Lie — Jesus died on Friday and rose on Sunday

The Story

Jesus was executed on Good Friday, was put into a tomb shortly before sunset. He arose from the dead and emerged from the tomb at sunrise on Easter Sunday.

Historical Facts

The Bible measures days from sunset to sunset. Thus each weekly Sabbath begins at sunset on what we now call Friday, and ends at sunset on what we now call Saturday.

Passover is a biblical holiday commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. The 15th day of Nisan is a high holiday, treated as a sabbath day of rest and worship.

This is followed by a week of unleavened bread, during which yeast is forbidden.

The 14th is known as "the Preparation", as that is when homes are cleaned of all yeast products and meals for the following day are prepared. It is also the day on which lambs are slaughtered in preparation for that evening's Passover meal.

On the first Sunday following Passover, priests offered the first-fruits of the Spring harvest to Heaven.

The Bible

For more details, refer to a table comparing all relevant verses from the four Gospels.

Briefly, this is what happened:

God's people honour the fourth commandment and rest on sabbath days, which begin and end at sunset. It was urgent that the three executed men die and be buried before sunset, lest their bodies remain hanging for another 36 hours. Joseph of Arimathea was able to get permission to move Jesus to a nearby tomb which was sealed shortly before sunset.

There wasn't time to buy spices that day, so as Mark says, they bought spices after the sabbath. But Luke says they prepared spices and then rested on the sabbath. Some people like to point to Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:56 as contradicting each other. Those that believe the Bible is God's inspired word know that this isn't possible; apparent contradictions are usually the result of a misunderstanding on the part of the reader.

In this case the misunderstanding is clarified by John 19:31, which says that sabbath was an high day. Jesus died on the preparation day; the preparation being for the first day of Passover, which is a sabbath day regardless of the day of the week it actually falls on.

Combining this information shows that between Jesus's death and resurrection, there was a high sabbath, a work day, and a weekly sabbath. Matthew 28:1 is usually translated as In the end of the sabbath ..., but some literal translations render this as After the sabbaths ..., with sabbath being plural, to match the original Greek.

We know that the tomb was empty before sunrise on the first day of the week (Sunday), that the preceding day was a weekly sabbath (Saturday), that the spices were bought and prepared before that (Friday), and that the Passover sabbath was the day before that (Thursday). So the Crucifixion itself must have been just before sunset on Wednesday, not Friday as is traditionally taught. Similarly, three days and three nights later, the Resurrection must have been just before sunset on Saturday, not on Sunday morning.

As added confirmation, consider Jesus's response when asked for a sign that he was the Christ in Luke 11:29 and Matthew 12:39-40: ... 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. This was referring to Jonah 1:17: ... And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Anyone following the traditions of men rather than the commandments of God by thinking that the Crucifixion was on Good Friday, or that the Resurrection was on Easter Sunday, is denying the one proof of being the Christ that Jesus offered.


From the beginning of time there have been legends of resurrected gods, Adonis, Tamuz, Osiris, et al., whose stories became conflated with one another. Often these resurrections are associated with the moon, which is seen as being dark or hidden for two nights each month. As their myths became incorporated into Roman Christianity, it would be natural to assume that Jesus had been in the tomb for two nights.

It's even possible that some people promoted the idea that Jesus failed to meet his own prediction, thereby proving that he was not the promised messiah.