Christ dead for 3 days and 3 nights


My Protestant mother-in-law keeps posting all these things on Facebook about how Jesus couldn’t have been crucified on a Friday and then rise on Sunday because that isn’t 3 full days and nights, like scripture says. She claims Christ died on Wednesday, April 14 and then rose again on Sunday April 17. Any thoughts on any of this?


I have heard that the use of the term ‘3 days and 3 nights’ was never meant to be a literal period of 72 hours. I have heard it is a Jewish idiom expressing time, and also that Jewish people started their day in the evening, not at midnight

Therefore Christ died on a Friday afternoon and was buried. This was the first “day and night” (which had started on the previous Thursday night) but was still a 'day and night" combined in the Jewish understanding of what a day encompassed, even though it was only maybe a short time --remember, they had to rush to bury Him BEFORE the Sabbath which started FRIDAY NIGHT). He then laid in the tomb Friday night and Saturday day (the second day and night), and then Saturday night and rose Sunday morning (the third day and night).


Agreed. Christ said he would rise in three days NOT three days and NIGHTS.


First off, Jesus only said three days. No mention of nights. Also, in Ancient Israel, a day would be counted even if it was only part of the day. So something that started on a Friday afternoon, went all day Saturday, and ending early Sunday morning (cough cough) would count as 3 days, because it included parts of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


I am no math person so can somebody please explain why Wednesday makes it three days?

  1. Friday
  2. Saturday
  3. Sunday

Three days!!!

  1. Wednesday
  2. Thursday
  3. Friday
  4. Saturday
  5. Sunday???

Five days???

I have heard about the Wednesday crucifixion theory but I don’t understand why Wednesday makes it three days???


That’s right. The Jewish way of reckoning hours in a day is from sunrise to sunset (6am to 6pm, approximately). Jesus was dead by 3pm on Friday (day one), and in the tomb throughout the Sabbath day (day two) and lastly rose by sunrise of the first day of the week, Sunday (day three). In fact, this principle has been adopted by the Church too, which is why a Saturday vigil Mass counts as a Sunday Mass (as the vigil is technically part of the same day as Sunday).


He said he would rise ON the third day, not after 3 full days…he died Friday (day 1), Saturday was day 2, he rose on Sunday (day 3).


The only thing I can ever remember reading is “on the third day”, not “three days later”. I’ve never really thought about the length of time in depth before.


A lot of Fundamentalist types like to dispute the Good Friday tradition because they feel that if they disprove that “tradition of men,” they score a victory against the whole Catholic faith. A Wednesday crucifixion is untenable for a number of reasons. Chief of these, Christ rose on the third day (Luke 24), his disciples could not have called Sunday “the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24), and the Jews would not have asked to have the tomb guarded only until the third day (Matthew 27) if Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. Then Sunday could not be called “the third day” by any system of reckoning. Unless someone thinks that Matthew is so stupid that he left such a huge contradiction in his Gospel, it is most reasonable to assume that the phrase “three days and three nights” is supposed to be taken as a figure of speech.




I think 105lynne meant this verse in Matthew 12:40:

“For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”

This does not say Christ would rise in three days. But what it says is that Christ would be dead for three days and three nights.


Although I think we’re all missing the single best evidence we have for a Friday Crucifixion.

“And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath” (Mk 15:42, although it’s either mentioned or implied in all 4 Gospels)


Yes, IF by “the sabbath” Mark meant the weekly Sabbath. But the Jews also have annual Sabbaths and they are called Sabbaths just the same.

The day following the Passover is a Sabbath.

“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 shall eat unleavened bread. In the first day (the fifteenth) ye shall have an holy convocation (a Sabbath): ye shall do no servile work therein” (Lev. 23:5-7).

The Passover is “the day of Preparation” of the feast day, the fifteenth, an annual Sabbath.


THANK YOU! :thumbsup:


This line of argument is insupportable because the Gospels clearly relate that Christ was crucified on the 15th of the month. The day that is calls the “sabbath” has to refer to the 16th. Even if “sabbath” could signify the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day following the Crucifixion could not be that day, because he was crucified that day.

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?


Yes, that’s the exact thing my mother-in-law used as an example.


Christ was crucified on Passover day, the fourteenth. He could not have been killed on any other day because Christ is our Passover, sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:7).

“Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?” (Matt. 26:17).

The festival of unleavened bread, as Leviticus shows, is preceded by Passover (the 14th), then the seven days of unleavened bread. However, since leaven was put out of the houses starting on the 14th, the Passover came to be called one of the days of unleavened bread by NT times, but when this is the case 8 days are included in the term “feast of unleavened bread.”

So, what Matthew meant by “the first day of the feast…” was actually the fourteenth or Passover day, not the fifteenth. They ate the Passover meal on the evening of the fourteenth (Matt. 26:20). This was the start of the fourteenth day (their days start and end at even). During that same day, in the afternoon, Jesus was crucified (still the 14th).

Notice that the Gospels also record the Jews as saying, “Not on the feast day” (Mat 26:5; Mark 14:2). The feast day was the annual Sabbath of the 15th, the day after the Passover. Jesus was not killed that day of the feast, but the day before.


here is an exhaustive explanation for you to post on your FB page, and share with your Mom-in-law…:slight_smile:


Thank you!


John’s account of the crucifixion shows that the Sabbath following the crucifixion was an annual Sabbath:

“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day” - but what sabbath day was this? - “(for that sabbath day was an high day)…” (John 19:31).

Ask any Jew what a high day Sabbath is. He will tell you it’s one of those annual Sabbaths commanded to be observed as a feast day.

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