Three Days to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Resurrection Day, also known as Easter Sunday, is connected to the historical Jewish Passover, which Jesus celebrated with his disciples on the Thursday evening before The Resurrection.

The history of The Feast of Passover is well documented. The Israelites were delivered out of Egypt, as well as from slavery, in about 1450 BC. As God dealt with Pharaoh in particularly harsh ways, the Israelites were "passed over." At the commandment of God, the first Passover was celebrated at that time. It was the first Feast celebrated after the Tabernacle was completed, just prior to the first anniversary of the exodus out of Egypt.

At the time of the events leading to Resurrection Day (Sunday), the Jewish "day" began at sundown.

The Message Bible explains creation and "days" in Genesis: "It was evening, it was morning -- Day 1." So it was that the three days leading to The Resurrection began at sundown on Thursday and ended at sundown on Resurrection-Easter Sunday.

Day 1: After Sundown Thursday to Sundown Friday: Maundy Thursday

The Thursday before The Resurrection is known as Maundy Thursday. On the day (evening) of Maundy Thursday, Jesus celebrated the Jewish Passover with The Last Supper and gave the gift of the first communion, the sacred act of sharing his body and blood with us "in remembrance" of him. Then, in love and humility, he washed the feet of the disciples, giving them the greatest commandment, to "love one another." The word "Maundy" is derived from the Latin "mandatum" meaning "mandate" or "command."

Still Day 1: Good Friday - Ending Friday at Sundown

On Friday, before sundown and still Day 1, Christ was arrested, tried before Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified on the cross, died and buried - all before sundown. The term "Good" Friday has Germanic origins meaning "mourning" and the words "good" and "God" are believed to have been interchangeable at times. On this Good Friday (perhaps God's Friday), Jesus began the fulfillment of the Psalmist's prophecies and his own testimony in the Book of Luke that he "must suffer many things…be slain…(and be raised the third day.")

Day 2: After Sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday

Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, began on Friday after sundown, Day 2, and ended at sundown Saturday. Christ rested in his tomb on Day 2.

Day 3: After Sundown Saturday to Sundown Sunday - Resurrection Sunday

Saturday after sundown began Day 3 - the Christian Resurrection-Easter Sunday. Christ had left his tomb. At dawn, Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" went to the tomb, not knowing that Jesus was gone. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and to the guards at watch over the tomb. The angel told the women "He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee." As the two women ran to tell the disciples, Jesus suddenly met them. "Greetings" he said. They "clasped" his feet and worshiped him. He sent them on their way to tell the disciples he would see them in Galilee.

Over a period of forty days, Jesus continued to appear to the apostles, he ate with them, answered questions, and also appeared to "more than five hundred…at the same time" (1 Corinthians 15:6)

author: Aariana Adams

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