3 Days and 3 Nights

This post is in reply to Rstats on Mark 16:9…. I could not publish it as a comment for some reason…

Mar 16:9 “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”

Jesus said the proof of his Messiahship was to be found in being in the grave “three days and three nights” as was Jonah. He told the Pharisees, “destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up…” to prove the same point.

People make silly arguments that it means “parts of three days and nights,” which is not how people would read any other verse… except they are sold first on the “Good Friday – Easter Sunday narrative of the Catholic Church, and so they bend the words to fit the scenario.

Scripture tells us that Jesus was buried at sundown, in the eventide between the two days… thus making it the beginning of a day, as well as the end of another. The biblical narrative can be clearly seen as 3 literal days and nights as follows…

Crucified Wednesday, Buried Wednesday evening

Women prepared on Friday, because they could not on the following Thursday because it was the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a 7 day festival also know more broadly as the Passover Festival. with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Jn 19:31 – 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.

Luk 23:56 “And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” This, after the day of preparation that they were required to take off from labor on Thursday.

After one night and one day passed, it was Friday. This is when the women prepared the spices… however, they did not have time to do that and administer them fully before the weekly Sabbath, so,

Luk 24:1 “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”

So, here is the breakdown of 3 days and 3 nights….

1st Night _ Wednesday Night

1st Day – Thursday. (High Sabbath Day – all rested)

2nd Night – Thursday Night

2nd Day – Friday (Women prepared spices but ceased at weekly Sabbath)*

3rd Night – Friday Night (Sabbath)

3rd Day – Saturday (Sabbath)

Saturday evening was the beginning of the third day! Jesus was resurrected and had the night portion to himself and was known to have spent all night in prayer. Why not now? The discovery of his resurrection is what happened on Sunday morning, not the resurrection itself.

The stone was rolled away, not so He could arise, nor to let him out, but to let the women see in.

Mar 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Mar 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
Mar 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

When Jesus prached to the spirits in hell, could it not have been after his resurrection and before the discovery, on Saturday night? He was well rested! In the morning we also see he had not ascended, but this was so scripture could be fulfilled… see

Lev 23:6 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.
Lev 23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Lev 23:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Lev 23:9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

Note that on the Sunday during this week-long festival, a wave sheaf was to be lifted up… compare that with Jesus’ admonition to Mary, “do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended unto my Father.” If anyone other than the priest touched the wave sheaf before it was offered, it was profaned… So, too, Jesus was not to be touched.

So, to answer your question briefly. There is no contradiction in the first place. How much earlier in the day can one be risen than in the very first minute following sunSET?? There is nothing that says he immediately saw Mary upon resurrection… she is simply the first disciple he appeared to.

“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”

*Note that they were at the cross until the body was laid to rest, coming right up to the ‘day of preparation’. The spices they gathered were 50 pounds and this could not have been prepared on Wednesday evening because they had zero time to even begin to prepare… their preparations of gathering and prep were done on a larger time frame than that… thus, it was a daylong affair on Friday and not having enough time to administer the spices to the body before the Sabbath, they waited.

Let me know your thoughts on this and if it helped!

What do YOU think?



  1. lookinforacity says:

    Hi TIM

    The only thing I would add to your timeline would be these verses, they explain the anointing of Jesus body for burial.
    So, even though they were physically unable to prepare the 50 lbs. of spices, because they did not have the time as you say, Jesus body was anointed two days earlier when He was in Bethany.
    Everything was done properly, and in order for them to fulfill a traditional Jewish burial, God even took care of this smallest detail.

    Mar 14:1-9
    1) After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
    2) But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
    3) And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
    4) And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
    5) For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
    6) And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
    7) For ye have the poor with you always, and when soever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
    8*) She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
    9) Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

    Just as a side note.
    In the Jewish relating of time, it should be understood, the Jews split the day into two equal 12 hr. periods. But whenever a Jew spoke of a day, they were only relating to the 12 hrs. of daylight.

    So when scripture says, Jesus was in the Grave 3 days, it is in actuality saying the time was comprised of three daytime periods of 12 hrs. each.

    Which means, being Crucified on Wednesday, the three days did not start until the next morning, Thursday, thus ending the three days in the Grave at sundown on Saturday.

    This also means Jesus was Resurrected some time between sundown Saturday, and sunrise Sunday having fulfilled the three DAYS in the grave..

    It should also be understood, by Jewish Law, the body could not be Anointed until sunrise on Sunday being the first day of the week to the Jews.

    Be Blessed

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