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 the week’) 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 the week 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 the week’, according to Hebrew days, began at 6pm the previous day and would end at 6pm later that day.
John 20:1 Now the first day of the week 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 the week’ 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 the week, 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 the week’ (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.