The story of Yeshua’s last days in Jerusalem concerning His arrest, death, and resurrection are the very foundations of Messianic faith and New Covenant belief. It is called the Passion. All four Gospels devote much of their text to the circumstances and dialogue of the Passion events; however, the chronology of those events is in dispute by various factions, including some believers. The problem comes down to understanding how Yeshua could be in the tomb three days and three nights. Yeshua said that He would fulfill the sign of Jonah, who was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights.
And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40
An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah. And He left them, and went away. Matthew 16:4
The traditional teaching of the church for the Passion week simply doesn’t add up to three days and three nights. Therefore, Yeshua did not appear to fulfill His own words.
In a most simple narrative, many brethren have been told that Yeshua ate a Passover meal on one night, was arrested, tried, and crucified the next day. According to many teachers in the church, that day was Good Friday. Then, Yeshua was buried Friday afternoon, sometime after three o’clock, and resurrected at dawn on Sunday morning. On Sunday morning, Mary and the other women saw him first. However, this chronology does not produce three days and three nights as Yeshua said. [Friday day, Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night, Sunday day] The best you can get is three days and two nights, and you are stretching to get two of those days to work. From a Gentile Messianic reckoning, Yeshua died on Friday at about 3:00 pm and was seen Sunday morning at about 6:00 am. This means that He was only dead for a maximum of 39 hours. You cannot get three days out of that; it doesn’t even total two full days!
However, there is a solution to this Biblical question, but it requires one to see the entire process from a Hebrew point of view and to remember that Yeshua was fulfilling the Passover. Yeshua died on the Passover and was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. Yeshua did fulfill the sign of Jonah. Let us examine the Passion of the Passover.
The Story of the Lamb
The Passover is really a story about the Lamb. When Israel left Egypt at the exodus, it was the blood of the lamb on the lintel and doorposts that caused the angel of death to pass over the homes of the Israelites. The redemption of the Messiah is the same for us. We are passed from death to life because of His sacrifice.
And He entered and was passing through Jericho. Luke 19:1
Our story begins with Yeshua going up to Jerusalem for the last time. His journey brought him to Jericho before He was to go up to Jerusalem. It is near Jericho and the Jordan river that His ministry had begun with John the Baptist’s declaration, “Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.” Remember, John was a Cohen—a priest of Israel—and it requires a priest to proclaim any sacrifice to be acceptable for service to God. This is also the wilderness region where Yeshua was tempted by the devil. The great mountain overlooking Jericho is called to this day the ‘mountain of temptation.’ Now, the time had come for Yeshua to go up to Jerusalem to be sacrificed.
And while they were listening to these things, He went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. Luke 19:11
The people, however, had another idea. They wanted Yeshua to go up to become King, to establish God’s earthly kingdom in their day. Therefore, it is said that they supposed the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Even the disciples fell into this thinking. Even they did not understand what Yeshua had said would really happen to Him and to them. For Yeshua had explained to them even before they came to Jericho on the way to Jerusalem what would happen. They, like the other people, were hoping for a kingly Messiah that would rule from Jerusalem.
And He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. “For He will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said. Luke 18:31-34
Yeshua’s understanding of what was facing Him and the disciples as they went to Jerusalem was demonstrated many times. Not only did He know and advise them that He was to be mistreated and killed, as you will soon see, but He also knew where the colt would be tied for Him to ride into Jerusalem, and the location of the room where He would eat the Passover with His disciples.
The Lamb Enters the House
And after He had said these things, He was going on ahead, ascending to Jerusalem. And it came about that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, in which as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it, and bring it here. “And if anyone asks you, why are you untying it? thus shall you speak, The Lord has need of it. ” And those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Yeshua, and they threw their garments on the colt, and put Yeshua on it. And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:28-38
When Moses came to the children of Israel with the message of salvation and deliverance, he rode on a colt. Yeshua’s entrance into Jerusalem was to be the same. This was a prophetic sign to the Hebrew people. One like Moses was bringing the hope of redemption (freedom from slavery). This is the work of the Messiah.
Friday Midday, 8 Nisan
Yeshua, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Yeshua had raised from the dead. John 12:1
According to Moses, the Passover Lamb was to be selected and brought into the house on or before the 10th of Nisan, four days before the Passover. This period of time is to examine the lamb for any spot or blemish before it is to be slaughtered and eaten at the Feast of Redemption—the Feast of Freedom. Therefore, Yeshua had to arrive in Jerusalem prior to 10 Nisan to satisfy this prophetic requirement as the Lamb of God. Additionally, He was traveling from Jericho, which is more than a Sabbath day journey. He had to arrive in the Jerusalem area prior to Friday evening, the beginning of Sabbath. Therefore, the Scripture records that He arrived six days prior to Passover, which was prior to Sabbath.
And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were selling, Luke 19:45
Moses instructed us that in preparation for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread all leaven was to be removed from the house. A search is made of the home to accomplish this. This also was the work of the Messiah. Upon entering His house, He removed the leaven in preparation for the feast. This is why Yeshua cast out those who were selling (the leaven) upon entering the Temple.
Please take note of something here. The traditional church teaches that Yeshua entered Jerusalem on Sunday. They call it Palm Sunday. It should be Palm Friday, the day prior to Sabbath and six days before Passover.
The Lamb is Examined
From Friday until Wednesday, Yeshua’s routine was limited. He was in the temple each day teaching and spent His nights on the Mount of Olives. He may have visited His friend Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha in Bethany, but no specific mention is made. There are many references though to the questions and reception He received from the various groups in the temple area. Yeshua was meeting publicly with all of them. There were the Gentiles who received Him with joy. The sick and the lame were approaching Him and being healed. Also the Pharisees came asking their questions. He was approached by the Temple council leaders, the elders and chief priests, and the scribes. Finally, He was questioned by the Sadducees. Each of these groups were fulfilling the prophetic requirement to examine the Lamb and see if there was any blemish. Each examination was increasingly more critical. They did not understand that they were fulfilling the prophecies, but it is clear that Yeshua understood and submitted Himself to this process. It was also at this time that Judas decided to meet secretly with the chief priests and officers of the temple.
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people. And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. And he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the multitude. Luke 22:1-6
The Lamb is Prepared
Wednesday, 13 Nisan, prior to 3:00 pm
Passover was observed in the home first. Moses had instructed the children of Israel to prepare a lamb, roast it by fire, and to eat it with Matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs. The lamb was to be slain at twilight on the eve of the 14th of Nisan. The period of twilight is from 3:00 pm until sunset, the same time frame that the evening sacrifice was offered in the temple. When Yeshua instructed Peter and John to prepare for the Passover, they acquired the lamb and took it to the temple on the afternoon of the 13th. Once the lamb was slain (blood poured out at the altar), it was then taken to a residence to be cooked by fire and served with the other elements. Since they had been sleeping on the Mount of Olives, they needed a place to eat the Passover.
Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” And they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ And he will show you a large, furnished, upper room; prepare it there.” And they departed and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. Luke 22:7-13
One of the most confusing parts of understanding this sequence of events is understanding what Passover is versus the Feast of Unleavened Bread. A Hebrew new day begins at sundown or evening time. Passover is the 14th of Nisan (it begins just as the day of the 13th ends and the eve of the 14th begins), while Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th of Nisan and continues for seven days (Lev 23:5-8). However, unleavened bread is eaten at both events. Passover is not a Sabbath, but the first and seventh days of Unleavened Bread are. They are called High Sabbaths, and can occur on different days than the weekly Sabbath. The New Testament intermingles these two events together because they were observed one right after the other. Further, there were two lambs for Passover. The first on the eve of the 14th was slain in the temple but taken home to be eaten. The second is the day sacrifice in the temple on Passover day and put on the altar. This ceremony leads up to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Passover day was also called a day of preparation for the High Sabbath (the first day of Unleavened Bread). The Messiah ate the Passover (at the eve of Passover) with His disciples and was slain at the same time the Passover temple sacrifice was offered on the altar.
Wednesday Evening, the eve of the 14th of Nisan, the Passover, after Sundown
And when the hour had come He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:14-16
The seder meal of the Passover is structured around four cups of wine. Two are served before the meal and two are served after the meal. The first two cups are called sanctification and instruction. The last two are called redemption and praise. The cup immediately after dinner, the cup of redemption, was the cup that Yeshua used to inaugurate the New Covenant, the cup He instructed us all to drink as a remembrance of His death, burial, and resurrection.
Matzah is also served at the Passover, with three pieces designated as the “Unity.” The second piece of this Unity is the broken piece which is wrapped in a linen cloth and used as the Afikoman, or dessert of the meal. This Afikoman is brought out (resurrected) after the meal and was used by Yeshua as the symbol of His broken body. This bread and the cup of redemption are used in Messianic communion. Bitter herbs (maror) are also served in conjunction with the cup of instruction prior to the meal. This was the sop that Yeshua used to designate who would betray him and another fulfillment of the prophetic pattern. Judas departed to get the guard and officers to arrest Yeshua after the first two cups just prior to the meal. Judas knew that Yeshua and the disciples would return to the Mount of Olives area to spend the rest of the evening.
Yeshua gave much instruction to His disciples at the Passover dinner. Several chapters of the Gospels address His specific statements and actions. This includes the foot washing, the announcement of betrayal, His impending death and resurrection, the last hymn before going to the garden, Peter’s denial, and the disciples being scattered.
Many believers are not aware that Psalm 118 is the traditional hymn sung at the Passover. Yeshua knew that the religious leaders had rejected Him and would seek His death. Consider these words and what they mean, knowing that Yeshua and His disciples probably sang them together.
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. Psalms 118:22-23
Now consider this additional verse and how Yeshua must have felt knowing that He was facing His death.
This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24
Wednesday Night, 14 Nisan/ Passover, about Midnight (the watchnight)
Once the hymn was sung, Yeshua led His disciples out to the Garden at the Mount of Olives. He asked His disciples to remain awake and pray. Passover night was a watchnight. Everyone who observed the Passover in Jerusalem would be up and awake. It was traditional to speak of God’s redemption until you saw the dawn of the day. This is why everyone was up to arrest and interrogate Yeshua. This is why Yeshua expected His disciples to remain awake with Him.
The Lamb is Taken to Slaughter
Thursday Early Morning, about 1:00 am
When Yeshua was betrayed by Judas with a kiss, there was a sudden and passionate struggle which Yeshua subdued. He told Peter to put away his sword, He healed the wounded man, and He explained that what was happening was in accordance with the words of the Prophets. The Son of Man was to be delivered up to the hands of sinners. This was also the same hour that the Angel of Death went through ancient Egypt at the first Passover.
So the Roman cohort and the commander, and the officers of the Jews, arrested Yeshua and bound Him, and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. John 18:12-13
Annas was the Sagan Priest, or the second priest to the High Priest. From this point, only the elders of the priests would handle the Lamb of God sacrifice. In effect, they unknowingly were preparing the sacrifice for willful and defiant sin—the sacrifice for sin that merited death. Annas therefore sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. John 18:24
Caiaphas was the High Priest who had previously prophesied the death of Yeshua, that He would die for the whole nation of Israel.
But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” Now this he did not say on his own initiative; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. John 11:49-53
Thursday Morning, 14 Nisan/Passover day, about 7:00 am
And when it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, “If You are the Messiah, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask a question, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” And they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.” Luke 22:66-71
Their interrogation had gone on for some time, and they had finally come down to the crucial issue: Was He the Son of God? Up to this time, Yeshua had fended off the question. He had previously said, “My time is not yet,” but now, it was time. The Redeemer had come to the Feast of Redemption. The question was posed by the leaders of the nation. He gave answer. They had already made up their minds beforehand. They had condemned Him before they even asked. He was now the Lamb being led to the slaughter.
Thursday Morning, 14 Nisan/Passover Day, about 9:00 am
Then the whole body of them arose and brought Him before Pilate. Luke 23:1
You might ask yourself why the chief priests took Him to Pilate, a Gentile governor of Rome. One of the requirements of Passover is that you cannot mix death with the Passover. Since it is the passing of death to life, there is to be no condemnation to death either. However, the chief priests decided to use a Gentile, Pilate for that purpose.
They led Yeshua therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium in order that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. John 18:28
Remember, this was the Passover watchnight. Had the chief priests condemned Him from their proceedings, they would have defiled themselves and negated the Passover sacrifice they were to officiate over in the temple that day. Therefore, they wanted Pilate to condemn Him and put Him to death.
Thursday Morning, 14 Nisan/Passover Day, about 9:30 am
Pilate was not particularly honorable, but he was a Roman governor bound by Roman law. Even condemning a Jew required some justifiable reason according to law. The first thing the chief priests accused Him of was being the king of the Jews. But wait a minute. There already was a king of the Jews, he was Herod. So, Pilate instructed that Yeshua be taken to Herod for trial.
And when he learned that He belonged to Herod s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time. Now Herod was very glad when he saw Yeshua; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. Luke 23:7-8
Herod was no man to be played with. When Yeshua wouldn’t even answer any of his questions, Herod dismissed Him back to Pilate.
And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been at enmity with each other. Luke 23:11-12
Thursday Morning, 14 Nisan/Passover Day, about 11:30 am
And Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. I will therefore punish Him and release Him.” Luke 23:13-16
Pilate didn’t have a problem with Yeshua, nor did Herod. It was Pilate’s intention to make the whole matter go away, but the chief priests wouldn’t let it go.
And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; I will therefore punish Him and release Him.” Luke 23:22
It became clear to Pilate that the chief priests were going to make future trouble for Pilate. They planned to accuse him of siding with a man (Yeshua) who opposed Caesar as king. The priests also had gathered a mob to protest and demand the crucifixion of Yeshua. Even Pilate’s attempts to free a single prisoner in honor of the feast wouldn’t appease them. Pilate made a political decision. He washed his hands of the matter and gave the priests what they wanted.
And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand should be granted. Luke 23:24
Thursday Noon, 14 Nisan/Passover Day, (the day of preparation for the first High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread)
Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” John 19:14
So he then delivered Him to them to be crucified. John 19:16
Yeshua was led away with two others condemned to suffer Roman crucifixion. According to Christian tradition, the Via Delarosa is the name of the street in Jerusalem where Yeshua was led to His death. Much speculation exists as to which streets were used and exactly where the execution site was. I believe He was led away from the Praetorium to the place of the skull located on the Mount of Olives. Therefore, He most likely left the city by either the Eastern Gate adjoining the temple mount, or the Lion’s Gate just to its north. Either gate leads to the Mount of Olives.
The Lamb is Slain
Thursday afternoon, 14 Nisan/Passover Day, shortly after Noon
There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Yeshua in between. And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, “Yeshua THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Yeshua was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek. John 19:18-20
And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Messiah of God, His Chosen One.” And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” Luke 23:33-37
Roman crucifixions were a public spectacle, intended to remind the general public of Roman authority. Rather than a well hewn, stately cross, I believe Yeshua’s execution was a crossmember piece affixed to a tree trunk stripped of its branches. I believe the tree was an olive tree on the Mount of Olives. Anointing oil comes from squeezing and crushing olives. I believe the Messiah (the Anointed One) was crushed for our iniquities.
Thursday Afternoon, Noon to 3:00pm
And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, Luke 23:44
As I said before, there is much speculation about exactly where the place of the skull is, where Yeshua was crucified. I believe it was the Mount of Olives, the same place where the red heifer was taken and where the scapegoat of Yom Kippur was taken. One compelling piece of evidence that supports this location is the Roman Centurion’s testimony in Matthew 27. At the time of Yeshua’s death, an earthquake shook, tombs were opened, and the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. An ancient Jewish cemetery adorns the Mount of Olives, and along the Kidron Valley separating the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. The tombs are white stone boxes above ground with stone lids. A Gentile standing on the Mount of Olives, directly east of the Temple Mount, could easily see these tombs open (the lids being shaken off). A Gentile can only see through the open sanctuary doors with the veil torn if he is standing on the Mount of Olives. The darkness could not have been a solar eclipse. The moon is on the opposite side of the earth. More likely, very dark storm clouds gathered. During this time, Yeshua’s clothing was distributed by the casting of lots (a prophetic event necessary for every proper sacrifice). Yeshua, Himself also made a very profound statement tied to the Passover. He said, “It is fulfilled.”
Finally, Yeshua died. The soldier took a spear and pierced His side. John records for us that he saw the water and the blood come forth. Not only is this physical evidence of His death, but it was also the fulfillment of the water ceremony from the temple service at the Feast of Tabernacles. This symbolized that the blood of redemption was poured out with the waters of salvation. It also spoke of God’s additional gift of His Outpouring Spirit. Further, Yeshua’s legs were not broken, a normal part of crucifixion. Moses had instructed that the Passover Lamb was to have no broken bones. This is why an unbroken shank bone is placed on the seder platter. It is called the Zarowa. The proper observance of Passover to this day requires the Zarowa to be present.
While Yeshua was dying on the cross within view of our Father sitting on the mercy seat, the priests in the temple were presenting the Passover sacrifice on the altar. It was normally presented at 3:00 pm, the same time that Yeshua died. This is why the Father tore His outer garment (the veil). It is the passionate expression of grief at the loss of someone loved.
Thursday Afternoon, 14 Nisan/Passover, shortly after 3:00pm
And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Yeshua. And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 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. Luke 23:50-55
Actually, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus assisted in removing Yeshua’s body and placing Him in the tomb. This is noteworthy. Although they had disagreed with the proceedings, both of these men were members of the 14-member council that had condemned Yeshua. Moses had instructed that the chief priests were to officiate the ceremonial sacrifices. In accordance with the altar service requirement, only members of the council were authorized to physically come into contact with the Lamb of God sacrifice. Therefore, from start to finish, the chief priests accurately officiated without knowing they were satisfying the Mosaic requirements to sacrifice the Lamb of God. They had properly presented and handled the Lamb of God sacrifice in both place and time.
Thursday Late Afternoon, 14 Nisan/Passover, approximately 6:00 pm
And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:56
Not only was there a High Sabbath for the Feast of Unleavened Bread about to begin, but the day following was a weekly Sabbath, therefore this rest and waiting period was for two Sabbaths.
Thursday Evening, 15 Nisan, the First High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, about 7:00 pm His disciples did not understand Yeshua’s teaching about His resurrection, but the chief priests feared its implications. They also had heard of Yeshua resurrecting Lazarus from the dead. So, they compelled Pilate to post a Roman guard at the tomb where Yeshua’s body lay. They feared that disciples would steal His body and then falsely say that He had been resurrected.
Friday, 15 Nisan, the First High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread
Everyone rested. The disciples were hiding in fear of arrest. Yeshua’s body was in the grave.
Sabbath day, 16 Nisan
Everyone is still resting. The disciples are still hiding in fear of arrest. Yeshua’s body continues in the grave.
The Lamb is Resurrected
Sunday Morning, 17 Nisan, about 6:00 am (the third day of Unleavened Bread) (The Feast of First Fruits) [The first day after the first weekly Sabbath, after the Passover]
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Yeshua. Luke 24:1-3
The angels greeted the women and told them what had happened.
He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Luke 24:6-9
What is fascinating about this moment was more than the disciples learning of Yeshua’s resurrection. It was what was happening in the temple. On the Feast of First Fruits, the priests wave green barley sheaves before the LORD thanking Him for the resurrection of life. Why the barley sheaves? They had been seeds that had died, been buried, and because of the waters of “salvation” had now been raised in newness of life. This was happening at the same time the angels were explaining to them what had happened to Yeshua.
Sunday Morning, 17 Nisan, about 8:00 am (the Feast of First Fruits)
The Gospels record for us how the disciples, particularly John and Peter, came and found the linen cloth left behind in the tomb. Remember, these are the same men who prepared the lamb for the seder meal earlier. These are the same men who prepared the Afikoman bread and the linen cloth for it. They may have been the same men to retrieve the Afikoman at the seder meal, playing the game. The game is played every Passover seder. After the supper, the Afikoman is to be brought back to the table to be eaten as the dessert for the seder. However, the Afikoman is missing and only the linen cloth is found. It is a little “hide and seek” game always played. However, at the tomb of Yeshua, it was more than a game. It was His resurrection. All they found was the linen cloth.
Sunday Morning, 17 Nisan, about Noon (the Feast of First Fruits)
Apparently two of the disciples were traveling to an adjoining city near Jerusalem. Yeshua walked with them, although His identity was hidden from them. He explained the reason for the resurrection as prophesied by Moses and the Prophets, only revealing Himself to them as He broke and blessed the bread when they shared a meal with Him. Remember, this is now the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This was not just any normal bread. It was the same bread Yeshua had broken before at the Passover and had taught that it was about Him.
Sunday Late Afternoon, 17 Nisan, about 6:00 pm (the third day of Unleavened Bread – the third day after Passover) (The Feast of First Fruits)
Finally, Yeshua appeared suddenly in the same room with the disciples. I can only imagine how the disciples must have felt! They were experiencing fear for their own lives mixed with the joy of seeing Yeshua, further mixed with the awe of realizing His resurrection. Their emotions must have been stretched in every direction. That is why the entire story is best described as a Passion.
Counting the Days
Yeshua was in the grave on Passover Day-14 Nisan, the night of 15 Nisan, the day of 15 Nisan, the night of 16 Nisan, the day of 16 Nisan, the Night of 17 Nisan, and seen on the day of 17 Nisan. Yeshua’s words were correct, like Jonah, He was in the grave of the earth for three days and three nights. This is the Passion of the Passover.
Monte W. Judah