At Calvary, it is a little after 3:00 PM with the Jewish day being over at approximately 6:00 PM. In Paradise, the believing thief recalled what Jesus had said to him while on the cross – “Today” (i.e., before 6:00 PM Luke 23:43) He would join him in Paradise. How can this be since Jesus is in the Abyss? But then again he thought, while his eyes darted back to the Abyss, Jesus never lies…
And Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43 NET)
Those in Paradise stared intently at the entrance to the Abyss. The entrance was covered by a barrier that allowed entry but no exit from this place of maximum security confinement. It was this barrier that gave the Abyss’ opening the wave-like appearance of a sea. Jesus had taken upon Himself all of our sin and passed through this one-way sea appearing barrier (Micah 7:19).
You will once again have mercy on us; you will conquer our evil deeds; you will hurl our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19 NET)
The first Adam had rebelled against a Holy God in the Garden of Eden, and now the full judgment for that sin has been paid by Jesus (the Last Adam) at Calvary (1 Corinthians 15:45,47). Furthermore, Jesus has carried this OUR sin to a place where it will be remembered no more – the Abyss (Psalms 103:12).
As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us. (Psalm 103:12 NET)
Jesus while in the Abyss, the lowest place of all, calls out to God His Father for deliverance.
Though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, revive me once again! Bring me up once again from the depths of the earth! Raise me to a position of great honor! Turn and comfort me! (Psalms 71:20,21 NET)
and said, “I called out to the Lord from my distress, and he answered me; from the belly of Sheol I cried out for help, and you heard my prayer. You threw me into the deep waters, into the middle of the sea; the ocean current engulfed me; all the mighty waves you sent swept over me. I thought I had been banished from your sight, that I would never again see your holy temple! Water engulfed me up to my neck; the deep ocean surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. I went down to the very bottoms of the mountains; the gates of the netherworld barred me in forever; but you brought me up from the Pit, O Lord, my God. When my life was ebbing away, I called out to the Lord, and my prayer came to your holy temple. Those who worship worthless idols forfeit the mercy that could be theirs. But as for me, I promise to offer a sacrifice to you with a public declaration of praise; I will surely do what I have promised. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” (Jonah 2:2-9 NET)
He said: “I love you, Lord, my source of strength! The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer. My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter, my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was delivered from my enemies. The waves of death engulfed me, the currents of chaos overwhelmed me. The ropes of Sheol tightened around me, the snares of death trapped me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried out to my God. From his heavenly temple he heard my voice; he listened to my cry for help. (Psalms 18:1-6)(cf. 2 Samuel 22:1-7)
For he did not despise or detest the suffering of the oppressed; he did not ignore him; when he cried out to him, he responded. (Psalm 22:24 NET)
God the Father and God the Holy Spirit had been waiting for this moment – it was all part of the plan (Psalms 16:10. Acts 2:27).
For David says about him, ‘I saw the Lord always in front of me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body also will live in hope, because you will not leave my soul in Hades, nor permit your Holy One to experience decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of joy with your presence.’ (Acts 2:25–28 NET)(cf. Psalm 16:8-11)
With startling swiftness, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit descend into the Abyss and deliver Jesus, and all the hosts of Hell are powerless to stop Them. (Romans 6:4;8:11;10:9. 2 Corinthians 13:4. Galatians 1:1. Colossians 2:12. Hebrews 13:20) (6)
The earth heaved and shook; the roots of the mountains trembled; they heaved because he was angry. Smoke ascended from his nose; fire devoured as it came from his mouth; he hurled down fiery coals. He made the sky sink as he descended; a thick cloud was under his feet. He mounted a winged angel and flew; he glided on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, in thick rain clouds. From the brightness in front of him came hail and fiery coals. The Lord thundered in the sky; the sovereign One shouted. He shot his arrows and scattered them, many lightning bolts and routed them. The depths of the sea were exposed; the inner regions of the world were uncovered by your battle cry, Lord, by the powerful breath from your nose. He reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me from the surging water. He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in my day of calamity, but the Lord helped me. He brought me out into a wide open place; he delivered me because he was pleased with me. The Lord repaid me for my godly deeds; he rewarded my blameless behavior. For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands; I have not rebelled against my God. For I am aware of all his regulations, and I do not reject his rules. I was innocent before him, and kept myself from sinning. The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds; he took notice of my blameless behavior. You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful; you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent. You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless, but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse. (Psalms 18:7-26 NET)(cf. 2 Samuel 22:8-27)
Realize, Jesus who is God, was separated from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit when He became our sin (Isaiah 54:7,8. Isaiah 53:1-12).
“For a short time I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In a burst of anger I rejected you momentarily, but with lasting devotion I will have compassion on you,” says your protector, the Lord. (Isaiah 54:7–8 NET)
Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the Lord’s power revealed through him? He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him. He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him. He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not even open his mouth. He was led away after an unjust trial— but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded. They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully. Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him. Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. “My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins. So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels.” (Isaiah 53:1–12 NET)
Jesus is now joined back again with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, thus making Jesus alive (to God) in the lowest of all places (Romans 8:11. 1 Peter 3:18. 1 Peter 1:21).
Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:11 NET)
The two Angels guarding His body, one at His head and one at His feet so that it would not experience corruption or decay after the crucifixion, transport His body down to Him and Jesus as a spirit enters and is joined or knit together to His flesh and bone body that has not decayed. (Psalms 139:14,15. Acts 2:31. Luke 24:39. John 20:10-12)
I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing. You knew me thoroughly; my bones were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth. (Psalm 139:14–15 NET)
David by foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did his body experience decay. (Acts 2:31 NET)
Look at my hands and my feet; it’s me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have.” (Luke 24:39 NET)
So the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’ body had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. (John 20:10–12 NET)
That is, the God-Man Jesus is born again as spirit and flesh in the lowest of all places. (Hebrews 1:5,6;5:5)
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? And in another place he says, “I will be his father and he will be my son.”But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him!” (Hebrews 1:5–6 NET)
So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming high priest, but the one who glorified him was God, who said to him, “You are my Son! Today I have fathered you,” (Hebrews 5:5 NET)
Realize, since Jesus, the Firstfruit (1) was born again in the lowest of all places, then that means it is possible for all that believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord while on Earth can be born again – even in the spiritually lowest places on Earth! (Romans 10:9-13). Hallelujah!
because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:9–13 NET)
I relied completely on the Lord, and he turned toward me and heard my cry for help. He lifted me out of the watery pit, out of the slimy mud. He placed my feet on a rock and gave me secure footing. He gave me reason to sing a new song, praising our God. May many see what God has done, so that they might swear allegiance to him and trust in the Lord! How blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord and does not seek help from the proud or from liars! O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things; you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us. No one can thwart you! I want to declare them and talk about them, but they are too numerous to recount! Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern. You make that quite clear to me! You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings. Then I say, “Look! I come! What is written in the scroll pertains to me. I want to do what pleases you, my God. Your law dominates my thoughts.” I have told the great assembly about your justice. Look! I spare no words! O Lord, you know this is true. I have not failed to tell about your justice; I spoke about your reliability and deliverance; I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness. (Psalms 40:1-10)
The Holy Spirit again comes upon Jesus to empower the God-Man Jesus because He is still not using His power as God but rather as a man, the Last Adam, empowered by God the Holy Spirit.
—since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened—so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength. This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God put all things under Christ’s feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:18–23 NET)
Recall, graves on Earth were opened by the earthquake caused by Jesus’ shout before His death, and now those held in Paradise return to their bodies and are resurrected!
Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart. And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. (Matthew 27:50–52 NET)
Subsequent to being resurrected in Hell, Jesus then enters Paradise shortly after 3:00 PM Wednesday where He will spend the next few Earth days preaching the Gospel to its captives which are all those people since the fall of Adam that died in covenant with God (1 Peter 4:6).
Oh, what a revival that must have been!
Now it was for this very purpose that the gospel was preached to those who are now dead, so that though they were judged in the flesh by human standards they may live spiritually by God’s standards. (1 Peter 4:6 NET)
He also preaches a message of judgment to the fallen angels in another compartment of Hades (1 Peter 3:18-20. 2 Peter 2:4. Jude 1:6,7. Hebrews 2:16.).
Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit. In it he went and preached to the spirits in prison, after they were disobedient long ago when God patiently waited in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water. (1 Peter 3:18–20 NET)
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment, (2 Peter 2:4 NET)
You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day. So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 6–7 NET)
For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham’s descendants. (Hebrews 2:16 NET)
Sequence of Events After Jesus Died
Wednesday, Nisan 14, 31 A.D. (0th Day, Jesus is Dead)
Now when evening had already come, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly regarded member of the council, who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. He called the centurion and asked him if he had been dead for some time. When Pilate was informed by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. After Joseph bought a linen cloth and took down the body, he wrapped it in the linen and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone across the entrance of the tomb. (Mark 15:42–46 NET)
Now there was a man named Joseph who was a member of the council, a good and righteous man. (He had not consented to their plan and action.) He was from the Judean town of Arimathea, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God.He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock, where no one had yet been buried. It was the day of preparation and the Sabbath was beginning. (Luke 23:50–54 NET)
Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb after sunset at approximately 7:00 P.M. when the High Sabbath of The Feast of Unleavened Bread was about to begin. The Rabbis called this time twilight, with the sun setting at 6:31 P.M (59) in Jerusalem at this time of year. The Rabbis would have declared it a night in the temple using various factors (e.g., three stars visible). Upon the declaration that it was night, it officially became the Sabbath, which would have been at approximately 7:30 P.M. (14)
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was placed. (Mark 15:47 NET)
The women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. (Luke 23:55 NET)
Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of Joses made note of where Jesus was laid in order to anoint His body after the Sabbaths.
Wednesday, Nisan 14, 31 A.D. (April 25, 31 AD) Lunar Eclipse (59)(60)
The Hebrew Calendar (1) is based on the Moon. Each month begins at the New Moon with calendars adjusted using “Leap Months,” specifically for Passover to occur during the month of Spring. We have learned that this “month of Spring” is then referred to as Nisan. (Deuteronomy 16:1 ) Again, Passover corresponds to the 14th day of Nisan. (Exodus 12:2) which places Passover at the full moon following the Spring Equinox. (59)
An Eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are in line. A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is in the middle and its shadow blocks out the Sun’s rays to the full Moon. (59) The part of the moon that has the Sun’s rays blocked turns slightly red, slightly “blood-colored.”
The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’(Acts 2:20,21 NET)
As the eclipse started after Astronomical twilight, there would have been a significant loss of light even though only a quarter of the Moon was totally immersed in the earth’s shadow. This on the night after our Jesus our Lord’s body was placed in the tomb and the moon turned to blood (at least a part of it did). (59)
|Penumbral Phase Started||8:02 PM|
|Partial Phase Start||9:17 PM|
|Maximum Eclipse||10:17 PM|
|Partial Phase End||11:18 PM|
|Penumbral Phase End||12:32 AM|
Thursday, Nisan 15 (1st Day, Jesus’ Dead Body is in the Tomb)
The following day, Thursday is the first day of the “annual” High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a feast that lasts seven days (Numbers 28:16-18. John 19:31). No work is to be performed except that meals may be prepared, unlike the Weekly Sabbath when no work could be performed (Exodus 12:16).
The next day (which is after the day of preparation) the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “Take a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the soldiers of the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:62–66 NET)
The chief priests and Pharisees convince Pilate to place a seal on Jesus’ tomb and to authorize guards to be placed at the tomb until the third day, meaning until Sunday morning. Sunday morning started at sunrise for the Romans, which was approximately 5:20 AM in Jerusalem.
Friday, Nisan 16 (2nd Day, is Jesus’ Dead Body is in the Tomb)
Friday is the Second Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread with no restriction on work.
When the [High] Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic spices so that they might go and anoint him. (Mark 16:1 NET)
Then they [the women] returned and prepared aromatic spices and perfumes. Luke 23:56 a NET)
The women purchased spices and prepared them for anointing Jesus.
Saturday, Nisan 17 (3rd Day, Jesus’ Dead Body is in the Tomb)
Saturday is the “weekly” Sabbath. (Matthew 12:40) (5)
On the [Weekly] Sabbath they [the women] rested according to the commandment. (Luke 23:56 b NET)
After nearly three of the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (1) have elapsed, Jesus is resurrected (1) on Saturday at twilight. This at the same time that the First Fruits of the Barley are being harvested, approximately 7:00 P.M. with Sunset occurring at 6:31 P.M. and night at 7:30 P.M.
That is, Jesus is “the Firstfruit” of God the Father’s First Harvest!
Again, Saturday is the third day Jesus was dead and was subsequently resurrected (1) (Matthew 16:21;17:23;20:19. Luke 9:22;18:33;24:7;24:46. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Acts 10:34-41).
Furthermore, Jesus stayed in the “heart of the Earth” for three days (John 11:9) and three nights (Matthew 12:39,40) and then was resurrected after three days (Mark 8:31) (i.e., seventy-two hours).
For simplicity of calculation, the days and nights are assumed to be equal increments of 12 hours each, as shown in the following example:
12 hour days:
- Wednesday 7:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. (0.5 hours)
- Thursday 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. (12 hours)
- Friday 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. (12 hours)
- Saturday 7:30 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. (11.5 hours)
12 hour nights:
- Wednesday 7:30 P.M. to Thursday 7:30 A.M. (12 hours)
- Thursday 7:30 P.M. to Friday 7:30 A.M. (12 hours)
- Friday 7:30 P.M. to Saturday 7:30 A.M. (12 hours).
Again, the phrases “on the third day,” “three days and three nights,” and “after three days” are all fulfilled at twilight on Saturday, Nisan 17. (38)
Sunday, Nisan 18
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic spices so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. They had been asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled back. Then as they went into the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been raised! He is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples, even Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” Then they went out and ran from the tomb, for terror and bewilderment had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. Early on the first day of the week, after he arose, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went out and told those who were with him, while they were mourning and weeping. And when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. (Mark 16:1–11 NET)
The women had questions about who would roll the massive stone away; however, they had no questions about breaking the Roman seal or confronting the Roman Guards. Apparently, they were unaware of the seal and the guard on duty until Sunday morning at sunrise, which occurred at approximately 5:20 A.M at this time of year in Jerusalem.
And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre, (Matthew 28:1 YLT)
Note that Young’s Literal Translation provides the proper translation indicating that more than one Sabbath had transpired in these events.
Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you!” So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.” (Matthew 28:5–10 NET)
Fortunately, Jesus was no longer in the sealed tomb, having been resurrected in His human body Saturday at twilight (which of course is before early on Sunday) and was looking out for the women.
Early on the first day of the week, after he arose, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. (Mark 16:9 NET)
Jesus, the Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd arranged for the Guards to have a reason to leave as they arrived! That is, another severe Earthquake occurs as The Lord’s Angel (1) descends from Heaven and rolls the stone away from the entrance to the tomb, terrifying the guards, and then sits on that stone. This angel then greeted and comforted the women when they arrived.
Now on the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women went to the tomb, taking the aromatic spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood beside them in dazzling attire. The women were terribly frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has been raised! Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”Then the women remembered his words, and when they returned from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. But these words seemed like pure nonsense to them, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent down and saw only the strips of linen cloth; then he went home, wondering what had happened. (Luke 24:1–12 NET)
Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed. (For they did not yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.) So the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’ body had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Mary replied, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Because she thought he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means Teacher). Jesus replied, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what Jesus had said to her. (John 20:1–18 NET)
Again, Jesus was resurrected and returned to His human body Saturday at twilight before He first appears to Mary Magdalene very early Sunday morning. He asks her not to touch Him, for He has not yet ascended to God His Father in Heaven.
(I must pause as these are some of my favorite words in scripture and thanks to Jesus’ efforts can now be true once more for all that believe)
and God OUR Father! (John 20:15-18).
The reason Jesus would not allow her to touch Him, as He, “The Firstfruit,” had not yet presented Himself to God the Father. Even as before the Barley crop can be touched for harvest, the Firstfruit of Barley must be presented to God by a priest at the Temple and accepted by God. Likewise, Jesus must present Himself, our faithful and Great High Priest, to God, His, and our Father, to be accepted as the Firstfruit of all that will be born again.
Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you!” So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.” (Matthew 28:1–10 NET)(cf. Mark 16:1-18. Luke 24:1-49. John 20:1-23. Luke 12:38).
However, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome did touch His feet. (Mark 16:1 NET) At the Last Supper, Jesus had taught that spiritually He would still be clean with only a need to have His feet washed (John 13:10).
Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” (John 13:10 NET)
Jesus’ presentation to God occurred at approximately 9:00 A.M. on Sunday morning, even as the Firstfruit Barley flour mixed with oil, frankincense, and salt was being waved before God in the Jerusalem Temple. God the Father accepts Jesus as the Firstfruits of those that have fallen asleep and all He created (1 Corinthians 15:20. James 1:18)
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20 NET)
Jesus then allowed Himself to be touched, indicating He had presented Himself to God the Father as “the Firstfruit” and was found worthy.
While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”But they were startled and terrified, thinking they saw a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; it’s me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still could not believe it (because of their joy) and were amazed, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in front of them. (Luke 24:36–43 NET)
Consequently, the harvest of Firstfruit souls could commence!
James, Jesus’ stepbrother, wrote that we are identified with Christ as our firstfruits:
All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:17–18 NET)
Jesus’ resurrection is the promise of the future resurrection of all believers. (10)
“I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the solemn truth, a time is coming—and is now here—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out—the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation. (John 5:28–29 NET)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26 NET)
Although most believers in Jesus have never heard of Feast of Firstfruits, they celebrate it as Resurrection Day or Easter (a less desirable name). (10) Realize, even though Jesus was resurrected late on the Sabbath during twilight, and not Sunday as traditionally believed, it was on Sunday morning that He was approved by God the Father as our Firstfruits, thus initiating the harvest of souls into the Body of Christ, which was the mysterious purpose of Jesus’ ministry!
Again, until they harvested and offered the barley sheaf, or omer, in the temple, the rest of the crops were not deemed kosher (lawfully fit or acceptable). We read a great truth from the Apostle John: (10)
and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NET)
We are now kosher, in a manner of speaking, because of what Christ has done on our behalf in fulfilling the Feast of Firstfruits to the very letter! The field of barley became kosher or acceptable through the presentation of the firstfruits to God at the temple. The barley in the field did nothing to become kosher. In the same way, we have been made acceptable to God by Jesus, our Firstfruits, when He presented Himself to God the Father. As the barley in the field did nothing to become kosher, likewise, we did nothing to become accepted except believe! (10)
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20 NET)
The question this verse raises is, “Since other people were resurrected before Yeshua, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, how is He the first-fruits?” The answer is that there are two types of resurrections. The first type is merely a restoration back to natural life (e.g., Lazurus (John 11:1-44)). This means that one would die again later; those who were raised before the Resurrection of Jesus all died again. The second type of resurrection is true resurrection life when “mortality puts on immortality and corruption puts on incorruption” and one is no longer subject to death (1 Corinthians 15:53,54). (11)
While others have undergone the first type of resurrection in which they were restored back to natural life, the second type of resurrection has only been experienced by Yeshua. Therefore, He is the first-fruits of that second type of resurrection. The term the first-fruits means “the first of more to come.” Since He was the first-fruits, this means there will be “more to come” later. Believers, should they die before the Rapture, will also be resurrected as He was; they are “the more to come.” (11)
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. (1 Corinthians 15:21 NET)
The expression by man came death refers to Adam; by man came also the resurrection of the dead refers to Jesus. This verse gives one reason for the Incarnation: in order to provide life for all, He had to be able to die and then be resurrected after death. (11)
For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22 NET)
This is why He is the first-fruits. The word all includes believers and unbelievers who will someday be resurrected, although not for the same destiny.
But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:23 NET)
The Greek word used here for “order” is tagma, which means “a military procession.” In a military procession, there is an order: the infantry, the cavalry, the battering rams. Each of these things has a certain place in the procession.
Recall, graves on Earth were opened by the earthquake at Jesus’ death. Many of the Old Covenant believers in the promised Yeshua, which were confined in Paradise (1), return to their bodies and are now resurrected! These believers are the fulfillment typologically of the harvested Firstfruits Barley harvested and made into sanctified barleycorn but not offered to God or sacrificed on the altar but rather given to the Priests (i.e., the other nine omers).
And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. (They came out of the tombs after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.) (Matthew 27:52–53 NET)
Those held captive in Paradise are temporarily returned to their bodies on Earth in preparation for moving Paradise (aka., The Garden of Eden (1) which contains the Tree of Life) back to Heaven (Matthew 27:52,53. Revelation 2:7;22:2,14) where it becomes an island in the waters of the river of Life (Revelation 22:1,2).
After Jesus’ approval as the Firstfruit, there was no longer needed a temporary holding place on Earth for those that die in Covenant with God; therefore, none is provided. Jesus has made a way to Heaven for all who die, believing in Him as Savior and Lord (John 14:6). Either we die believers and go to Heaven or die unbelievers and go to Hell (1) (John 3:16-18. John 16:7-11).
For he came out of prison to become king, even though he had been born poor in what would become his kingdom. (Ecclesiastes 4:14).
Jesus leads the rescued hostages back to Paradise in Heaven (think of Paradise now as the point of entry for planet Heaven) (Ephesians 4:8,9). What a homecoming that must have been! Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, leading back the rescued “children” held in Paradise for thousands of Earth years back to God the Father!
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? And in another place he says, “I will be his father and he will be my son.”But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him! ”And he says of the angels, “He makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,”but of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions with the oil of rejoicing.” And, “You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you continue. And they will all grow old like a garment, and like a robe you will fold them up and like a garment they will be changed, but you are the same and your years will never run out.” But to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Jesus then enters the Most Holy Place of the Temple of Heaven as our Great High Priest (1) (Hebrews 9:11-15. Revelation 12:5). Jesus, our living Mercy Seat (1) upon which His own blood was shed for our remission and forgiveness of sin, is now in the Most Holy Place. God the Father restores Jesus’ right to use His power as God – which He was, is, and ever shall be – the eternal God that became Man (John 8:58. Hebrews 1:1-12). Glory! Actually, glory is the operative word, for that is what Jesus was asking His Heavenly Father for right before His arrest on the Mount of Olives. That is, He was praying for the restoration of the abilities that were rightfully His as God (John 17:1-5).
Jesus’ Great High Priest Coronation Ceremony in Heaven lasted seven Earth days (Leviticus 8:33). Jesus, on the following Sunday, the eighth Earth day after His coronation ceremony, would return to Earth and then request that Thomas touch His hands and side to believe in His resurrection (John 20:24-27)
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!” Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.”Thomas replied to him, “My Lord and my God!”Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24–29 NET)
Satan realized he was the victim of the greatest sting operation of all time! He was defeated by the very crucifixion of Jesus he had instigated (1 Corinthians 2:6-8) The Archangel Michael then drives Satan and his unholy fallen angels back out of Heaven and to the Earth for the second time (Revelation 12:7-9). No longer can Satan appear before God in Heaven to accuse us (Revelation 12:10). Furthermore, all that had been accused by Satan since the fall of mankind have now overcome him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony for which they were willing to die (Revelation 12:11. Colossians 2:13-15. Hebrews 11:13. Hebrews 11:32-40).
Satan then realizes his time is short and filled with anger intensifies his war (Revelation 12:12) on Israel (Revelation 12:13). Then some of the survivors of the Satan-inspired Roman destruction of Jerusalem on September 8, 70 AD (2) went to Masada (means Citadel) where they were protected from the Romans for three and a half years until it was destroyed by the Romans on March 31, 74 AD (2) (Revelation 12:14). Satan attempted to annihilate all of the Israelites; however, some hiding under the earth in tunnels (4) around Jerusalem escaped to be dispersed throughout the world while the Romans were focused on annihilating those living in Masada (Revelation 12:15,16). Satan then turned to make war on the Church (Revelation 12:17. Revelation 13:1-18. 1 Peter 5:8).
To be continued (1)…
Links to the entire series:
(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(3) Jacopo Tintoretto, Jesus in Hell
(4) “Warren’s findings, together with the discovery of Reich and Shukron described in the recent news reports, fully support Josephus’s statements relating to the tunnels beneath Jerusalem and the use to which they were put during the Roman siege of 70 A.D. These underground passages enabled many inhabitants of Jerusalem to exit the city and flee both south to Masada and, via Nahal Qidron and other wadis heading from Jerusalem eastward toward the Dead Sea, to the Machaerus fort lying just east of that sea, which was actually closer to Jerusalem than was Masada. (Josephus describes the large number of refugees who gathered at Machaerus.). The circumstances as now known leave little doubt that, quite likely beginning even before the siege had begun, groups engaged in hiding the Temple treasures, the books and other items listed in the Copper Scroll — as well as those ancient writings of the Palestinian Jews known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found centuries later in caves near the wadis leading out of Jerusalem. Norman Golb is the Ludwig Rosenberger Professor of Jewish History and Civilization at the University of Chicago and the author of “Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?” (Simon & Schuster, 1995).” Read more here: https://forward.com/opinion/11873/newly-discovered-tunnel-may-once-have-carried-dead-00675/
5) We in the West are more accustomed to starting our counting with one; however, similar to scientific communities today – in the days when this was written they started the count with zero. The result is the third day of scripture would be what we would typically call the fourth day by starting the count with one instead of zero. Just a matter of perspective NOT an error in scripture.
(6) God raised him from the dead (Acts 2:24; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:10; Acts 5:30; Acts 10:40; Acts 13:30; Acts 13:34; Romans 4:24; Galatians 1:1; 1 Peter 1:21); this Jesus God raised up, and of that, we are witnesses (Acts 2:32); God raised up his Servant (Acts 3:26); Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father (Rom. 6:4); he who raised the Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians. 4:14); his Son whom he raised from the dead (1 Thessalonians 1:10); God brought from the dead the great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20); God bore witness to him by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:31); God fulfilled the promise in raising Jesus (Acts 13:33); Christ Jesus died and was raised (Romans 8:34); he was raised on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4).
Day, A. C. (2009). Collins Thesaurus of the Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
(10) Publishing, R. (2011). Feasts of the Bible: Jewish Roots of Believers in Yeshua (Jesus). Torrance, CA: Rose Publishing.
(11) Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (1983). The Messianic Bible Study Collection (Vol. 116, pp. 5,8). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.