He Arose! … But When?
Dwight A. Pryor
JESUS OF NAZARETH offered up himself as a sacrifice on behalf of humanit durin! the Festi"al of Redemption# $asso"er% He &uic'l (as placed into a borro(ed tomb nearb because the Sabbath (as approachin!% On the third da# )od caused him to li"e a!ain b the po(er of the Hol Spirit% This is the consistent (itness of all the Apostles%The e"idence for the resurrection is compellin!# both in the multiplicit of (itnesses and in the transformation of the dispirited disciples left in disarra b his shoc'in! death% A *crucified +essiah* (as a theolo!ical contradiction in their (orld"ie(%
he arose seems abundantl clear% ,hat is less certain is the timin!%
did Jesus actuall come forth from the !ra"e-.hurch tradition has lon! celebrated the resurrection at da(n on Easter mornin!% All four !ospels indeed attest that it occurred on Sunda# the first da of the (ee'% /ut (as it at sunrise- +atthe(0s !ospel pro"ides an interpretati"e 'e that su!!ests other(ise%The )ree' of +atthe( 12:3 preser"es ancient Hebre( terminolo!:
"Late of the Sabbath in the dawning (lighting) toward the first day of the week."
This a('(ard )ree' construction points to the common Hebre( idiom#
or the 0!oin! out0 of the Sabbath 4 i%e%# the transition bet(een the end of the Sabbath and the da(nin! or be!innin! of the ne5t da%Remember that in the /ible a da is rec'oned from sunset to sunset 67t (as e"enin! and it (as mornin!8% The Sabbath is 'ept from e"enin! unto e"enin! 69e" 1:18# and thus the first da of the (ee' actuall be!ins ;ust after sunset on (hat (e call Saturda e"enin!# usin! a Roman frame of reference%,hat +atthe( is su!!estin! therefore is that Jesus arose not at da(n on Sunda mornin! but shortl after the Sabbath ended on Saturda e"enin!<=OES TH7S +A>E SENSE in "ie( of other facts recorded in the !ospels- John 1?:3ff is the most detailed literar account of the e"ents surroundin! the resurrection% Usin! it as a !uide# consider the follo(in!:
John notes that it (as dar' (hen +ar +a!dalene (ent to the tomb on the first da of the (ee' 61?:38%
7f the Sabbath ended around @:?? p%m% (h (ould +ar# in her !reat de"otion 6and accordin! to 9u'e# her desire to properl prepare the 9ord0s bod for burial8 (ait another t(el"e hours before !oin! to the nearb tomb- ,h not !o at the first a"ailable opportunit- 7f she (as prepared to !o in the dar' of the earl mornin! hours# ho( much more the precedin! e"enin!-