Apologetics / Reflections Bible Catholic Church Catholic Faith

EXPOSING ELI: Was Jesus buried on a High Sabbath?

 

By: Pastor Manny
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Today is Holy Saturday, the Sabbath that was described by the gospels as the day before Jesus died. Some Christians, like Eli Soriano, who rejected that Jesus died on the day before Saturday Sabbath believed that the Sabbath described in John 19:31 is not Saturday but as I presented yesterday, we have evidence that Jesus died on Friday because their assumption was based on a wrong understanding of “three days and three nights [1].” Other than that, Eli Soriano also holds to unbiblical teaching by claiming that Jesus was buried on a High Sabbath. As seen below, Soriano said:
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“He was buried in 6 o clock (pm) sunset which is the beginning of the Sabbath was already buried in Sunset Sabbath [2].”
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Is his assumption true? No, and I will be providing three reasons why the view of MCGI’s founder is wrong.
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Reason #1: THE SAME DAY
Eli Soriano believed that Jesus was buried on the next day after His death. However, this view is unbiblical because the Bible describes the day when they should bury the dead. This is seen in Deuteronomy 21.
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Deuteronomy 21:23
23 his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall bury him THE SAME DAY, for a hanged man is accursed by God; you shall not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance [emphasis added].
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There is no doubt that Soriano’s opinion goes against what the Bible says, and I will follow the Word of God over him that says the dead should be buried on the same day.
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Reason #2: DAY OF PREPARATION
This is similar to reason #1 except that this is more specific. In reality, we have evidence about Jesus being buried on the day before Sabbath. This is seen in John 19.
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John 19:42
42 So because of the Jewish DAY OF PREPARATION, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there [emphasis added].
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John 19:42 explicitly mentions that the tomb of Jesus was closed on the Jewish day of preparation, referring to the day before Sabbath. It did not mention anything about Jesus being buried or laid on the Sabbath, and this is another clear evidence that Soriano goes against the Bible.
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Reason #3: TWO EVENINGS
People who hold to the same belief of Soriano uses Matthew 27 to prove that Jesus was buried on evening which would imply that Jesus was buried on Sabbath.
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Matthew 27:57
57 When it was EVENING, there came a rich man from Arimathe′a, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus [emphasis added].
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Other than the fact that John 19:42 made it clear that this event took place on the day of preparation, at first glance, it would appear contradictory that Jesus was buried on the day of Preparation while also saying that He was buried on evening (because Sabbath starts at evening). However, this contradiction can be solved by understanding that there are two evenings, one refers to any moment between 3 pm and 6 pm while the other one refers to the start of the new day. This is seen in Matthew 14 when Matthew used the word “evening” at least twice while referring to different setting.
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Matthew 14:15
15 When it was EVENING, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves [emphasis added].”
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Matthew 14:23-24
23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When EVENING came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them [emphasis added].
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As seen in two passages, the word “EVENING” is used TWICE. And yet, the first use of evening in Matthew 14:15 does not mean anything from 6:00 pm onwards. Rather, we know that Matthew 14:23 refers to the common understanding of evening because in another account recorded by John, this explicitly refers to being dark.
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John 6:17
17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Caper′na-um. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
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Since Matthew 14:23 refers to the evening where it’s literally dark, it follows that the evening in Matthew 14:15 is what we normally call as afternoon. Even the Jews understood that the afternoon can refer to evening. As mentioned by Jewish Encyclopedia:
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“AFTERNOON and EVENING are “‘ereb,” the time of the day’s decline (Judges xix. 8); or “the wind of the day” (Gen. iii. 8), that is, the EVENING BREEZE; or “neshef,” DARKNESS (Hi. xxiv. 15, 5; v. 11, etc.) [3] [emphasize added].”
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It also says:
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“This “ben ha-‘arbayim” is the time prescribed for the offering of the Passover lamb and the daily EVENING sacrifice. In the first century the EVENING “Tamid” was offered in the AFTERNOON between 2.30 and 3.30 (Josephus, “Ant.” xiv. 4, § 3; Mishnah Pes. v. 1; comp. also Acts iii. 1 and x. 3, 30) [3] [emphasis added],”
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With all of the evidence on our side, both biblical and historical, we have the assurance that Eli Soriano is wrong and that the Bible is right that Jesus was buried on the day BEFORE Sabbath, not ON the Sabbath.
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References:
[1] https://www.facebook.com/1926549144236044/posts/2851729435051339/
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKJaKb8f6_M
[3] http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11539-night

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