Every year, it seems, in early spring, we hear or read of so-called discrepancies surrounding our Messiah's death and burial. There is no discrepancy in the four evangels, but because of a lack of teaching, there does seem to be. Most ministers know this, but fail to teach it. That is the reason for this short explanation, which will focus just on Messiah's death and burial.
What is not commonly taught is that there were TWO Sabbaths the week the Messiah died. We are all familiar with His being referred to as the Lamb of the Almighty. The week He died was the first of our Creator's "special" times given to Israel (not just the "Jews," but that's another topic). Commonly referred to as "Passover Week," it consists of the Passover Memorial, immediately followed by the "Feast of Unleavened Bread." There are two "High" (or "special") Sabbaths therein—the first and the last day (Numbers 28:18, 25 for one), in addition to the weekly Sabbath (the seventh day of the week). For a complete history of what Passover is, read Exodus 12.
Using the King James version with the Name of our Father (instead of a title) and the Hebrew Name of our Messiah (He was born a Jew, not a Greek), below are the supposed "discrepancy" Scriptures with an explanation in red italics .
Matthew 27:58 to 28:5, He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Yahshua. Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 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: he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation (which was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread), the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, "Sir, we remember what 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. In the end of the Sabbath (reference to the weekly Sabbath/the seventh day), 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 Yahweh 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 Yahshua, which was impaled."
Mark 15:42 to 16:4, And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath (the next day was the first day of Unleavened Bread/a "High" Day) , Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the Kingdom of Yahweh, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Yahshua. And Pilate marvelled if He were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead (or dead for awhile). 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 [Joseph] beheld where He was laid. And when the Sabbath (this is the High Day) was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. (A time span is omitted here which would include the weekly Sabbath.) 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.
Luke 23:53 to 24:3, 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 (the High Day) 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 (rested the High Day), and prepared spices and ointments (after the High Day); and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment (the weekly Sabbath/seventh day). 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 Master Yahshua.
Zechariah 12:10, And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have peirced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
John 19:31 to 20:2, The Jews, therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the stake 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. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was impaled with Him. But when they came to Yahshua, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled: "A bone of Him shall not be broken." And again another Scripture saith, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced." And after this, Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Yahshua, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Yahshua: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Yahshua. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Yahshua by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Yahshua, 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 impaled, there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Yahshua therefore, because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Yahshua loved, and saith unto them, "They have taken away the Master out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him."
NOTICE THE FOLLOWING:
- Matthew's account mentions how the chief priests and Pharisees came together on the High Day and set up a watch at the tomb commencing that day;
- Mark's account omitted the weekly Sabbath;
- Luke's account omitted the regular days in between;
- John's account omitted the preparing of spices, etc., which took place in between and seems to be the cause of confusion for many.
When you put all their accounts together, they make perfect sense. We are instructed to "harmonize" all Scripture: precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:10).
Remembering that the days, according to Scripture, start at sunset, a summary of the week's events would have been like this:
- Wednesday: The Messiah was killed in the afternoon. At sunset, the first day of Unleavened Bread started, so His body had to be put in the tomb before then.
- Thursday: A "High" Day and all rested.
- Friday: Mary purchased spices and perfumes to anoint the Messiah's body.
- Saturday: The weekly Sabbath ("according to the commandment")
- Sunday: The two Mary's went to the tomb before the sun had risen to anoint His body, only to find He had risen.
We hope this clears up any confusion you may have had pertaining to this week. Now, did you notice how the Messiah was already "gone" when they went to the grave? Read our informative booklets, "What You Should Know About Easter" and "Passover: A Day to Remember" (available by mail or on our website, when available).