Easter, the sabbath and Resurrection Sunday?
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23
“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the leapers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.” – Matthew 11:5-6
“But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line: here a little, and there a little ; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” – Isaiah 28:13.
What does it mean to “keep” the sabbath day and what is the purpose of the Holy Days in regards to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Christ Jesus?
From the 10 Commandments:
“Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” - Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Regarding His death, burial and resurrection:
“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three DAYS and three NIGHTS.”
“But He answered and said unto them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall be no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas (Jonah): For as Jonah 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.” – Matthew 12:39-45, 16:1-12, Luke 11:29-32
“Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” - John 2:19
This is how GOD determines a day:
“And the evening and the morning were the first day... And the evening and the morning were the second day…” - Genesis 1
A day on God’s calendar is from sundown to sundown. The first day of the week is Sunday – but, unlike our way of marking the beginning of Sunday at midnight, God’s Sunday starts at sundown on Saturday, and ends at sundown on Sunday…likewise, Monday would start at sundown on Sunday, and end at sundown on Monday.
This is crucial in understanding the TRUE times of Jesus’ burial and resurrection according to Scripture.
33 A.D. - “Now from the SIXTH HOUR there came darkness over all the land unto the NINTH HOUR. And about the NINTH HOUR Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’…Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” – Matthew 27:45-46, Mark 15:33-37, Luke 23:44-56
The sixth hour was equivalent to NOON…the ninth hour was about 3 PM…late afternoon.
Reading further starting in verse 57, “When the even was come (the time between the NINTH hour – or late afternoon, to just before sunset) there came a rich man…and begged the body of Jesus…laid it (Jesus’ body) is his own new tomb…he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.” He did this hurriedly for two reasons: first, he could not be “unclean” having touched a dead body once the Passover started or he would have not been unable to perform the Passover (Numbers 9:6); secondly, he had to be IN HIS HOUSE according to the Law of Moses and the blood of a lamb sprinkled on the door BEFORE the Passover commenced! Exodus 12:6-12
Here is how the Passover was to be performed in Exodus 12, verse 3… “In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb…Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year...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 (at sunset). And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper post of the houses…And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will PASS OVER you. Picking up in verses 22 “…and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until morning.”
Without doubt, this man would have been in a hurry to bury Jesus for fear of death! Most importantly, it points to two specific times: what day Jesus died, and the time He was placed in the tomb.
And in verse 62, “Now the next day, that followed the Day of Preparation (See Diagram #1), the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, ‘Sir, we remembered that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again’. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure…’.”
Now, what does Scripture say regarding the resurrection?
“And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and the deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews; who himself also waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus…”
Again, scripture tells us exactly which day Jesus died and was buried on…not only once, but twice:
“And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was THE PREPARATION (from sundown on Tuesday the 13th, through sundown on Wednesday the 14th), and the sabbath drew on…”
The “sabbath” here is the Passover, a day of “holy convocation” in which one “does no work” (Leviticus 23:6-11). We will also note that the Passover always starts in the evening (at sunset) on the eve of the 14th of Nissan / dawn of the 15th of Nissan. No exceptions.
Again, this is very important because it not only proves which day of the week Jesus was placed in the grave, but what day He rose from it as well.
“And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and ointments; and RESTED THE SABBATH DAY (Passover) according to the commandment.”
Three things: Firstly, the women had followed Joseph on the Day of Preparation to see where Our Lord would be laid, and like Joseph, they too had to return home in order to be spared during the Passover. Secondly, the next day was the Passover in which one could “do no work”. The Passover ended at SUNSET on Thursday (See Diagram #1). Thirdly, the Feast of First Fruits just so happened to fall on the weekly Sabbath that year…again, “do no work”. This left only one day (Friday) for the women to have prepared the spices.
“Now upon the first day of the week (Sunday), very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they prepared, and certain others with them. AND THEY FOUND THE STONE ROLLED AWAY FROM THE SEPULCHRE. And they entered in and FOUND NOT the body of the Lord Jesus.” – Luke 23:50-24:3
“In the end of the Sabbath (weekly Sabbath / First Fruits which ended at sunset on Saturday), as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week (Sunday), came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” – Matthew 28:1
“And when the Sabbath (weekly Sabbath / First Fruits) was past (sometime after sundown on Saturday) Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week (Sunday), they came to the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who will roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith to them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him.” – Mark 16:1-8
“The first day of the week (Sunday) cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeing the stone taken away from the sepulcher…they have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him.” – John 20:1
Going back to Matthew 28:1…it was then that the angel of the Lord told the women that He had risen…as in, had already risen.
Here is how our Lord was in the grave:
He was crucified and died before sunset on Wednesday day – on the Day of Preparation. He was placed in the tomb just before start of Thursday night and just prior to the start of the Passover.
Thursday night starts at sundown on Wednesday…
Thursday night = one night
Thursday day = one day
Friday night starts at sundown on Thursday…
Friday night = two nights
Friday day = two days
Saturday night starts at sundown on Friday…
Saturday night = three nights
Saturday day = three days
He is resurrected on Saturday DAY just prior to sunset, and the onset of the first day of the week. Again, see Diagram #1. This is why Paul referred to Jesus as “Christ the Firstfruits” in 1 Corinthians 15:23. Had He risen on Sunday (a fourth day) the Feast of Firstfruits would have been over.
Again, He absolutely could not have still been in the grave when the sun went down on Saturday as it would have started a fourth day. Indisputable - as God Word is, Christ was resurrected on Saturday…the seventh day of the week…both keeping and sanctifying the Sabbath forever!!!
He simply was not resurrected on a Sunday “changing” the Sabbath of the LORD Our God from Saturday to Sunday – or any other day, for that matter! It’s a lie. Saturday was, and is still, the true Sabbath. It has always been, and will forever be, sanctified and set apart as far as God is concerned.
This is not being “pharasitical”. This is Truth. There are simply no such terms as “Good Friday”, “Easter Sunday” or “Resurrection Sunday” in the Word of God! They are lies of the enemy, yet we practice them like they are real because the Council of Nicea says they are real.
The word “Easter” is merely an English transliteration of the already specific Hebrew and similar Greek word “Pecach”. When spoken by pagan Herod, it is translated “Easter”, but when the same word in the Greek is spoken by Paul it is translated “Passover”.
Root word is H#6452 – pacach: “to hop, i.e. to skip over (or spare); by implication, to hesitate; also to limp, to dance – halt, become lame, leap, pass over.
H#6453 – Pecach: a pretermission, i.e. an exemption; used only technically of the Jewish Passover (the festival or the victim) – Passover (offering).
G#3957 – pascha: <comp H#6453>; the Passover (the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it), - Passover
I must ask myself: Why then, is the word “Easter” used?
So what exactly was on the mind and on the heart of JESUS before He went to the cross? What was His “dying wish” so-to-speak?
“I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God…This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.” – Luke 22:15-19
Observing the PASSOVER…
“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, UNWORTHILY, shall be GUILTY OF the BODY and BLOOD OF THE LORD...For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we SHOULD NOT BE CONDEMNED WITH THE WORLD” – 1 Corinthians 11:27, 31-32
Passover is NOT the same as “Easter”, nor is it the same as “taking communion”.
But more so “ they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common…And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes.” – Acts 2:42-46
Is this us? Are we really a devoted people? Do we attend the temple and break bread together daily, or are we too busy with work and every other preoccupation under the sun?
Jesus deserves much more reverence than we are bringing to Him with our careless words and man-made holidays. He comes to us…seeking us…earnestly desiring that we would remember Him…daily!
Don’t be fooled! None of His established Holy Days nor the Sabbath are merely “a thing of the past”, but are alive and beautiful and precious in the sight of the Lord. He created them for a purpose! Jesus didn’t come to destroy them…He came to fulfill them.
Will we continue to follow the word of the Council of Nicaea and celebrate “Easter” “on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox”, or will we chose to obey the Word of Our Lord Jesus Christ - communing with Him and each other daily in His death, burial and resurrection being mindful of what He did for us as our Passover Lamb and the Christ of the Firstfruits? Will we continue to “have church” on Sunday because we believe in the “Resurrection Sunday” lie? Have we exchanged the Truth for a lie? the true sabbath for the traditions of men???
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS shall worship the Father in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.” – John 4:23
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14
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