Wasn’t the Sabbath changed from Saturday to Sunday because Yeshua arose from the grave on the first day of the week?

First we must consider what possible bearing the day of 
Yeshua’s resurrection could have on what day the Sabbath is to 
be celebrated. Outside of church tradition there is no reason 
for changing the Sabbath day – certainly none to be found in the 
Bible. (See the next chapter for more information on this.)

Second we have to ask the question, “Is it even true that 
Yeshua was resurrected on Sunday?”

Notice what Yeshua told the Pharisees who were looking for a 
sign of the Messiah: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks 
after a sign, and NO SIGN will be given to it EXCEPT the sign of 
the prophet Jonah. For 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” (Matt. 
12:39-40). The only sign Yeshua gave to prove He was the Messiah 
was that the grave would only hold Him for a limited amount of 
time – exactly “three days and three nights” (or 72 hours). But 
the Easter Sunday tradition maintains that Yeshua was buried 
just before sunset on “Good Friday” afternoon and resurrected 
early Sunday morning – only two nights and one day (or 36 hours)!

Some will argue the definition of “day.” But Yeshua clearly 
stated that there are 12 hours in a day, not including the night 
(John 11:9-10). Therefore when Easter Sunday proponents take 
His remark and conclude that Yeshua was in the grave three days 
x 12 hours = 36 hours, we can see that they are leaving out the 
“three nights.” There are approximately 12 hours of daytime and 
12 hours of nighttime in one 24-hour day! So three days and 
three nights are definitely 72 hours. But was it exactly 72 
hours? Yeshua said He would arise “AFTER three days” (Mark 
8:31) – i.e. no less than 72 hours. But He also said He would rise 
“IN three days” (John 2:19, 21) – i.e. no more than 72 hours. This 
is absolutely clear – 72 hours exactly! And YeHoVaH is always right 
on schedule.

Also consider that when the women came to His tomb Sunday 
morning, “it was still dark” (John 20:1) and He had already 
risen. How could this be? The Sunday resurrection proponents 
contend that He had risen just moments before. If they were 
correct, then “three days and three nights” earlier would be 
just before sunrise on Thursday morning. Yet no one believes 
that Yeshua was buried on Thursday morning (or any morning for that 
matter), and with good reason. When Joseph of Arimathea laid 
Yeshua’s body in the tomb, “the Sabbath drew near” (Luke 
23:50-54). Biblical days including Sabbaths begin at sunset 
and end the following sunset (cf. Genesis 1:5-31; Leviticus 
23:32) – a nighttime period followed by a daytime period.

Yeshua then was buried in late afternoon – before a 
particular Sabbath began at sunset. Three days and three nights 
later would be the same time of day, or late afternoon! Now we have 
another problem. If we assume that Yeshua was buried on Friday 
afternoon as the Good Friday tradition asserts, then His 
resurrection (72 hours later) would be Monday afternoon. Yet no 
one believes this either, and again with good reason. For remember 
that Yeshua had already risen before the women came to His tomb 
prior to daybreak Sunday morning! What then is the answer?

Why have so many thought that Yeshua was put in the grave on 
Friday afternoon? Mark 15:42 states that “it was the Preparation 
Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath.” Since the weekly 
Sabbath always occurred on the seventh day of the week (now 
called Saturday), the “Preparation Day” was normally on Friday. 
However we have already seen the problem with this. The answer 
to the apparent dilemma is that the weekly Sabbath is not the 
only Sabbath mentioned in the Bible. Leviticus 23 lists seven 
annual Holy Days that occur in YeHoVaH’s Festivals. Each of these 
days was considered a Sabbath (or a “rest” from normal labor). 
All annual Sabbaths or “High Days” (except Pentecost) fell on 
particular calendar dates rather than set days of the week.

Now the mystery can be solved by reading John 19:31. The Jews 
wanted to remove the crucified victims “because it was the 
Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross 
on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a HIGH DAY).” Yeshua ate His last supper with His disciples the night before His death (Luke 
22:15). He died on the cross the next afternoon, which was still 
Passover (the 14th of Abib or Nisan according to the Hebrew 
Calendar – Leviticus 23:5). Leviticus 23:6-7 reports that the next 
day, beginning the evening after His crucifixion, was not a 
weekly Sabbath but an annual Sabbath – the first day of the Feast 
of Unleavened Bread.

Now put together the facts. It is clear from the Bible that 
Yeshua died and was buried on Passover afternoon and that the 
following day was an annual Sabbath. It is also clear that He 
was resurrected at the same time of day – late afternoon. But 
which afternoon? Since the women found Him already gone Sunday 
morning, it would be sensible to conclude that He had been 
resurrected the previous afternoon on Saturday! This would mean 
He had been buried three days and three nights earlier or Wednesday 
afternoon. It would also mean that Passover (Nisan 14) fell on a 
Wednesday that year. And indeed that is what happened in A.D. 
31, a year that fits the time frame the Bible demands.

Scripture also provides further proof that there were TWO 
Sabbaths that week – an annual and a weekly one. In Mark 15:47, 
Mary Magdalene and her companion watched Joseph of Arimathea lay 
Yeshua in the tomb near the end of the Passover. The next verse, 
Mark 16:1, tells us that after the “Sabbath,” Mary Magdalene and 
her companions bought spices with which to anoint Yeshua’s dead 
body. However Luke 23:56 shows that they prepared the spices 
before the Sabbath. Naturally they couldn’t have prepared 
spices before they were even bought! The only explanation that 
makes sense is that they bought the spices on Friday and 
prepared them the same day – after the annual Sabbath on Thursday 
and before the weekly Sabbath on Saturday! Then they rested on 
the weekly Sabbath; at the end of which Yeshua was resurrected. 
The next morning (Sunday) they came to the tomb before sunrise 
and found Him already gone.

But some will point out Mark 16:9 which says: “Now when He 
rose early on the first day of the week…” Yet how can this be? 
To understand we should read the verse in the original King 
James Version and continue further in the sentence: “Now when 
Yeshua was risen [the perfect tense is correct here – He was 
already risen] early the first day of the week, he appeared 
first to Mary Magdalene.” He was not “rising” on Sunday morning. 
As we’ve seen, He rose Saturday afternoon. So early Sunday 
morning He was already “risen.” Also realize that in the 
original Greek there was no punctuation. Had the King James 
translators simply put a comma after the word “risen” and not 
after “week,” this would make complete sense. The Centenary 
Translation renders it this way: “Now after his resurrection, 
early on the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary 

To conclude, a Sunday morning resurrection could not be the 
reason for changing the weekly day of worship from Saturday to 
Sunday. But even if Yeshua were resurrected on Sunday, why would 
His disciples (who had kept the seventh-day Sabbath with Him) have 
abandoned His example of keeping the Ten Commandments and 
switched to Sunday-keeping? And why would they have picked 
Sunday, a day already associated with pagan sun worship? The 
Bible is very clear that Yeshua was not resurrected on Sunday 
morning and thus this attempt to change YeHoVaH’s Torah is NOT 

If you enjoyed this blog post, you will love the book, “Sunday Is Not The Sabbath?” 

Arthur Bailey is The Overseer of House Of Israel. House of Israel (HOI) Global Headquarters is located in Charlotte, NC. HOI is a Messianic, Hebrew, Hebraic Roots, and Messianic Discipleship Training and Leadership Development Center. As a Torah-Teaching, Spirit-Filled, New Covenant ministry, we actively teach the Hebrew Roots of the Christian faith.