Jesus and the Passover

by Alan Feaster

"for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40).

Jesus, we know without a doubt was in the grave for three days, it was prophesied many times. When we say three days, we do not mean a full 72 hours because the Bible states Jesus being raised not after the third day but on the third day, "God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible" (Acts 10:40).

"Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.... Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons" (Mark 16:2, 9).

In the religious world we tend to hear Jesus was crucified Friday. This poses a problem it goes against prophecy in the Bible of three days and nights. When we find an error in the Bible it is because we are in error not God. If we simply count three days and nights starting from when Jesus rose on the third day (early in the morning just after the starting of sunrise), it would put Jesus being crucified and put in the tomb late on Thursday just before the Jewish Friday (sunset).

Most people believe Jesus ate the Passover meal on the Passover. Yet we are told he ate the Passover on the Day of Preparation. Passover lamb was sacrificed at twilight on the 14th (Exodus 12:2-6; John 19:14,31,42), the reason for this is Jesus was our Passover lamb, so He had to be sacrificed on the Day of Preparation be made ready for the Passover, "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed" (I Corinthians 6:7). It is claimed that people were embalmed but there is no indication this was a regular practice and that every person who was put into the grave was embalmed.  Jesus was only wrapped up linen packed with spices because the Passover drew near (John 19:38–42; Exodus 12:9).

Special Sabbaths mentioned in the Bible

Special Sabbaths do not necessarily fall on a Saturday.

Words used for Sabbath:

High/Great Day, Holy Convocation, phrases that identify a sabbath day include, "not do any work, not do any laborious work, complete rest to you, solemn rest for you".

Examples of Sabbaths mentioned from Leviticus 23.

Note: some versions change the word to rest look up (Strong's H7677).
Sabbath should be translated as, "to cease, desist, rest",

Sabbath Day (Leviticus 23:3)
Start Date: Every 7th Day

Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:4-8)
Start Date: Passover - first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, Feast of Unleavened Bread - fifteenth day of the same month

Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29-31, 23:27-32)
Start Date: seventh month, on the tenth day of the month

Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24-25)
Start Date: In the seventh month on the first of the month

Feasts of Booths – Two Sabbaths on the 1st day and on the 8th day. (Leviticus 23:39-42)
Start Date: fifteenth day of the seventh month

Day of Pentecost (fiftieth)/The Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:21) 50 days counted from the first day after the Saturday Sabbath, ends up being on Sunday always Start Date: Must have Seven complete Saturday Sabbaths then the next day is Pentecost

Sabbath for the Land – One full year (Leviticus 25:2-4)
Start Date: Every Seven Years

Sabbath for Christians - Heaven (Hebrews 4:1-9). People tend to refer to Sunday as sabbath but for Christians it is when we die or the Lord returns.

Colossians 2:16 – NKJV has sabbaths (in the Greek it is plural) most Bibles have foot note that say "(or sabbaths)." Interestingly enough in Matthews 28:1 it is the same Greek plural usage of the word.