Diagram 018 – The Long Resurrection Day

The resurrection day of Jesus is a long day according to scripture – too long, in fact, to be a Hebrew day. When all the events of the day of resurrection, ‘the first day of week(s)’, are analysed in the Gospels, the resurrection day overruns the 6pm Hebrew day boundary. Hebrew days run from 6pm to 6pm and so any time after 6pm must be a new day or the next day.

On the first day of week(s) Mary Magdalene visited the tomb early, while it was still dark. This visit by Mary begins the narrative of resurrection day. Remember, this ‘first day of week(s)’, according to Hebrew days, began at 6pm the previous day and would end at 6pm later that day.

John 20:1 Now on the first day of week(s) Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

Later that same day, Jesus appeared to the disciples, still on the ‘first day of week(s)’ but in the evening. This is very important because to be the same Hebrew day, this ‘evening’ appearance of Jesus must have been before 6pm.

John 20:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of week(s), when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Initially, it seems reasonable to assume this appearance of Jesus (behind closed doors) was before 6pm and therefore the same day as the ‘first day of week(s)’ (for Mary). But there is a problem. The infamous encounter of Jesus with two disciples on the road to Emmaus was also on the same day of Jesus’ resurrection, and most importantly, when the day was ‘far spent’.

Luke 24:13 Now behold, two of them were travelling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.

Luke 24:29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

The narrative of Luke states that the Emmaus disciples travelled some distance (seven miles) back to Jerusalem before the ‘behind closed doors’ appearance of Jesus, as described in the preceding verses (John 20:19). So, could these Emmaus disciples have made it back to Jerusalem and found the eleven disciples before 6pm? The answer is no.

Luke 24:33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,

Consider the detail of this encounter. When the day was already ‘far spent’ (Luke 24:29), the Emmaus road disciples unknowingly invited Jesus in for refreshment. These disciples would have prepared (and possibly baked) bread as part of their hospitality which would have taken time. Only then, once the preparations were complete did Jesus reveal Himself to these blessed disciples by breaking bread, and before disappearing. 

So, only after the day was ‘far spent’ and meal preparations had completed did the Emmaus road disciples begin their return journey to Jerusalem. Of course, they did not waste any time and no doubt astonished and energised by the revelation and excitement (at having met with the newly risen Lord Jesus), these two disciples would have raced back the seven miles to Jerusalem to re-join the ‘eleven’. 

This journey, however, must have taken a finite period, one would imagine at least an hour and a half on foot to cover seven miles and it was already late. Also, once they find the ‘eleven’ they needed time to explain all that had happened. Only then did Jesus appear in their midst and say, “Peace to you”.

Luke 24:35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

Luke 24:36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”

This finite time of the Emmaus disciples’ encounter and return to Jerusalem, which began when the day was already far spent, is the problem because it pushes the same day of resurrection past 6pm and therefore beyond the boundary of the Hebrew day. 

The Apostle John, who was present at this meeting with Jesus (‘behind closed doors’), clearly states that this event was on the same day of His resurrection – namely the ‘first day of the week(s)’:

John 20:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week(s), when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

As such, and according to these scriptures, the Hebrew ‘day of resurrection’ is too long because it extends beyond 6pm in the evening.

Accreditation: The long resurrection day was first brought to my attention by Arthur Ware (The Restored Vision).