C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Easter: Good Thursday or Friday

It is easy to acknowledge Christ must have risen on a Sunday, for scripture tells us it was on the first day of the week. As for Good Friday, I think we might have a small miscalculation, as do others, in the timeline.

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.

Mark 8:31
And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

John 2:19
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

I would agree that a portion of a day would count as a day, meaning I don’t believe it would have to consist of all twelve (12) or twenty-four (24) hours to be consider a day.

And counting of the days is easy.
Friday end of day (1) + Saturday all day (1) + Sunday early morning (1) = 3 days.

Where the problem lies is in how one reads Matthew 12:40. Whereas the other scriptures claim “after three days” and “in three days”, this verse adds “and three nights”. It would be easy to dismiss the “and three nights” to hold true to tradition, but should tradition override scripture?

We must remember that this is Christ speaking. Had He meant to say “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be [three days] in the [grave, tomb, etc.]” He clearly would have. This is God in the flesh, not a mere man that rambles on with no intention in his speech.

Jonah was the only sign given to that generation concerning the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ [Luke 11:29; Luke 11:30], and Jonah as in the whale “three days and three nights” not just “three days”.

Here lies the problem.
Friday all night (1) + Saturday all night (1) = 2 nights.

By this I suppose we have four choices:
1] Christ didn’t mean exactly what He said.
2] All Bible translations are in error concerning this verse.
3] Our tradition supersedes scripture.
4] Admit error.


Bobby Cohoon said...

Good Post Tim! My blog tonight was almost called, "Did Jesus wear a Rolex." Looking at the same topic you did. The only place where I differ from you is on the day that JEsus was put in the tomb.And it was the Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment Luke 23:54-56. It was preparation day: Wednesday. Thursday would have been the feast of unleavened bread. I think he was laid in the tomb on wednesday just before thursday began.

Good job on tackling a touchy subject brother!


Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

That would have been a good title. hahaha

You have done a lot more research than I have for sure, just by reading the other things you have posted elsewhere.

Have a good trip and Easter!

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Bobby, if I recall you believe it was exactly 24 hour days to the second, right?

Thursday all day and all night.
Friday all day and all night.
Saturday all day and all night.
Rose exactly at Sunday start.

Let me know if this is correct or not. Thanks.

lisa leichner said...

Coming over from Bobby's blog ... Hi Tim! I was just thinking about this the other day. I'm not the Bible scholar that either of you are, and I wasn't remembering Matt. 12:40 with the three nights, but I was wondering how we got 3 days if he died Friday and rose Sunday. This is a good post. I think I'm going to be chewing on this a while & asking others too. I'm very intrigued now!

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Thanks for visiting Lisa, but as for Bible scholar, maybe just consider me a Bible believer. I am far from knowing a whole lot. :)

Bobby Cohoon said...

Hey Tim,
I do believe that it was a literal 72 hours..3 days and 3 nights...3 24 hour periods. Where I have problems is the time that he was laid in the tomb and when he rose. Could he have been laid in the tomb just before the Sabbath (thursday) began which would put Him rising on the second sabbath (saturday. He did say he was Lord of the Sabbath. Or, was he laid in the tomb the exact ending of Passover and before the beginnging of the yearly sabbath on thuresday and rose at the end of the weekly sabbath (saturday) and before the beginning of the first day of the week. These are the things that I am wondering. I have no doubt that he was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights (72 hours).

I had a good trip today...locked the keys in the car and went through an act of congress to get someone to help me out.


Stan said...

According to the bible, the day begins in the evening, evening + morning = 1 Day Genesis 1:5

I think Jesus died around 3pm on Thursday. The sabbath officially would begin in 2-3 hours from then.
It was a special sabbath, observed yearly.

So Thursday evening and Friday morning =1 day;
Fri. Evening and Saturday Morning =2nd day;
Sat. eve. and Sunday Morning = 3rd day.

3 Nights = Thursday, Friday & Saturday.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

So Stan, do you celebrate Good Thursday?

The only question I have is if "Thursday evening and Friday morning = 1 day", where do you get the Thursday night? The 2-3 hours before Thursday evening? Is that backwards?

Help me out.

Stan said...


I think we are to celebrate Jesus death & resurrection every day by living a life pleasing to him.

According to the scriptures, the Lord Jesus died around 3pm.

25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 A sign was fastened to the cross, announcing the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.”

33 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 34 Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”[f]

35 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 36 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!”

37 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

39 When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” New living

The yearly sabbath would begin on thursday at sunset.

Jesus's body was in the tomb three nights, thursday, friday & saturday.


John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.