These three sacrifices of the Passover, Feast of unleavened bread, and the waving of the first fruit typified the death burial and resurrection of Christ and establish a timeline. At Passover on Friday the 14th of Abib, the lamb was slain. On the following day, Saturday the15th of Abib, was the first day of unleavened bread, a holy convocation. A day of rest. On the following day, Sunday the 16th of Abib, was the waving of the first-fruits.
Luke's orderly account shows that Jesus ate the Passover sometime after sunset with his disciples. He was then crucified and buried on that same day. The next day, the 15th of Abib was the weekly Sabbath. Jesus spent the entire Sabbath day resting in the tomb, then on the very next day, the 16th of Abib, which was Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. We know this is correct because of how Leviticus and Numbers organized the events of the feasts. Here is a point that many people miss.
In 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul tells us, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” What is the significance of Jesus being the first-fruits in relation to his resurrection?
Leviticus 23:5-11 says, “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord's Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord...; On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.... Then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.”
So, on the 14th day of the first month was the Passover. On the 15th was the Sabbath of unleavened bread. On the 16th was the offering of the first- fruits. Jesus followed this exact pattern. He died on the day of Passover. The next day he rested in the tomb on the Sabbath. The next day after the Sabbath was the first day of the week. During the offering of the morning burnt offering sacrifice at sunrise, the priest was waving the first-fruits of the harvest. At that same time, Jesus was rising from the tomb. He is the first-fruits of those who sleep. We know this because Mark 16:2 tells us that when the women came to the tomb after the sun had already risen and Jesus had already risen from the tomb.
The sequence of these feasts proves beyond any doubt that Jesus died on Friday and rose early Sunday morning. The argument that there had to be three literal days and nights (72 hours) in the grave simply cannot fit the prophetic timeline of these three feasts. Jesus died on Friday the 14th of Abib around 3pm. He was resting in the grave on the weekly Sabbath, the 15th of Abib. Sometime early on Sunday, the first day of the week, the 16th of Abib, Jesus rose from the tomb. By the Eastern reckoning of time, this can constitute three days but, there is no way it can constitute three nights, I don't care how one may try to manipulate it. So, how then are we to understand the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:40 when he said, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Mark 8:31 records Jesus statement in this way. *“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must *suffer many things and *be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and *be killed, and after three days rise again”
In Matthew 17:22-23 Jesus gives definition to his use of “in the heart of the earth” in chapter 12, “And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.' And they were deeply grieved.” In the heart of the earth is the same thing as “into the hands of men.” From the time Jesus was betrayed to the time he rose from the tomb was three days and three nights.
It is as simple as this. Mark shows us that Jesus was buried in the evening just before the Sabbath. He spent the following day which was the Sabbath in the tomb and on the day after the Sabbath which was the first day of the week - Sunday, the women come to anoint the body but he is already gone; And all of this was put forth in the Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, and the feast of first-fruits.