This week is very special in that you will see the convergience of the Christian AND the Jewish calendars in the week of Christ’s triumphal entry, His arrest, crucifixion and resurrection from the grave. I do not recall ever having it come out this way before. Does someone know if it ever has, or when the last time was?? The passover this year is one day off what it was in the year of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Here is the Outline. Look on your calendars that show the Christian and Jewish holidays.
Thursday – Passover
Friday – Day of preparation for weekly sabbath
Sunday morning – Discovery of the empty tomb.
In Jesus’ day it was on Wednesday Passover
Jesus said there would be but one sign of His Messiahship.
He said his resurrection would occur AFTER three days….
The Passover is a week long celebration of the Israelites coming out of Egypt following the night the death angel ‘passed over’ them when it killed the firstborn of Egypt. This year it begins on Tuesday evening with the memorial of that event. (Jewish holy days begin the sunset before)
Here is the Biblical trail.
Tuesday Night – Last Supper, Jesus is betrayed.
Wednesday Midnight Hours – Jesus is tried secretly (against even Jewish law)
Wednesday Morning – Brought before Pilate and tried.
Wednesday Afternoon – Crucified.
Wednesday Before Sunset – Body is begged of Pilate and released to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who take him down hurriedly to bury Him prior to the Sabbath. “For that Sabbath was an high day” John 19:31.
This is where the clock starts ticking on three days and three nights. In the evening between the days, Jesus was buried.
TIME IN THE GROUND
Night 1 – Wednesday Night – Jews kept Passover beginning at sunset.
Day 1 – Thursday – High Day, First Day of the Passover Week. Disciples rested as did the women.
Night 2 -Thursday Night – High day over.
Day 2 – Friday – Disciples, women, prepare spices for embalming.
Night 2 – Friday Night – Weekly Sabbath Day. Again everyone rests awaiting first chance to embalm the Lord. (Think of the absurdity of two women coming to embalm someone if the disciples had stolen the body earlier… these women were in the know, the disciples had no resurrection plot)
Day 3 – Saturday – Everyone resting…
Now, if Jesus remains one more night in the ground, He is not the Messiah. (three nights, not four – Matt 12:40).
Night 4 – Bible is silent. I presume Jesus was indeed resurrected, but He probably spent the night in prayer, as He had not ascended. Is this when He preached deliverance to the captives in hell?
Day 4 –While it was yet dark (prior to sunrise) the women came to the tomb and did not witness the resurrection, they witnessed the emptiness of the tomb. An angel rolled the stone, not so Jesus could get out (he passed through walls that day) but so the women could get, or see, inside.
In the morning, Jesus told Mary, “Do not touch me for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” This event mirrored the ritual Jesus – as the Lord of the OT – gave Moses.
In the midst of the Passover week, on Sunday morning, the High Priest was to offer a wave sheaf to be accepted of the Lord. Jesus had not yet ascended (been lifted up to be accepted of the Lord on our behalf) so for Mary to touch Him would render Him unfit for the presentation of Himself on our behalf. Once He was accepted, we were made one with God through Him.
This is an amazing story and it is all laid out scripturally and logically. Doesn’t it bless you to know God’s precision and detail even as laid out in the OT law? And what does it say about His faithfulnes to watch over His Word and perform it?
Have a blessed Passover Week as we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord JESUS CHRIST!
Side note: “Easter” is a pagan name with pagan origins….