All over the world Christians and Catholics observe Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday.
The Catholic church teaches that Jesus went to the cross on a Friday and rose from the grave on a Sunday morning. It sounds right, and mostly everyone across the board accepts those days and that chronology. Only one problem! It's completely wrong according to the biblical account of what happened. This teaching is based on 1 Corinthians 15:4 which says this:
"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" 1 Corinthians 15:4 (KJV)
They count Friday as one day, Saturday as the second day and Sunday as the third day - 3 days. It's not 3 days, it's barely a day and a half according to the Bible.
Jesus did not rise on Sunday morning, the bible says that he already "was risen" by the time Sunday sunrise arrived. Read it for yourself:
"Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils." Mark 16:9 (KJV)
"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." - Matthew 28:1,6 (KJV)
In all the gospel accounts, Jesus is already risen on Sunday morning. So if the Roman Catholic timeline is followed, you would have at the most 30 hours of elapsed time. Not even close enough to the "3 days and 3 nights" that Jesus himself said would transpire.
"And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Gen 1:5). The bible says that God starts our day at sundown - 12 hours "evening" followed by 12 hours "morning." When we come back to this point in just a bit, you're going to have to look carefully at the chart above.
"For 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." Matthew 12:40 (KJV)
There you have it, the required time mandated by Jesus himself is 3 days, and 3 nights. Jesus was crucified on Wednesday morning, and taken down off the cross before Wednesday expired at sundown (6:00pm). To us Christians that's still Wednesday night, but on God's calendar, sundown (6:00pm) is already the next day - Thursday.
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might Sbe broken, and that they might be taken away." John 19:31.32 (KJV)
Now please note the phrase "that sabbath day was an high day". This is not the regular Saturday sabbath day, it is a special, high sabbath day. What was so special about this "high day"? It was the Passover! This Passover fell on the Thursday and was followed by the days of unleavened bread as found in Leviticus:
"In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein." Leviticus 23:5-7 (KJV)
According to the Old Testament, the "days of unleavened bread" came after the Passover. So in Acts 12:4, Luke rightly records it as being Easter and not the Passover which had already expired. Now, let's get back to those 3 days and 3 nights.
Remember now, in the week Jesus was crucified there are two sabbath days, not only one. You have the high Sabbath day on Thursday, which was the Passover. And you have the regular Sabbath day which fell on Saturday as they do each week at the end of the week. Mark records it this way:
"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun." Mark 16:1,2 (KJV)
When they brought the spices, it was not after the High Sabbath (i.e. Friday), it was after the last day of the week, the regular Sabbath day (i.e. Saturday). So as the two Marys coming to see the body and mourn at sunrise on Sunday Jesus was not "rising", but rather had already risen sometime before sunrise Sunday.
"And he saith unto 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 16:6 (KJV)
Let's review the timeline:
Jesus crucified on the cross (9:00am) Wednesday morning
Taken down off the cross before sundown
Buried for 3 days - Thursday, Friday and Saturday (see chart)
Passover - high Sabbath day on Thursday (see chart)
Buried for 3 nights - Thursday, Friday and Saturday (see chart)
Jesus rose from the grave before Sunday sunrise.
Now we have the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy to be "in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights".
The Roman Catholic 'Good Friday' timeline is short by nearly two full days, because they fail to see the two Sabbath days that occurred. They only see the one on Saturday. They also fail to understand the Jewish calendar and how their days are set up according to Genesis 1:5. When you realize that at 6:00pm the current day ends and the new one starts, that changes just about everything.
So, why do we Christians celebrate Easter and not Passover? The 1st Roman Catholic Council of Nicaea in AD 325 decided that for the Christians, Easter would be independent from the Jewish calendar and called for worldwide uniformity to a "new" date. Easter as we know it is now "officially" celebrated on the 1st Sunday following the new moon after the the March Equinox. This is not in the bible!
When man changed God's time and calendar, it opened the door for error to creep in; "Good Friday" is a myth and Easter is actually a pagan festival.
Adapted from Now The End Begins