Good Thursday? Easter Zombies?

Jesus appeared alive on Sunday, “three days and three nights” after being crucified. That much is clear from Matthew. I don’t see anywhere what day of the week he was crucified on, although some events leading up to the crucifixion take place on specific days relating to Passover. How did we get the idea that Friday was three days and three nights from Sunday?

I also noticed a passage (Matthew 28: 51-53) that says, during the resurrection, tombs are opened and other holy people “leave the cemetery” and appear to loved ones all over Jerusalem. It’s not clear if these are zombies or ghosts, or whatever you call the JC move where your body disappears and you appear as some sort of spirit. I was actually kind of surprised this event didn’t get bigger play in any of the passion plays I’ve seen over the years. Does Christian theology just ignore it, or is there an interpretation?

It doesn’t say “three days and three nights”, it says “on the third day”. Friday (when he died) was the first day, Saturday was the second, and Sunday (when he rose) was the third day.

Adding to Chronos’s answer.

The Romans (among many others) used inclusive counting. So you have be careful in reading old texts. One remnant of this still in use is an octave (oct=8) is said to have 8 notes when it’s actually 7.

Actually Jesus did say in Matthew 12:40" “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.”

So some think the crucifixion may have been on Thursday. With some people interpreting John’s Passover/Sabbath comments in particular that way.

It quickly gets into arcane arguments. No actual definitive resolution is possible.

I understand that different translations of the Bible say things in different ways, but the copy of the Gospel of Matthew I have in front of me not only doesn’t say anything about holy people leaving the cemetary, but Chapter 28 doesn’t even have 51 verses (only 20). Nor do I see a story like that in the Gospels of Mark, Luke or John in the edtion I have. Again, I understand that different translations may be – um – different.

Nor do I see the phrase “three days and three nights.” I do see “three days.” Matthew 27:62, referring to the day after the crucifixion, says “The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation…” Mark 15:42 notes that the day of the crucifixion “it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath.” Luke 22:54 says “It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.” John 19:31 begins “Since it was the day of Preparation…”

Since the Gospels agree that the resurrection was on the first day of the week the conclusion is that Jesus was crucified died and buried on a Friday, which counts as the first day, then Saturday (the sabbath) as the second day, and rose from the dead on Sunday (the first day of the week), aka the “third day.”

I heard some quite famous preacher claiming that “on the first day of the week” was really “on the first day of the weeks”, actually meaning “on the first day of [the feast of] week[s]” - which he claimed was in fact three days and nights after the crucifixion.

No idea if that argument bears any weight. Anyone?

Sorry, it was Matthew 27: 52-53 not Chap 28. My paraphrased Bible says (52) and tombs opened, and many godly men and women who had died came back to life again. (53) After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the cemetery and went into Jerusalem, and appeared to many people there. here are some parallel translations: Apparently only Matthew recorded this amazing event.

I was going by Matthew 12: 40 on the “three days and three nights”. I have now read the explanation of why he had to have been crucified on Friday afternoon, and the various arguments about the Jewish “part of a day” thing and how the Jews used “three days and three nights” as an idiomatic phrase that wouldn’t necessarily mean 72 hours. But in this case it appears to be well under 48 hours, from just before sundown Friday to before or after sunup* on Sunday. Regardless of what the Scripture says and what it means, why do WE still say the third day? If I was talking to someone Friday afternoon, Saturday afternoon would be “tomorrow,” Sunday would be “the next day” and Monday would be “the third day.”

*Exactly when seems contradictory as well: John 20:1 “…Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark." Mark 16:1-4: “… they came to the tomb when the sun had risen."

Note that there might have been two Sabbaths involved. One was a regular weekly Sabbath and the other a one or two day Sabbath for Passover. The synoptic gospels seem to imply that Passover fell on a regular Sabbath so there was only one day of Preperation. Meanwhile some people (certainly not all) think that John implies there were different Sabbaths and can conclude the crucifixion took place on a Thursday (or conceivably Wednesday). Start reading from the link I gave earlier.

It is not cut and dried to all.

Ever left someplace at one time, and arrived another place at another time? “Went” and “came” are different words.

The Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot - literally “weeks” - takes place 49 days (7 weeks, natch) after Passover. You preacher obviously had his sources confused.

Fair enough, although “went” is less specific than “left” or “depart”. I think if conflicting passages did not exist, a reasonable person would assume the writer meant that they arrived at the tomb before dawn. Why include the time of departure when the matter at hand is the time of arrival?

different authors, different styles. John might have wanted to emphasise that Mary left as early as possible, while it was still dark, to highlight her devotion to Jesus, while Mark may have wanted to emphasise the arrival at the empty tomb.

If by “JC” you mean Jesus, this is incorrect. His body rose again and He was not a spirit only.