Three Days and Three Nights On The Third Day

 

The Bible Is Our Standard of Truth

Not Religious Tradition

Matt 12:38-40 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh (seeks) after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas (Jonah): For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus said He would be in the grave for three days and three nights (72 hours), he did not say one day and two nights(Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night as most people believe). There are some who falsely claim that a part of a day is considered a day. That is totally untrue; and, there is no way to get three nights out of two, Friday night and Saturday night. The word of God is true and accurate and we must believe it rather than traditional religious teaching.

Matt 27:62-66 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre (grave) be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Even the unbelieving Pharisees knew that Jesus claimed He would be in the grave for three days and three nights, “After three days I will rise again.” It is amazing that so many Christians don’t believe that Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights. Tradition has replaced the authority of the word of God.

Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

In Genesis we see that the day started in the evening, and not the morning. The day started with the night and went from evening until morning, and then from morning until evening. This may seem confusing to us, but it shouldn’t be; our day does not start at morning, but it starts at midnight and ends at midnight. The Jewish day starts and ends at sunset, six hours earlier then our day; therefore, their Sabbath starts at about six o’clock on our Friday evening and ends at about six o’clock on our Saturday evening. Therefore, their first day of the week starts on our Saturday evening, not Sunday morning, one minute after midnight.

Lev 23:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even (evening), from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

As we see here the Jewish Sabbath started in the evening and ended in the evening, one full night followed by one full day, 24 hours.

Luke 23:52-56 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

Jesus died and was buried on the day of preparation for the annual Passover Sabbath. He died the day before the annual Passover Sabbath and not the day before the weekly Sabbath; He did not die on Friday. Notice, He was placed in the grave before the beginning of the Passover Sabbath day, and the women even had time to prepare embalming spices and ointments before the end of the day and the beginning of the Passover Sabbath day.

Lev 23:2-7 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

There are three Sabbath days mentioned here, (1) the seventh day Sabbath, (2) the Passover Sabbath, and (3) the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread Sabbath; in all, three Sabbath days in a row. Jesus who is our Passover was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover Sabbath. He died as the true Passover Lamb at twilight (Ex.12:6), at the same time of day the Passover lambs were being slain in preparation for the Passover. Jesus was placed in the grave before the beginning of the Passover Sabbath and remained there for three Sabbath days in a row.

John 18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover.

Those who arrested Jesus did not enter the gentile court, so that they would not be defiled, so that they could eat the Passover. It was early morning on the day before the Passover, and by that evening, at the beginning of the Passover Sabbath, Jesus would be dead and in the grave. This verse makes it clear, Jesus died the day before the Passover Sabbath, not the Saturday Sabbath.

John 19:14-16 And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

At that time, the sixth hour was the same as our twelve noon, the ninth hour was three in the afternoon, and the twelfth hour was six in the evening or the end of the day. Therefore, we see here that they began to crucify Jesus at about the sixth hour, which is about twelve noon.

John 19:31-37 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

It was late in the day and the Passover Sabbath was about to begin, Jesus died at the same time of day as the Passover lambs were being slain in preparation for the Passover. This point is most important because Jesus Christ is the true Passover Lamb of God. John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 1 Cor 5:7b For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Because Jesus was the Passover Lamb of God, it was necessary that He die at the same time as the Passover lambs. The Passover feast was given to lead us to Christ, that we might recognize Him as the true Passover Lamb.

Lev 23:5-6 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

The Passover Sabbath began at evening on the 14th day of the first month, the Feast of Unleavened Bread Sabbath was on the 15th day of the first month, and the weekly Sabbath was on the following day. Three Sabbath days in a row, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Matt 28:1&5-6 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

When the women went to the grave before daylight. Jesus was already risen, because He had risen about twelve hours earlier before the beginning of the first night of the week, on the third day. Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights (72 hours), not three days and four nights. Therefore, we know that Jesus died on our Wednesday afternoon and was in the grave Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, and Saturday (3 full days and 3 full nights). This means He rose late Saturday afternoon, on the third day.

1 Cor 15:3-8 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

It is necessary that we believe Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins, was buried, and rose again. If we truly believe the Bible is correct we will also believe that Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights (72 hours), just as He said He would be. Therefore, He could not have died on our Friday and risen on our Sunday, that would only be one day and two nights: Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night, about 36 hours. Those who count any part of a day as a whole day, come up short by about 36 hours. The Bible must be our guide and not tradition. We must not twist the scriptures to make them fit our traditions.

Matt 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Jesus taught He was to rise on the third day, which is correct, since He died and was placed in the grave on the day of preparation, before the beginning of Passover, and was in the grave for a full three days and a full three nights (72 hours). He was placed in the grave before the beginning of the Passover on Wednesday afternoon and rose 72 hours latter on Saturday afternoon, on the third day.

1 Cor 5:7-8 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

We celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf, not at Easter time, but when we partake of the Lord’s Supper with a sincere heart and in truth. Truth is to be found in the word of God, and not in the traditions of men. Furthermore, we must never compromise truth for the sake of tradition.

Matthew 5:18
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The word of God is fully accurate; we can count on it being fulfilled completely and accurately. We must never try to explain it away, even when we do not fully understand it.

All Scripture taken from the Kings James Bible
Written by Max Swan – revised 2-2015

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