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   The land of Israel (Palestine region) was already occupied and controlled by the Romans even before the birth of the Messiah. According to the Scriptures, the Jewish people were expecting a Savior, a King like Solomon to come and free them from the hand of their oppressors and rulers. Even though the people from the east recognised the event of the Messiah’s birth, none of the people in Israel realized that the Messiah was born among them except for few shepherds. According to the command of Yahweh (Lev. 12:6), Mary and Joseph brought the infant to the temple to present their firstborn Son before Yahweh. At that time two more people recognised that the Messiah was present among them – the two elderly individuals, Simeon and a widow named Anna (Luke 2:25 & 36), but who would listen to them?

Very Few Believed!
   When Yahshua started preaching the good news of the coming Kingdom of Yahweh, He showed many miracles and provided healing to the people. However, there was much doubt among the people and His disciples, whether He was indeed the true Messiah or not. Even the people who saw the miracles and received healing did not believe that he was the Messiah, instead they asked for more signs from Him (John 6:30). Above this, the scribes and the Pharisees were also demanding a sign from Him so that if He cOULD show them an instant sign they would believe, or else they would destroy Him (Matthew 12:38). At the end they all cried with one voice to kill the Messiah (the Innocent One) and to release the criminal Barabbas.

The Sign
   Yahshua provided a sign for the people living at His time as well as for the people who are now, that He is the Messiah they were looking for. It was not an instant sign, rather He prophesied His death and resurrection in a 3 full day (72 hr period) time frame. The Messiah Yahshua gave one more sign, “For as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation” Luke 11:30. It is a comparable event which happened to Jonah when he was sent to preach the destruction of Nineveh. At first, he did not obey the voice of the Almighty, but went his own journey. As the boat was troubled by the raging sea, the passengers cast lots to find who was responsible,and the lot fell on Jonah. He was thrown out of the boat and was swallowed up by a great fish. The Scripture says, Jonah spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish (Jonah 1:17).
   Jonah was the sign to Nineveh, what was that sign? He was vomited out by the fish, after 3 days and 3 nights inside its stomach. Covered with darkness, without food and water, unable to see outside world. Jonah’s body did not suffer decay in the belly of the fish. Jonah might have shared this experience to the Ninevites, how Yahweh delivered him from death. So, the people in Nineveh believed his preaching and acted based on Jonah’s single line proclamation, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown." (Jonah 3:4)

Scriptural Proofs
   There are 15 Scriptures I was able to find regarding this. All point out that the Messiah died and was buried 3 days and 3 nights and resurrected at the end of that period. None support a Friday death and Sunday resurrection.

   1. Matthew 12:40: as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a fish, so the Son of Man will be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.
   2. Matthew 16:21: From that time forth began Yahshua to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
   3. Matthew 17:22-23: Yahshua said unto them, “The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill Him, and the third day He shall be raised again.”
   4. Matthew 20:18-19: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to impale Him: and the third day he shall rise again.
   5. Matthew 27:63-64: Saying, “Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.”
   6. Mark 8:31: And He began to teach them, that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
   7. Mark 9:31: For He taught His disciples, and said unto them, “The Son of Man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day.
   8. Mark 10:33-34: Saying, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again.”
   9. Luke 9:22: Saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
   10. Luke 18:33: And they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again.
   11. Luke 24:7: Saying, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be impaled, and the third day rise again.”
   12. Luke 24:21: But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
   13. Luke 24:46: And said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.”
   14. Acts 10:40: Him Yahweh raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly.
   15. 1 Corinthians 15:4: And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

Timing of These Events
   As you may know, according to the Creator of the universe, a day begins at evening and ends at the following sunset which is a 24-hour period. The account of the creation of the days can be read in Genesis chapter 1 (but man invented different ways to determine when a day begins and ends).
   We know from the Scriptures that the Messiah was resurrected at the end of Sabbath (Saturday), which leads to the beginning of the 1st day of the week. He appeared first to Miriam at the beginning of the 1st day of the week which is after the sunset of the 7th day (Sabbath). Counting 3 days and 3 nights backward from the end of the Sabbath reaches to Wednesday (not Friday). So, the Messiah died on a Wednesday afternoon around 3:00pm and His body was laid in the tomb just before the sunset.
   According to Luke’s account, Yahshua’s body was placed in the tomb on the “Preparation day, and the Sabbath was approaching” (Luke 23:54). Those who don’t know which Sabbath is mentioned here would normally think it is the weekly Sabbath (Saturday), hence the ‘Preparation day’ mentioned is naturally Friday. But that’s not the case here, the ‘Preparation day’ is the day prior to the first day of the ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread’ when all preparations were to be completed before the High Sabbath.
   When one reads and compares Leviticus 23:7 and John 19:31 this same Sabbath is mentioned as a ‘High day,’ which is the 1st day of the Unleavened Bread (i.e., an annual Sabbath, of which there are seven each year), in which people are assembled before Yahweh and refrained from doing their regular work. The weekly Sabbaths are not described as being High days. Before the High day begins, the people were to make ready all their preparations so that they could rest from their work on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, there were two Sabbaths (days to cease from regular work) occurred in the same week when the Messiah was impaled:

      (1) High Sabbath (1st day of Unleavened Bread, on 5th day of Messiah’s passion week) and
      (2) weekly Sabbath (the 7th day of that week).

Diagram below depicts the events in sequence.

   There is no command in the Bible to celebrate Good Friday or Easter as a memorial to the death and resurrection of the Messiah. However, Messiah specifically commanded to remember His sufferings, which He suffered and died for ours sins and for the world. It was a specific night which Apostle Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 11:23 That the Master Yahshua the same night in which He was betrayed took bread. Note the emphasis on “the same night,” it was the Passover evening.
   This was the same night when the first born of the Egyptians were killed by the Angel of Yahweh, and those who had the blood of the lamb on their door posts were protected. If the Israelites were not keeping that night according to the command, or if they were observing it another night their firstborns would have been killed together with the Egyptians. This night falls on the 14th day of the 1st month according to Yahweh’s calendar. Exodus 12:5-8 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. In the same manner the Messiah commanded us to remember His death on the same night in which He suffered.
   Now we don’t need to kill a lamb again on the same night, because Yahshua was that Lamb who was sacrificed once for all. He gave us the command to remember that specific day on which He suffered and died for our sins, that is the 14th day of the 1st month, the Passover day.

What do you believe?
   If you don’t believe that Messiah died, and was resurrected after 3 days and 3 nights, then you don't believe His message either, which is Yahshua the Messiah and the coming King. Even now people don’t believe the sign which Messiah provided; hence, they celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday in remembrance of the death and resurrection of the Savior, which is only 1 day and 2 nights!

-Brother Mathew John (Australia)

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