“ for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”. Jonah 1:17
Matthew 27:63, “after three days I will rise again.
John 2:19, “Jesus answered and said to them, destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Verse 21, “he was speaking of the temple of his body.
I Corinthians 15:4, “and that he was buried, and that he arose on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Mathew 20:19, “and deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day he will rise again.
All have the same meaning.
We are all familiar with these verses. But, there a great deal of division in the religious world concerning the phase “three days and three nights. Does it mean Christ was in the earth for exactly 72 hours? Not a minute more or minute less. Those who uphold this view argue that God is exact and precise in what he says. What are your thoughts on this?
Herbert W. Armstrong was a great believer that Christ was in the grave precisely 72 hours. He was born in 1892 and died in 1986, he was the founder of the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930”s. He claimed that he was an Apostle called by God, and end time Elijah to proclaim the gospel of God’s Kingdom to the world before Christ returned. He had a radio program which eventually became nationwide wide called, “The World Tomorrow. He began publications of paper called, “The Plain Truth”. The term “Armstrongism” was related to his teaching and those that followed him.
Armstrong asserted that Jesus staked his claim to being your Savior and mine upon being three days and three nights in the tomb. By three days and three nights, Armstrong meant precisely 72 hours. Armstrong contends that because Jesus was in the tomb for precisely 72 hours, he could not have buried on Friday and rose on Sunday morning. This they say would only be 2 nights, Friday night and Saturday night. Armstrong teaches that Jesus was crucified late on Wednesday and rose late Saturday afternoon. Hence three days and three nights, 72 hours. So that would make Jesus rise on the Sabbath day. Does his argument seem logical to you? If not, how would you refute such an argument?
John 11:9—“are there not 12 hours in a day? We refer to a day as 24 hours. Jews 24 hours was reckoned in by 12 and 12.
Daylight-- from daylight to darkness. Night time-- darkness to light. In other words 6 am to 6pm is a day. Night would be 6 pm to 6 am. So, Jewish day begins at sundown. The Jews had no word corresponding to our natural day of 24 hours or from midnight to midnight. Their meaning was expressed by a word meaning “a night day” and to this they added the custom of saying “night and day” for what we mean by a natural day or a revolution of the earth. hence to express the time of a part of three consecutive days, they would say three days and three nights. So Jesus words in Matthew 12:40, “so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Holy Spirit revealed and his words were recorded according to the customs and language at the time the people lived.
Mark 15:25 records that Christ was crucified. (0900 am on Friday). From the sixth hour (noon) until the ninth hour (3 pm) darkness was upon the earth. Matthew 27:45 Around the ninth hour (3pm) in Matthew 27:46 Jesus cried aloud to his Father saying, “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? In verse 50 it says, “Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit”. Jewish day ended at the twelfth hour (6 pm). This was on a Friday evening. How do we know? Mark 15:42, “now when evening had come because it was the Preparation Day, that is,
the day before the Sabbath. So called because no work could be done on the Sabbath. Luke 23:56.
Jesus body was placed in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea late in the afternoon on the Preparation day, and taken down before that day was over. Why? Law of Duet.21:3 and recorded by John in 19:31, “therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath”. So Christ is placed in the tomb very late on the day of Preparation just as the Sabbath day was to begin.
Mark 15:42. So 1 night begins.
Can we find examples this? Notice first
Mark 16:2. “Very early in the morning on the first day of the week.
Luke 24:1, “now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning.
John 20:1, “now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early.
2 nights, 1 day and 2 parts of a day.
Is this how Jews reckoned time? Do we have examples?
Esther 4:16, 5:1
Verse 3, angel appears to Cornelius at 3 pm. Call this Monday late.
Verse 9, men arrive at Peter place around noon. Call this Tuesday.
Verse 23, they leave and return to Cornelius on the next day. Wednesday
Verse 24, they arrived at Cornelius house around 3 pm.
In verse 30 Cornelius says, 4 days ago.
- CL Bruner