Was Jesus Three days and Three nights in the tomb "as it is written"?

Home | Part two of Three Days and Three Nights | Locating by Astronomical Calculation. | Locating the year Christ died by Astronomical Calculation.

Locating the year Christ died by Astronomical Calculation.

Live Link to: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/

 Located By Astronomical Calculation.

It should also be understood that the Jewish religious mouths all begin with the new moon and their religious year began in the spring, while their civil year began in the fall, and was a solar year made up of 30 days to the month.

The Jewish Passover always came on the 14 day of the month of Nisen, and that day was, in every case, the day following the night of the full moon. If the Passover fell on the 7th Day Sabbath, it was celebrated two days before or two days after the Sabbath. In Smith's Bible Dictionary, we read these words: "The cycle of religious feasts, commencing with Passover depended not simply on the month, but on the moon; the 14th day of Adib (Nisen) was coincident with full moon."

To count the time of the Passover in any year since its institution, it is only necessary to locate the day following the night of the first full moon after the vernal or spring equinox, (See Live Link at top of page) which occurs on March 21st, AD 31. The first full moon after, the 14th day of Nisen, occurred on Tuesday, March 27th. The next day, Wed., was the day that the Passover Lamb was killed. It was also the day of the Lamb of God, of our Lord Jesus Christ was killed. 

The following report from the British Astronomer Royal, given by Mr. Hollis, in which he says that the Paschal full moon in A. D. 31, occurred on Tuesday night, March 27th. This Report from the British Astronomer Royal, agrees perfectly with the Report from the US NAVEL OBSERVATORY, in WASHINGTON, D.C..

It will be observed from the above, that in the year of Christ's crucifixion (AD. 31), the moon was full on the night of Tuesday, March 27th, and consequently the day following this was Wednesday, March 28th, which answers to the 14th day of Nisen, the day on which our Lord was crucified. The following letter from the United States Naval Observatory, Washington, confirms the above. Navy Department US Naval Observatory Washington, D.C. January 16, 1919 Sir: In reply to your letter of January 15, you are informed the Astronomical Full Moon occurred Tuesday, March 27, AD. 31 at 1h P.M., Jerusalem time, Julian Calendar. The time may be accepted as correct within two or three hours. By direction of the Superintendent, U. S. Naval Observatory. Very Respectfully W. S. EICHELBERGE Commander (Math) U.S.N.

Director, Nautical Almanac. (See Live Link at top.)  

There is nothing surer than that Christ was crucified on Wednesday, for the Sun and Moon are God's great clocks, set in the heavens, He Himself, said: (Gen. 1:14 NASB) "Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years."

"To show the accuracy and value of astronomical calculations, it may be said that this is the way that all ancient historical and Biblical data are verified. The great cannon of Ptolemy, on which all Old Testament chronology is based, gets its reliability from the fact that astronomical calculations agree with it." Prideaux says in Vol. 1, Page 242:

"But Ptolemy's cannon being fixed by the eclipses, the truth of it may at any time be demonstrated by astronomical calculations, and no one hath ever calculated those eclipses, but hath found they fall right in the times where placed; and therefore this brings the surest guide which we have in the chronology, and it being also verified elsewhere with the Holy Scripture, it is not the authority of any other human's writing whatsoever to be receded from."

Therefore we can safely rest on the astronomical calculations given, as reliable and true, and especially so because it only serves to strengthen the truth of God's Word in the Bible. This truth clarifies some passages that may seem ambiguous.

Wednesday, March 28th, A. D. 31, is the day and date of Christ's crucifixion. So much, at least, is settled beyond even the shadow of doubt.

No Contradiction

The Bible is the inspired Word of the Most High God. There is not a contradiction in it. Man's interruptions of God's Word make it appear to contradict itself. The claim that Jesus was crucified on Friday at 3 P.M., is not only unreasonable, but makes the Bible texts clash. By that interruption, Mark and Luke's statements recorded in the Bible about the Crucifixion are placed in a position where they contradict each other. Note please, the fact that Mark tells us that the spices were bought after the Sabbath.

(Mark 16:1-2 NASB) "And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. {2} And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen."

The KJV rendering has this, "had bought," but the word "had" is not found in the original, nor in any up-to-date translation.

Luke's statement tells us that they were prepared on the day before the 7th Day Sabbath. (Luke 23:54-56 NASB) "And it was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. {55} Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. {56} And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment." (Luke 24:1-3 NASB) "But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. {2} And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, {3} but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus."

In these Scriptures we find that they prepared the spices on the preparation day for the feast of unleavened bread, before the 7th Day Sabbath began according to the forth Commandment. How can one put these two scriptures together without making the Word of God go against itself?

Mat 4:4 "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

If one insists that Christ was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday before day light, ask yourself -- How could the woman buy the spices after the High Day Sabbath found in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, than rest for the balance of the day, and then keep the 7th Day Sabbath in the 4th Commandment, unless there was two Sabbaths in that week as stated between Mark's and Luke's statements?

It is unthinkable how these texts can be reconciled, except from the self-evident point of view that Christ was crucified on Wednesday, the preparation day for the Passover Sabbath. The women rested on the Passover Sabbath, (Thursday). After the Passover Sabbath was over they went and bought the spices on Friday the day after the Passover Sabbath. They prepared the Spices the same day, (Friday) which was the preparation day for the "Sabbath according to the Commandment". That would make Mark and Luke's statements harmonies. This could never be done when in forcing the false teachings of the Roman Church, that Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday.

An High Day Sabbath.

Having proven that Christ was crucified on Wednesday the 14th Day of Nisan, we must ask the reader not to overlook the fact that the day following the slaying of the Passover Lamb was a High Day Sabbath among the Jews.

(Exo 23:14-15 KJV) "Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. {15} Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty". (Lev 23:5-7 KJV) "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's Passover. {6} And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. {7} In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein." (Lev 23:31-32 KJV) "Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. {32} It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath."

It was the Day of Unleavened Bread, and was observed as a Sabbath Day. It was called a "Sabbath" and followed the Passover feast day it naturally fell on a Thursday that year, which was the Day following the crucifixion. This is proven by the fact that John calls the Day on which Jesus lay in the tomb "an High Day", Not the text: (John 19:31 KJV) "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away."

There need be no question in the mind of the seeker of truth, if one will study the references to the feast of the Passover, and the day following it, in the 12th Chapter of Exodus, and in the 23rd Chapter of Leviticus. No matter which day of the week the 15th day of Nisan (the day following the Passover) fell upon, it was always a "High Day Sabbath", separated, and apart from God's 7th Day Sabbath.

On the day of the slaying of the Paschal Lamb (14th of Nisan), also called the Passover day, the Jews were required to prepare for the days following. (Day of unleavened Bread or High Day Sabbath.) They had to put all leaven out of their houses and thoroughly cleaning their utensils. They had to put their house in order for the feast. The Jews' preparation day, was for the Day of Unleavened Bread, called the High Day Sabbath.

Now we have showed that the Christ was crucified on Wednesday, the day of the killing of the Paschal Lamb. It must be noted that the day of the crucifixion was also the preparation day for the High Day Sabbath. Jesus had to be off the cross and in the Tomb by Sun down or the people would defile themselves by working on the High Day Sabbath. Friday, the day they prepared for the Lord's Personal Seventh Day Sabbath, was never called the Jew's preparation day. God had no preparation Day for His 7th Day Sabbath. Read Gen.

(Gen. 2:2 KJV) "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." God finished His Work and Rested on the same Day, the 7th Day. The day of Christ's crucifixion, which we have shown to have been on Wednesday, was distinctly called, not simply the preparation day, but "The Jews Preparation Day)."

(John 19:42 KJV) "There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."

If there are any who still think that the "Jews' preparation day" and the day they prepared for the 7th Day Sabbath are the same, the Bible will soon clear away all doubt, if we are only willing to believe what is written therein. All one needs to do to prepare for the 7th Day Rest is to stop working. Indeed, we need not speculate in regards to the day of Christ's crucifixion and as to which preparation day it was, for John tells us plainly, in these words; (John 19:14 KJV) "And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!"

What the Jewish High Priests did on the day following the crucifixion of Christ is also proof positive that it was not the Seventh Day Sabbath, They were great sticklers for the strictest kind of keeping the Lord's Rest Day. Exo 20:10 :But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: --. The Seventh Say Sabbath is not the Jews Sabbath, but the Lord's Sabbath Day. God's law forbids traveling more than three quarters of a mile on His Sabbath Day. However it was recorder that on the Sabbath Day following the crucifixion, the Priests went to Pilate and begged for a guard to be sent to watch the sepulcher. This was permissible on their Passover Sabbaths, but not on the Lords 7th Day Sabbath. This fact alone should proves that the day following the crucifixion was the Passover Sabbath and not the regular weekly Sabbath of God's Rest.

Besides all this, Matthew called that day the "NEXT DAY that followed the day of preparation" (Mat 27:62 KJV) "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate," A term that he would never have applied to the Lord's Sabbath Day.

We hope we have now showed beyond doubt, and without fear of successful contradiction, that the first Sabbath Day following the crucifixion that Christ was in the tomb, was not the Seventh Day Sabbath, but the Passover High Day Sabbath. In AD. 31, Thursday was the Jewish High Day Sabbath or the day of unleavened bread. It following the Passover day and slaying of the Paschal lamb. The Lord's Sabbath is always on the 7th Day.

The Hour Of The Day.

Having now definitely located the day of the crucifixion of our Lord as Wednesday, March 28th, AD. 31, and having done this by the Bible, History, and Astronomy, there should be no room for quibbling. If any are still disposed to question these facts, they have every opportunity to check up the various references given, which are accessible to anyone who have enough interest to prove all thing from the Bible to see if these things they teach are so. It is not just a matter of finding the Truth, but a matter of finding out if you are truly serving the God of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ. He said He would be in the Tomb Three Days and Three Nights. If you are not serving Christ, the God of Israel, than you are serving Baal, the god of Babylon. If you are serving Baal, remember that there is no Election by Grace for you, as you are bowing your knee to Baal. Its a matter of Life or Death. To be judged of God as served Baal at ones death, brings a second death from Him. To be free from Baal worship, brings the "Election of Grace" from God to save that individual.

(Rom 11:4-5 KJV) "But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. {5} Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."

We now come to the question as to the time of day, or the hour that marked the death of the Jesus Christ. It is our intention to prove from the Bible that Jesus was nailed to the cross about the sixth hour of the day, answering to twelve o'clock A.M., our time. That Jesus died about the ninth hour of the day, answering to our three o'clock P.M. our time, which was the time of the offering of the daily evening sacrifice. He was our Passover, the Lamb of God offered for us, and in order to fulfill the type, He hung upon the cross at the specific time specified for the offering of the Paschal Lamb by the People of God.

To understand this, it is necessary to make a close comparison of the divisions of the Jewish Day, which our system of reckoning by hours of equal length. There is not the least thing complicated about it, and by following the Bible alone, the whole question solves itself.

(Mat 20:3-6 KJV) "And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, {4} And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. {5} Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. {6} And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?"

In the record found in Matthew 20: 1-12, of the house holder, it is plainly evident that Jesus reckoned twelve hours to a DAY. exclusive, of course, of the night, which as every New Testament scholar knows was reckoned by watches. (Mat 14:25 KJV) "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."

The term "day" according to the Bible stands for both the natural and artificial. The natural day is the solar day of twenty four hours, and was reckoned from sunset to sunset, while the artificial day had reference only to the light part of the natural day, beginning at sunrise and ending at sunset. The first hour began at the rising of the sun, and the sixth hour was always noon, while the twelfth hour was sun set. All of this is made plain by our Lord in the quotation given in Mat. 20:1-12.

The Passover coming on the first full moon after the Spring or Vernal Equinox when the days and nights were equal, made the day, at that time of year, beginning at six o'clock A.M., which they called the beginning of the first hour. This would make nine o'clock the third hour, twelve o'clock the sixth hour and three o'clock the ninth hour, and six o'clock P.M. the twelve hour. According to three gospel writers, Jesus hung upon the cross at least from the sixth to the ninth hour, or according to our time, from noon to three o'clock in what we call the afternoon, at which time He died.

(Mat 27:45-46 KJV) "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. {46} And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Mat 27:50 "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." (Luke 23:44-46 KJV) "And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. {45} And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. {46} And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." From these Scriptures, we know the hour Jesus Died on the cross. The ninth hour or three o'clock in the afternoon.

The Jews had also another division for the artificial day (the light part of the day). All the time from sunrise tell noon they called morning, and from noon to sunset was called their first evening, while they called the whole time of the twilight or from sunset till night, their second evening.

In all the events of the suffering and death of Christ, type met the anti-type. The Passover Lamb was offered between the two evenings. (Exo 12:6 KJV) "And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening." That is between twelve o'clock noon and dark, and had we no definite statement as to the hour of His death, we might set the time anywhere from noon till night, but having the statement of three of the gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, and Like, that he died at the ninth hour (Three o'clock P.M.) , we can safely rest on their words, and know, too, that He died at the very time that the Jewish Passover lamb was offered. Says Paul:

"Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."

The Resurrection On The Sabbath.

Now, then, we have left no room for argument against the fact that Christ died at three o'clock on Wednesday, March 28, AD., 31, we shall next proceed to study the day of the resurrection, which one can already see, did not occur on Sunday.

The one self-evident fact that stands out in the first verses of the Bible, and that is that the Sabbath is the day before the first day of the week. The Sabbath, and Sunday, or the seventh day of the week, and the first day of the week are not the same.

Another self-evident fact, as before stated, not only proven by the Bible and History, but also by the traditions of the Jews, is that the day according to the Bible begins at sunset and ends at sunset. (Lev 23:32 KJV) Christ was crucified on the Jewish Passover, which came at the time of the first full moon after the vernal equinox, when the days and nights were equal; hence sunset occurred at about six o'clock, and the dividing line between that particular Sabbath and the first day of the week following, mentioned in Matthew 28:1, was about six o'clock. P.M. The Sabbath ended at six o'clock and the first day of the week began at six o'clock in the evening. The Babylonian Sunday does not begin tell midnight.

"It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath."

With the above facts in mind, we are ready to proceed to the study of what Matthew says of the time of Christ's resurrection. The King James Bible reads as follows; (Mat 28:1 KJV) "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn (grow dusk) toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher." The American, and English Revised Version, reads; "Now late on the Sabbath as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week."

Both of these renderings show that the Sabbath had not yet passed when these women came to the sepulcher. The Greek word rendered "dawn" in this text is "epiposko" and is the same word rendered "drew on" in Luke 23:54 is the Greek work diougase. "And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on." It does not mean, and can by no means be twisted to mean, the dawning of the morning light. or morning, as found in the Bible. 2 Pet 1:19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" The Greek word orthros is also translated "morning or early dawn" as in John 8:2. and Acts 5:21. The created days in the Bible all begin with darkness. Therefore a new day in the Bible always dawns at sunset. To the Pagan Sun worshippers, a new day begin at Sun up.

It is certain that as long as it dawned toward, or drew on "TOWARD" the first day of the week, that day had not yet come. Aside from this fact, the text itself tells us that the events there occurred "in the end of" or "late on the Sabbath" as the Revised Version has it. In either case we have the positive statement that it was still the Sabbath when the women came to the sepulchre

Therefore the one outstanding fact that appears in Matthew. 28:1 is that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the sepulchre some time before six o'clock on Sabbath (Saturday) afternoon, and what follows makes it as clear as day that Jesus had already risen before they came to the sepulchre. (Mat 28:2 KJV) "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." If Jesus rose anytime before Sun up, He did not rise on their Sunday. Our present way of counting a day from midnight to mid-might did not exist. That day was created when the modern calendar was developed. In the Roman Empire at the time of Christ, the Pagan's week begin with Monday, not Sunday.


It was that part of the Universal Pagan Church in the Rome Empire that changed the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, from His Sabbath Day of Rest to the Pagans Day of Rest on Sunday. They do not, and cannot give the Bible credit for such teachings as they are not found in the Jewish Bible. It was by their authority as the official church of Rome, that they changed the Sabbath from the 7th Day to the Pagan Sunday. Therefore they readily admit to changing it themselves. They claim that they are the source of most of the teaching and all the Holidays that the Protestant Churches follow. The sad thing about this is, they are. Name one Holiday that the Protestant Churches keep that does not have it' origin in Roman Paganism. You can't.

The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p.50 3rd edition says, "Question 51;

Which is the Sabbath Day? Answer 51; Saturday is the Sabbath Day. Question 51; Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer 51; We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (AD 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."

Letter from C.F. Thomas, October 28, 1895, "Of course the Catholic Church claims the change was her act70; And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters."

Catholic Record, "Sunday is our MARK of authority70; The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact."

Decretal De Translat. Episcop. Cap., "The Pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ."

(Dan 7:25 KJV) "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."

Other Witnesses that all do not believe in the Sunday resurrection.

Writing in Etcrrzity magazine, its editor, Donald Grey Barnhouse, said: "I personally have always held that there were two Sabbaths in our Lord's last week--- the Saturday Sabbath and the Passover Sabbath, the latter being on Thursday. They hastened to take his body down after a Wednesday crucifixion and he was three days and three nights (at least 72 hours) in the tomb." He cites evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls which would place the Last Supper on Tuesday. Not all tradition has favored a Friday crucifixion. He quotes from a Roman Catholic journal published in France that "an ancient Christian tradition, attested to by the Didascalia Apostolorum as well as by Epiphanius and Victorinus of Pettau (died 304) gives Tuesday evening as the date of the Last Supper and prescribes a fast for Wednesday to commemorate the capture of Christ."

In his book Bible Questions Answered, W. L. Pettingill, gives this question and answer: "On what day of the week was our Lord crucified? To us it is perfectly obvious that crucifixion was on Wednesday." The Companion Bible, published by Oxford University Press, in its Appendix 156 explains that Christ was crucified on Wednesday.

In his Duke's Annotated Reference Bible, Finis Dake has said in his note on Matthew 12:40: "Christ was dead for three full days and for three full nights. He was put in the grave Wednesday just before sunset and was resurrected at the end of Saturday at sunset No statement says that He was buried Friday at sunset. This would make him in the grave only one day and one night, proving his own words untrue."

Foot Notes:

(1) (Foot Note #2) (Rev 21:8 KJV) "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

(2) (Exo 20:1-11 KJV) "And God spake all these words, saying, {2} I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. {3} Thou shalt have no other gods before me. {4} Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: {5} Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; {6} And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. {7} Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. {8} Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. {9} Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: {10} But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: {11} For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." END.


Was Jesus Three days and Three nights in the tomb "as it is written"?

What year was the Messiah put to Death? On what Day of the Week did He die on according to script?

Other Web Pages for your understanding of what the FAITH of Jesus was and still is that we are saved through having.