Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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March 19, 2018
Last Updated :
March 31, 2018
A Jewish Day Runs From Evening To Evening, Jesus Christ Was Crucified On The Afternoon Of Passover Or Nisan 14, Three Hours Of Darkness, Spiritual Forces Of Darkness, Joseph of Arimathaea And Jesus' Hasty Entombment, The Seven Jewish High Sabbaths And Annual Feasts, The Three Days And Three Nights In The Tomb Dilemma, Two Sabbaths And Not One, How Early Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?, Jesus Was Not Crucified On Good Friday, The Centuries Old Debate Regarding Date Of Christ's Crucifixion, Nisan 14 Is The Key Marker, Wednesday Afternoon Crucifixion, Prophet Jonah And Jesus, Breakdown Of Three Days Three Nights, Fifty Days Which Changed The World, My Theory Regarding John 20 And Acts 2, Closing Remarks, Reading List
Continuing our discussion from part one, please carefully note that while the night had passed, and it was now early morning, it was still the first day of the Passover feast -- or Nisan 14 -- because all Jewish days run from evening to evening, or sundown to sundown, just as occurs in the Book of Genesis. By the sixth hour -- or around noon -- of that same first day, Pontius Pilate had become exasperated with the Jews. Thus, he gave in to their demands, and Jesus was led away to be crucified. Only three hours later -- that is, by the ninth hour, or around three o'clock in the afternoon on Passover -- or Nisan 14 -- and only a few hours before the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin on Nisan 15, Jesus was already dead. All three of the synoptic Gospels inform us that there was darkness over the land during that three hour period, as we see here:
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."
Matthew 27:45-50, KJV
"And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost."
Mark 15:33-37, KJV
"And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
Luke 23:44-46, KJV
Regarding the darkness which covered the land during those three tragic hours, I am again reminded of what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke when He was apprehended by the temple guards, accompanied by the traitor Judas Iscariot:
"When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness."
Luke 22:53, KJV
As you may recall, in his Epistle to the Ephesian brethren, the Apostle Paul also wrote about the spiritual rulers of darkness who control this world, as we see by this verse:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Ephesians 6:12, KJV
So I am wondering if the physical darkness which covered the land of Israel on that sad day could possibly have been the result of a total solar eclipse, which itself was a physical manifestation of the spiritual darkness which was in control at that time.
To reiterate my previous point, based on my understanding of the previous groups of verses, Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world during the afternoon hours of the Passover feast on Nisan 14. The very next day -- Nisan 15 -- would begin the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. His tortured body was then taken down from the Cross, and given to Joseph of Arimathaea -- who was one of the Lord's secret Disciples -- who then hastily prepared Jesus' body for entombment, being as sundown was approaching, when the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. This day was actually a special high day called a High Sabbath, so there was not enough time for Jesus' body to be anointed in the proper manner, as was the Jewish custom.
There are actually seven annual High Sabbaths -- or "miqra" in Hebrew -- which correspond to the seven annual festivals which were mandated by God during the Old Testament era. In this article we have examined three of these festivals which include five of the High Sabbaths. These are the Passover, the Day of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. While the Passover itself is not considered a High Sabbath, as we learned in part one, the first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are both High Sabbaths, and this whole seven-day period is generally referred to as Passover Week, or the Passover Feast. Likewise, the first and eighth days of the Feast of Tabernacles are also High Sabbaths. The other remaining two are the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur, which is also known as the Day of Atonement, for a total of seven High Sabbaths divided amongst these annual festivals. Consider this list if you are a bit confused:
Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread - 2 High Sabbaths
Pentecost - 1 High Sabbath
Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot - 2 High Sabbaths
Feast of Trumpets - 1 High Sabbath
Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement - 1 High Sabbath
At any rate, because of the approach of the High Sabbath that same evening, while the women returned home to prepare the required sweet spices, they were not able to actually anoint Jesus' body with the spices until after the High Sabbath had passed. But is that when they discovered that Jesus had risen from the dead? Maybe not, as you will learn in a moment. For now, consider the following groups of verses:
"When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed."
Matthew 27:57-60, KJV
"And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. 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."
Mark 15:42-16:1, KJV
"And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 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, and the sabbath drew on. 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 according to the commandment."
Luke 23:50-56, KJV
"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 be broken, and that they might be taken away . . . And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid."
John 19:31, 38-41, KJV
Regarding the aforementioned events, in his 1832 "Commentary on the Bible", theologian Adam Clarke notes the following. It is partly based on his personal conjecture, but it does make some sense:
----- Begin Quote -----
"As the law of Moses had ordered that no criminal should continue hanging on a tree or gibbet till the setting of the sun, Joseph, fearing that the body of our Lord might be taken down, and thrown into the common grave with the two robbers, came and earnestly entreated Pilate to deliver it to him, that he might bury it in his own new tomb."
----- End Quote -----
Concerning the three days and three nights which Jesus spent in the tomb, where the confusion arises is in the fact that a lot of Christians don't realize that the Sabbath which is mentioned in the previous verses is a High Sabbath. Many of them assume that it is a regular weekly, seventh-day Sabbath -- or Saturday -- which it is not. That is why they assume that Jesus was crucified on Friday, or Good Friday, as a lot of Christians refer to it. That is why they cannot figure out how to get three full days and three full nights from Crucifixion to Resurrection. The simple fact is that the High Sabbaths did not always occur on the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, or Saturday. They could fall on other days of the week as well, which seems to be what happened in this case.
To clarify, the night which was approaching following Jesus' Crucifixion and Burial -- that is, Nisan 15, as the Passover, or Nisan 14, was ending -- was in fact a "miqra", or a High Sabbath. It was not a regular weekend, seventh-day Sabbath. It was the first High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which fell on Nisan 15, or one day after the Passover. Remember; both the first and the last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were High Sabbaths. To add more difficulty to this issue, it is possible that there were actually two Sabbaths between Jesus' Death and Resurrection -- one a High Sabbath and the other a regular Sabbath -- because we are told that He rose from the dead early the first day of the week, or Sunday. This clearly reveals that a weekly Sabbath must have passed as well.
The question then is this: Exactly how early did Jesus rise from the dead? The following group of verses offer us some very tantalizing clues:
"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. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 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 . . . 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 16:1-6, 9, KJV
"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had 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. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
Luke 24:1-7, KJV
Please notice that we are clearly told that the two Marys, along with "certain others with them", arrived at Jesus' tomb "very early in the morning . . . at the rising of the sun." Yet to their great surprise, Jesus was already risen from the dead. Let's assume that sunrise was around 6:00 AM that day. Mark also tells us that Jesus "was risen early the first day of the week." Well, how early is "early"? It is at this point that we must remember that each Jewish day actually begins the previous evening at sundown. Thus, we can conclude that Jesus must have risen from the dead somewhere between about 6:00 PM the previous evening, and 6:00 AM that same morning, and it would still be the first half of the first day of the week.
But is it possible for us to obtain an even narrower time frame for the Lord's Resurrection? Perhaps. Turning to the twenty-eight chapter of the Gospel of Matthew where these very same events are discussed, we find the following verses:
"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. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you."
Matthew 28:1-7, KJV
Here again we see the two Marys making their way to Jesus' resting place, just as sunrise is about to occur. However, Matthew adds a new factor to these amazing events: the earthquake. If we take his statements at face value, Matthew appears to be saying that the earthquake occurred as the two women were on their way to the sepulchre. Then, once the two Marys arrived there, they encountered the Angel. While it is possible that Matthew may simply be backtracking here so he can explain to us how it is that the women came upon the Angel, personally, I don't get that impression. It seems like one continuous event to me. In other words, the women are on their way to the burial site, the earthquake occurs, and then they encounter the Angel. They may have missed Jesus' actual resurrection by mere minutes.
So, if what I have stated is accurate, then it would appear that Jesus rose from the dead while it was still dark, but not long before the Sun arose that Sunday morning.
Aside from all of this, the other main point to consider here is that contrary to church traditions, Jesus was not crucified on Good Friday. This misguided belief is in fact an invention of organized religion. More specifically, it was invented by the Roman Catholic Church centuries ago. If you take the time to conduct your own online research, you will quickly discover that a debate has raged for literally centuries regarding not only in what precise year Jesus was crucified, but on what exact weekday as well. There are so many different opinions out there, that a person can quickly become overwhelmed from reading it all. Personally, I looked into some of it, but eventually, I just had to stop.
The main key marker to consider here is the date Nisan 14. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what year it was, since the time of the Old Testament, Passover always occurred, and still occurs, on Nisan 14. It did not matter what year it was, or on what day of the week Nisan 14 fell. That evening the Israelites partook of the Passover meal. We also know that Jesus was destined to die on that specific day -- Nisan 14 -- in order to fulfill prophecy. These are two unchanging facts.
It would be so very easy if we would just work backwards and establish on what specific weekday Nisan 14 occurred in the year 30 AD; that is, assuming that you personally accept that this is the year in which Jesus was crucified. But even that is difficult to do, and has resulted in debates due to issues related to the ancient and modern Hebrew calendars. However, despite the controversy, many scholars remain convinced that the Passover -- and thus Christ's Crucifixion -- occurred on a Wednesday in 30 AD. There are in fact some online Hebrew Calendar converters which do calculate that Nisan 14 occurred on a Wednesday in 30 AD, such as these ones, for example:
I also have an app on my iPhone called "Date Converter." It also says that in 30 AD, Nisan 14 fell on a Wednesday. Thus, the Crucifixion occurring on a Wednesay, Nisan 14, in 30 AD, would indeed allow Jesus to fulfill the prophecy regarding being in the sepulchre for a total period of three days and three nights, just as the Prophet Jonah was in the belly of the whale for the same period of time, as we see here:
The Crucifixion occurring on a Wednesay, Nisan 14, in 30 AD, would indeed allow Jesus to fulfill the prophecy regarding being in the sepulchre for a total period of three days and three nights, just as the Prophet Jonah was in the belly of the whale for the same period of time, as we see here:
"So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. 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. Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown."
Jonah 1:15-3:4, KJV
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 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. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here."
Matthew 12:39-41, KJV
"A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed."
Matthew 16:4, KJV
"And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here."
Luke 11:29-32, KJV
Following are some additional verses where we are told that Jesus would rise again after spending three days and three nights in the bowels of the Earth:
"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
Matthew 16:21, KJV
"And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry."
Matthew 17:22-23, KJV
"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again."
Matthew 20:18-19, KJV
"Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch."
Matthew 27:62-66, KJV
"And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him."
Mark 9:30-32, KJV
"And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again."
Mark 10:32-34, KJV
"And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Luke 9:21-22, KJV
"The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."
Luke 13:31-32, KJV
"Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again."
Luke 18:31-33, KJV
"He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
Luke 24:6-7, KJV
"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
Luke 24:45-47, KJV
Keeping in mind that on the Jewish religious calendar, days run from evening to evening, or sunset to sunset, it is easy to see how we obtain a Passover, Nisan 14, 30 AD Crucifixion, followed by Jesus' Resurrection from the dead three days and three nights later:
Wednesday night Nisan 14 = night 1
Thursday night Nisan 15 = night 2
Friday night Nisan 16 = night 3
Thursday daytime Nisan 15 = day 1
Friday daytime Nisan 16 = day 2
Saturday daytime Nisan 17 = day 3
If you are a little confused, please remember that Nisan 14 actually began the previous evening -- Tuesday -- just as the sun went down, concluding Nisan 13. That is when Jesus shared the Passover meal with His Disciples. As I mentioned earlier, even though the night passed, it was still Nisan 14 when Jesus was crucified. Also, Wednesday daytime should not be included in our count, because Jesus was not in the grave yet. So we have three full days and three full nights from Nisan 14 to Nisan 17.
Anytime after sunset on Saturday Nisan 17, Jesus could rise from the dead, because He had fulfilled the prophecy. As we saw earlier, that is exactly what He did when He resurrected very early the following morning before the Sun arose. Now, I know that this will be somewhat confusing for some of my readers, because we Westerners are programmed to think differently regarding when days begin and end. But please try to wrap your head around it.
Continuing our discussion, it was exactly fifty days after the second day of Passover -- or the first High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread -- that the Disciples received the power of the Holy Ghost, and began to change the world forever. According to my calculations, this would have been seven days after Jesus ascended to Heaven in Acts chapter one. Why only seven days and not ten days as some of you may possibly expect? Well, because while He remained on Earth for forty days following His Resurrection and revealed Himself to His followers, we need to remember that He rose from the dead on the third day. This means that in actuality, forty-three days of the total fifty-day period had already passed when He ascended to Heaven. That leaves just one week to complete the fifty-day period from Passover to Pentecost.
Thus we see the most powerful fifty days this world has ever known. They began on a very dark day with Christ's Death; and were followed by His miraculous Resurrection from the Dead; and a period of forty days during which He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was, and is, who He claims to be. Those events were followed by His awe-inspiring Ascension to Heaven on the forty-third day; and then followed seven days later by the Apostles and Disciples receiving power from on high in the form of the Holy Ghost, exactly as Jesus had promised them.
Returning to the original mystery, how do we explain the fact that John informs us in the twentieth chapter of His Gospel that Jesus breathed the Holy Ghost on the Disciples on the third day of that fifty-day period, yet Luke records in the Book of Acts that they did not receive the Holy Ghost until forty-seven days later on the Day of Pentecost?
As I thought about this seeming contradiction, what suddenly came to mind was an automobile. Over time, and as they age, all cars can develop a lot of problems. For example, even though the gas tank may be full, sometimes a car just won't start for one reason or another. So, either you try to fix it yourself, or else you pay a mechanic to fix it for you. After the repair work is completed though, sometimes a car will not start right away. So what do you do? Well, I don't know about now, but when I used to own a car a few decades ago, one thing I would sometimes do was to pour a little bit of gasoline into the carburetor. It would sort of prime the pump, and be just enough fuel to get the car running again. You had to have that gasoline tank full, and start pumping gas to the carburetor right away, or else the car would just die again once the fuel you put in the carburetor was gone.
In similar fashion, I am wondering if in John chapter twenty, Jesus just gave the Disciples a small dose of the Holy Spirit to hold them over, until they received the full dose of power -- just like the full tank of gas -- on the Day of Pentecost forty-seven days later. Obviously, I cannot prove this theory one way or the other. However, it is a way to reconcile what we read in these two Books. The only other option I can see is to assume that John and Luke are writing about the same event. If that is the case -- which I find very questionable -- then John is leaving out quite a few important details. Personally, this last possibility doesn't sit right with me. Thus, I lean towards the belief that they are writing about two separate and distinct, but related, events.
So there you have it, my friends. Fifty days which changed the world. They began with the Death and Resurrection of One, but have since resulted in the Salvation of billions, many of whom have already gone on to Glory. So praise the Lord!
With these thoughts I will bring this short article to a close. It is my hope that you have found it to be both informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social network, I would really appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which are related to this series, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server.
A Temple Veil, an Earthquake and a Centurion
A Treasure in Earthen Vessels
Are You a Burning Ember For the Lord?
Are You Saved and Sealed and Healed and Filled?
Famous Forties: One of God's Special Numbers?
The Lamb of God Was a Goat