Tuesday, March 28, 2017
“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.” (Mark 16:1-4)
The ladies returned to the tomb to complete the embalming process, arriving about sunrise Sunday morning. As they came they were concerned that there would not be enough of them to roll away the stone that covered the entrance. When they arrived, they found the stone already moved and Jesus gone from the tomb. The soldiers had already returned to Jerusalem to tell what had happened. The timing here is crucial because of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 12:38-40. “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
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.”
While Jesus had fulfilled hundreds of ancient prophecies, he said that the only new prophecy for that day to prove he was the messiah would be that he would be dead for three days and three nights, Any variation from that would clearly indicate that he was not the Messiah. If he was crucified on Friday, as tradition says, he could not be Messiah because there are not three days and three nights between Friday night and Sunday morning. Similarly, if he was crucified Wednesday, as some have taught , he could not be Messiah because there are too many nights.
If Jesus was crucified on Thursday as the Scriptures indicate, dying that afternoon, the prophecy is fulfilled, proving he is the Messiah. We have the remainder of Thursday afternoon and evening, Friday, and Saturday, making our three days, and Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night giving us the three nights. Like many other traditions, the tradition of the crucifixion being on Friday has cast doubt on the accuracy of the scriptures and the truth of the gospel.
“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. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.” (Mark 16:5-8)
After looking into the sepulcher, the angel directed the ladies to go and tell the disciples that Jesus was risen and would meet them in Galilee as he had promised. It was so incredible they were afraid to tell anyone anything until Mary Magdalene told of meeting Jesus personally.