“On the third day…”

“On the third day…”

Some guys on the Boston-Online blog aggregator were discussing Easter and were a little lost on something.

Me: So, Christians celebrate the anniversary of the day he died as Good Friday, and the anniversary of when he rose from the dead is Easter.
My boy: Isn’t Sunday only two days after Friday?
Me: Yes.
My boy: But you said it took him three days to come back alive.
Me: You’re right, but no amount of questioning on my part ever got a straight answer out of my teachers at school.

They make it sound as if it’s just another one of those things that Christians chalk up to “mystery,” but is really “irrational” religion.

Here’s the scoop, and it’s so obvious I’m embarrassed to be pointing out to people who come to this blog and likely already know this:
“On the third day he rose from the dead…”
He died on Friday. Friday is the first day, Saturday is the second day, Sunday is the third day. Not a very difficult theological concept. More of a math/perception problem. But then again, critical thinking is obviously not a valued skill in society anymore,  I guess.

  • The day of the week that Jesus was crucified does deserve some discussion. In John’s Gospel, Jesus was being crucified as the lambs were being slaughtered in the temple. But if that’s true then the Passover meal had not yet been eaten, so what was it Jesus was doing at the Last Supper?

    Scott Hahn has done a good study called “The Fourth Cup” which was in “This Rock” years ago. I think it’s in his book “Supper of the Lamb.” It boils down to the fact that, as you say, two different groups of Jews had different dates for the start of Passover (like Catholics and Orthodox have different dates for holy days). For some, like Jesus apparently, the Passover supper was eaten on Thursday, and for others it was eaten on Friday.

    But that doesn’t really impact the counting of the days. Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday.