (Shemot/Exodus 12:25). The service included the lamb, matzah, and bitter herbs and to raise questions in the minds of children in order to rehearse the Exodus story in every generation (verse 26 & 27). The God of Israel also ordained many other observances to commemorate this moment in Exodus 12:43-13:16 (such as treating the first born as consecrated to Him).
Yeshua is seen as our Passover Lamb(1 Kefa/I Peter 1:19), and our Eternal Redemption. He was prophesied about, in this capacity, in Yesha'yahu/Isaiah 53. John the Baptist identified Yeshua as THE Lamb (Yochanan/John 1:29) who takes away the sin of the world, and takes our place just as the Passover lamb did. Rav Sha'ul/Paul lets us know how to become unleavened lives, through remembering that Yeshua was free of sin and sacrificed for us( 1 Corinthians 5:7). Once you've understood the Love and Gift we've been given, by Him who became sin for us,"who knew no sin" (2Corinthians 5:21)...it's very hard NOT to understand the taste of bitter herbs involved.
Historically, the Pesach in Mitzrayim can be seen in the fulfillment and representation of the Lamb of God. This Lamb, Yeshua HaMashiyach/Jesus Christ also took part in the Passover services as a child (Luke 2:41&42). As an adult He expressed His desire to observe the Passover with His talmidim (Luke 22:15-16). Yeshua took part in a Passover with His disciples and compared Himself, and His approaching Redemptive Act, to the items in the Passover Seder. There are several accounts in the Gospels of Mattityahu/Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Yochanan/John to reflect this (see Luke 22:14-20 and also 1 Corinthians 11:22-29).
During the week of our Lord's Passover (with Yeshua/Jesus), a chain of events occurred that paralleled that of the Pesach ritual.
Shortly before Pesach pilgrims would come to Jerusalem in bands, singing psalms, bringing their offerings as the Lord had blessed them. On the 10th of Nisan they would select from their flock or purchase from the priests their Pascal lamb. It would have been tied in a prominent place to be examined for the coming service.
On the 10th of Nisan, the people waved palm branches and shouted praises when Yeshua (whom Yochanan the Immerser/John the Baptist had proclaimed to be the Lamb of God) rode into the city on a donkey. They shouted Hosheanah and sang the Hallel. Yeshua, the Lamb of God, went to the Beit HaMikdash and spent four days there among the people, where all could examine him and see He was without spot or blemish. The religious leaders of that day (Sadducees, Pharisees, scribes...) asked Yeshua all types of difficult questions, and He answered them for all to see and hear.
On Nisan 14, at the 3rd hour (9 AM), Yeshua was nailed to a stake on a hill called Gulgolta directly east of the Beit HaMikdash.
Pilgrims would have passed by on their way to the Beit HaMikdash with their lambs in tow. Preparation for the sacrifices of the lambs would start at noon.
From noon until 3 PM (the 9th hour) darkness covered the land. (Mattityahu/Matthew 27:45) Around 3 PM each Israelite was to slay his lamb in the Beit HaMikdash. The lambs would have been taken in groups of 30 at a time. Priests would catch the blood in bowls and throw it at the base of the altar 'fire brigade' style passing gold and silver bowls in a line. The Hallel would be sung.
Yeshua died at exactly 3 PM becoming forever our Pascal Lamb who Redeemed us from a life of bondage in sin. (Mattityahu/Matthew 27:46-50)
The parokhet at the entrance to the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom as Yeshua would become our Cohen HaGadol taking our offerings directly. (Mattityahu/Matthew 27:51)
Within a generation the Beit HaMikdash would be destroyed causing the sacrificial system (and consequently the sacrifice of Pascal lambs) to end.
That evening, as the Israelites returned to their families to roast the Pascal lambs, Yeshua's/Jesus' body was wrapped in linen and placed in the tomb. Three days later as our Bikkurim He would rise to take His position as Melech/King and as Cohen HaGadol.
When Yeshua died, as a sacrifice for us, in our place, He portrayed the True Lamb of God who redeemed us eternally!!! Baruch HaShem! (Blessed be His Name)
How do we know He was resurrected BEFORE the weekly Sabbath (Saturday) ENDED?
Matthew 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 sepulchre.
(Some versions read: "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week.... This still does not mean that Yeshua rose on a Sunday, because in "Old Testament" times (and according to the Hebrew calendar), a new day began at sundown - which is still at least six hours from our modern time table where a new day begins at midnight. The bottom line is that, by the time the two Mary's arrived at Yeshua's tomb just before or just after SUNSET, Yeshua was nowhere to be found!)
As shown above, the Scriptures - read in context - are abundantly clear as to when our Savior died; when He was buried; and when He was resurrected. He did not rise on Sunday, and He never said to change His Sabbath to the first day of the week. Therefore, there is no reason for the mainstream Christian church to adhere to the Sunday Sabbath tradition.
The bottom line is: Will we obey God, or follow the opinions and traditions of man?