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Lesson 30

To determine the correct day Jesus was crucified on, like the Bereans we need to study and use all the clues the Bible provides. Jesus gives us four clues for how long he would be in the grave.

John 2:19-21 Common English Bible
19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”
20 The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body.

Luke 24:6-7 International Children’s Bible
6 Jesus is not here. He has risen from death! Do you remember what he said in Galilee? 7 He said that the Son of Man must be given to evil men, be killed on a cross, and rise from death on the third day.”

Mark 8:31 International Children’s Bible
31 Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things. He taught that the Son of Man would not be accepted by the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law. He taught that the Son of Man must be killed and then rise from death after three days.

Matthew 12:40 King James Version
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.

To get a task done ‘in three days’ you could complete it in the first hour or at the end of the 72nd hour. Being more specific, to complete the task ‘on the third day’ requires it be done sometime between hour 48 and 72. By stating ‘after three days’ Jesus precisely pinpoints the length of time he would be in the grave as a full 72 hours, after the third day was completed.

Some Christians believe Jesus only had to be in the grave for a portion of those three days. Jesus refutes that belief by using Jonas as an example, Jesus would be in the grave for ‘three days and nights’, a full 72 hours. There is no disputing Mary was at the empty tomb while it was still dark on the first day of the week, just as we know Jesus was buried in that tomb as the sun set at the start of a special annual Sabbath. To find out for yourself when Jesus was crucified, count backwards three full days and nights from the sunset that began the first day of the week Mary found the empty tomb. What day do you get? Using Bible scripture for proof, when was Jesus crucified and when was he resurrected? Worshiping God in spirit allows us to worship him on any day we choose. Worshiping in truth demands we acknowledge why we worship him, when we worship him.

John 20:1 English Standard Version
20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

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