"3 Days/3 Nights"

April 16, 2014

“3 Days/3 Nights - Jesus Said…”

Blessings folk!

Well, some discussion is being had on Blogs and Facebook related to the question yesterday.

What did Jesus mean by what He said in Matthew 12:40?

Let us look at the context.

Remember, Jesus was responding to a demand/command presented to Him by the scribes and Pharisees.
They wanted to see a sign.
They wanted a “supernatural show”.

Watch what Jesus says in verse 40 while reading the entire exchange.
Give special attention to the balance of what Jesus said.

Matthew 12:38-45

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 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.
41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.
44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.
45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

The specific focus of the moment is the 3 days/3 nights statement.

But first, did you find the other things Jesus stated interesting?
“Something greater” ?
“Unclean spirit” ?
All in response to a command for a sign?
We will look at these later.

For now…
I rest on the statement that Jesus made about the Son of Man being in the heart of the earth 3 days/3 night.
Not a portion of any part of the day/night...folk always pull out that line… “in the Jewish understanding, any portion of a day is the complete day”...wonder what they base that upon?

Jesus said 3 days/3 nights.
The assumption is that He is referring to what would occur to Him upon His death.

With this understanding and knowing what can be learned from the Feasts of the Lord (Israel), then the following timing can be sure.

Jesus died on a Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. “In between the evenings” on Nisan 14.
They desired to remove Him from the cross because the next day was a Sabbath.
Not the weekly Sabbath (Fri/Sat. our time).
But, the Sabbath High Holy day of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15.
At sundown, Nisan 15 began.
Remember, the Hebrew day begins at sundown.
evening/morning: Thursday
evening/morning: Friday
evening/morning: Saturday

Three nights.
Three days.

At evening Sunday began.
Jesus was resurrected at some point between the beginning of the day (Sunday evening) and sunrise.
(By the way, the Feasts of Firstfruits!)

Some will say it was just before sunrise because the stone was rolled away then.
The stone was not rolled away to provide egress for Jesus.
The stone was rolled away to show that the tomb was empty. Happy Happy

So, does this mean that what we remember as “holy week” is in error?
As far as timing, yes.

But, there is nothing wrong with remembering…
Remembering the darkness of the last hours on the cross…
Remembering the despair of the days…
Remembering the resurrection.

Yes, we are resurrection beings who live and breathe the very resurrected Presence of the Lord.

We have no direct command in the Word to “celebrate” most of what we celebrate.
No command to celebrate the birth of the Lord - Christmas.
No command to celebrate “Easter” (“easter” is actually a pagan fertility rite...thus the eggs, rabbits, etc.)
No command to celebrate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, etc.

Again, hear me carefully.
It is good to remember.
It is good to reflect.
It is better to rejoice.
It is better to give thanks.

Worship gatherings related to all these things are fine.

But, let us not loose sight of why and Who we worship.

So, what is the point?
Is it important?
All this timing stuff, et. al.

I think so.

If we do not accurately handle these simple truths that are evident in the Word, then why would anyone trust us with other truths?

Oh, one more thing.

Did you notice that the 3 days/3 nights was a sign?
Sign of what?