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Was Christ Three Days And Three Nights In The Grave?

Hi R____,

It sure was good getting to meet you! In your conclusion you say:

If any of us crave any thing other than "what is the Truth?" then we are coming to God's word with an idol of the heart and God will show us just what we want to see. So it is of utmost importance that we beg God to take away any preconceived notions about what is His Truth and allow us to see the things of the spirit because this is the truth about God's Word:

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

If you have read much of what I write, you know why I keep pointing people to that verse in John 6. The reason is that, as I have said on so many occasions, God's Word does not mean what it says. If it meant what it said then Christ would be a four footed barn yard animal called a lamb. Or He might be a four footed lion. But we generally know and understand that the "lamb slain from the foundation of the world" is Christ. And we generally know and understand and accept that the "lion of the tribe of Judah" is Christ. Christ is called the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley. He is referred to as a foundation, He is called the chief cornerstone, He is called the root of the olive tree, the Word, etc., etc. The point is that Christ's words or words about Christ's do not mean what they say. They do rather mean what they mean.

For those with eyes to see "Christ's words are spirit." And when it come to the words "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" this is especially true.

Now I am going to go down through your letter and insert the scriptures you refer to just to see if they actually say what you have stated. I pray that God has given me the ability to see that any desire to prove myself right will, without a doubt be painfully burned out of me. And I pray that He has given me the ability to know that the longer I hold to an idol of my heart the more painful will be that burning process. I have no doubt that you feel the same. So let's first go through your letter and see what is there:

I have emboldened those words because I want you to see that this leaves very little room for discussion if you believe what you think is Christ could be what appears to be a messenger (angel) of light, when in reality it is nothing more than a false doctrine. "Try the spirits" is nothing more than an admonition to search the scriptures daily to see whether these things are so. Those 'spirits' are doctrines:

1 John 4: Beloved, believe not every spirit [doctrine], but try the spirits [doctrines] whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

"False prophets" are false prophets because they have and teach false doctrines. So if I search God's Word and find where I have been wrong in my teaching, and I have done so on more than one occasion, then I had better put Truth ahead of pride and conform my teaching to His image.

If Christ rose on the third day then He could not have been in the grave seventy two hours. If Christ were in the grave seventy two hours then He would have risen on the fourth day. Now with that in mind consider what some of Christ's disciples had to say about what is "the third day. Let's just go through Luke 24 and see what we are told is "the third day:"

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they The women who had witnessed Christ's crucifixion] came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Now you and I agree that "the first day of the week" is Sunday. We can both see that Christ was up and gone when the women came to the tomb on the "first day of the week... bringing spices which they had prepared."

When had they prepared these spices? Here is what you say:

Now here is also what you say:

If as you say "Jesus died on Wednesday" and "Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover the previous evening; the next day being the first day of unleavened bread, which is a (high day) Sabbath," then here is what you are saying: Christ ate the Passover Tuesday night, was crucified Wednesday and died at three o'clock in the afternoon on the day of the Passover. The next day would then be Thursday which would be the first day of the days of unleavened bread and would indeed be a high day sabbath. The next day would be Friday and this day would not be a Sabbath and the women could buy spices and prepare them to put on Christ's body Sunday morning. That is what we were all taught in the World Wide Church Of God. But we simply never bothered to try to mesh this doctrine with these words which were spoken late Sunday evening right at sunset:

Luk 24:19 And he [Christ] said unto them [the two men on the road to Emmaus], What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is to the third day since these things were done.
Luk 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

Christ specifically asks Cleopas and his friend "What things." They specifically answer "how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him."

Then they tell us all, " today is to the third day since these things were done. [This is late Sunday evening after the women had already come to the tomb early "that same day" here is the proof:]

Luk 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
Luk 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongs.

What day is "that same day?" It is Sunday, "the first day of the week. So where does this leave a Wednesday crucifixion? Sunday would be the fifth day "since these things were done" if Christ had died at three o'clock Wednesday afternoon. But Sunday is not the fifth day. Sunday, according to two men who were not strangers to what was happening, was "the third day since these things were done." Now let's read the rest of Luke 24 with a desire only to know what saith the scriptures:

Luk 24:2 And they [the women on Sunday morning] found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
Luk 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
Luk 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
Luk 24:5 And as they [the women] were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they [the angels] said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
Luk 24:6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
Luk 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Luk 24:8 And they remembered his words,
Luk 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
Luk 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
Luk 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
Luk 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
Luk 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
Luk 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
Luk 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Luk 24:16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
Luk 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
Luk 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luk 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today [Sunday] is the third day since these things were done.
Luk 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early ["today is the third day"] at the sepulchre;
Luk 24:23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
Luke 24:24 And certain of them which were with us [Peter and John] went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said [early on the morning of "today is the third day"]: but him they saw not.
You continue:

The men on the road to Emmaus had the view that "the third day' included more that just the things which occurred "after he is killed:" Here is what they included in the things which occurred during the time which they say led up to Sunday being "the third day since these things were done:"

Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Obviously the phrase "in heart of the earth," does not accord with 'after he was killed.'

"In the heart of the earth" is a parable. It must be so simply because of the audience to whom this parable is addressed:

Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 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.

Now what is the one thing we know about Christ's Words when He spoke to the multitudes and to the Pharisees?

Mat 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

So what ever is meant by the phrase 'three days and three nights,' it is still a parable because "without a parable spake He not unto them."

"Three day and three nights" is a parable. "The words I speak unto you are spirit..." We cannot take words which we are plainly told do not mean what they say and try to make them mean what they say.  The words "three days and three nights" mean what they mean., They do not mean what they say. And what does "so shall the Son of Man be three day and three nights in the heart of the earth" mean?

The first question we need to ask is what does the number three mean? We have a study on the web page which demonstrates how the scriptures show that 'three' is used in scripture to demonstrate the process of maturing and coming to completion.

Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected [Greek-completed].

If we trembled at what scripture says, then we would notice that Christ said that He would be completed on "the third day, not after the third day. He was "in the heart of the earth...three days and three nights, but He was perfected on "the third day."

Read the study notes and listen to the audio on the number 'three.' Then if you still have questions about what this word means please ask.

The next question we need to ask in order to understand this parable about 'three days and three nights in the heart of the earth' is what is the 'earth' in this parable? Here is what is meant whenever you see the word 'earth' in scripture:

Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

Notice how many times God uses the word 'earth' in this verse pleading with His own people to hear His Words. Yes, 'earth' is always referring to God's own wayward and rebellious people. 'Earth' is a reference, in particular, to those who were to crucify and to kill God's own Son and their own Messiah. 'Earth' is you and me as guilty of the blood and body of Christ, when we are at that point.

"Since these things were done" is a reference to what happened to Christ while He was "in the heart of the earth," while He was being tormented and crucified and finally killed by what Jeremiah called "O earth, earth, earth..."

You continue:

These words were spoken to the Pharisees so this, too, is a parable: "Without a parable spoke He not unto them." Christ is not dwelling on the obvious, He is talking about "walking in the day." And the word 'day' has nothing to do with 12 literal hours of daylight. It is a parable about living a life in the Truth of God's Word as opposed to believing the lies of the established church. This has no more to do with literal days than does three days and three nights in the parable of "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Nowhere in scripture are we told 'Christ was in the tomb three day and three nights.' What we are told is this:

Mat 12:40 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.
Again, Christ's words "are spirit:"
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The "they" I was referring to were the chief priests and the Pharisees, I was not referring to Christ and His disciples.

Here is John 19:31:

Joh 19:31 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.
Now here is the verse to which I was referring:
Joh 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.

The Passover was on the evening of the first day of the days of unleavened bread. Just look at the words with which scripture treats this whole season:

Mat 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

Luk 22:6 And he [Judas] promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
Luk 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

Now you and I both agree that Christ ate the Passover early in order to be sacrificed on the day of the offering of the Passover lamb. So here we have the scriptures calling that day before the Passover "the first day of the feast of unleavened bread." We need to be aware that the entire season is referred to in scripture as "the days of unleavened bread" and not just the seven days in which unleavened bread was not to be eaten. The Jews did not wait to the very last minute to get the leavening out of their houses. They overdid everything, and getting leaven out of their houses was certainly no exception.

Now let's look at John 9:31 more closely:

Joh 19:31 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.

"The preparation" is a reference to preparing for the weekly sabbath. While John does call this particular preparation the "preparation" of the Passover, he does so because that sabbath was also the Passover high day.

Joh 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

The preparation of the Passover and the preparation for the weekly sabbath, by God's design, coincided on this particular year. Here is how this preparation is referred to in all other cases in the gospels:

Mat 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

"The preparation" is a reference to the day before the weekly sabbath and comes from these verses in xodus:

Exo 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Exo 16:5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

Does John 19:31 say 'the high day?' No, it says "the sabbath day." And it says that "it was the preparation." It would make no sense at all to say 'Now that high day was a high day.' That is utterly redundant. But if the annual Passover, which was on the "fourteenth day of the first month, at even happened to fall on a weekly sabbath, then it would make perfect sense to say "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation [for the weekly sabbath] that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that [weekly] sabbath day was [also] an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." If Christ died at three in the afternoon as we are told, then the women would have had plenty of time to go and purchase and prepare spices Friday after three P.M. They certainly would not have waited until after the weekly Sabbath to do something that they could do that very day.

The Passover falling on a weekly Sabbath, Thursday would have been the day on which this verse took place:

Mat 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

Thursday evening would have been when Christ ate the Passover with His disciples and told them that one of them would betray Him. Thursday evening would have been the day when Christ and three of His apostles went into the garden of Gethsemane where Christ prayed till His sweat became as blood. Thursday night was the night that Peter cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. It was the night when Christ was beaten and abused on the second floor of the residence of the high priest while Peter watched it all from the courtyard below. It was just before daybreak, as the cock crowed for the second time that Peter disowned His Lord with an oath and caught the eyes of Christ upon Him as he did so. Then "it was early" Friday morning when, after an entire night of abuse, they took Christ to Pilate and would not enter the judgment hall "lest they be defiled and could not eat the Passover..." because that weekly sabbath just happened to fall on an annual holy day, "that sabbath was a high day."

Joh 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that [weekly] sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

What I told you was "Jesus and His disciples actually ate the Passover early," so that He could be offered on the very day on which the Passover lamb was slain. What I told you was that "the chief priests and the Pharisees would not enter the judgment hall because they would have been defiled and could not have eaten the Passover:"

Joh 18:28 Then led they [the chief priests and the Pharisees] 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.

The Jews had not yet eaten the Passover. Clearly Christ and His disciples had eaten the Passover early. Christ had been observing the Passover for thirty two years at the same time as the rest of the nation of Israel and He had never before done this.

If I said anything that led you to believe that I did not know that Christ and His apostles had already eaten the Passover, please forgive me. I know that Christ and His disciples had finished eating the Passover before He was apprehended. But the priests and the Pharisees had not yet eaten the Passover.

Here you agree with me that Christ ate the Passover early so that He could be offered on the day that the Passover was offered. But a Wednesday crucifixion would make Sunday 'five days since these things' instead of "today is the third day since theses things."

Now let's look at Mark 16:1 and see if it really says "that when that [high day] Sabbath had past they went and bought spices," your words.

Here now is Mark 16:1:

Mar 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

Nowhere in that verse do we read that "when the [high day] Sabbath had passed, they went and bought spices." Does that verse not rather say that when the sabbath was past they came to anoint Christ with the spices which they had bought? And when did they come to anoint Him? On what day of the week is Mark 16:1 taking place?

Mar 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week [early Sunday morning], they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Amen, brother! Here is that passage:
Luk 23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

While this particular sabbath was a high day, it does not say 'the Passover drew on.' The emphasis is on the weekly sabbath, the very first feast mentioned in Leviticus 23:

Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 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.
Lev 23:3 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

There were only two feasts in which absolutely no work of any kind was permitted. That was the weekly sabbath and the day of atonement. Of both of these days it is written "Ye shall do no work therein." Of all the other feasts we read "no servile work therein". Here is what is said of the Passover immediately after what was instructed concerning the weekly sabbath in Leviticus 23:

Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover.
Lev 23:6 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.
Lev 23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

The Hebrew word for servile means 'service.' There was to be no service work during the high days. But if any high day fell on a sabbath there was to be "no work therein." What we are told is that the women bought spices and "returned and prepared spices and rested the sabbath according to the commandment:

Luk 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
Luk 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

Either the world is wrong or else the two disciples on the road to Emmaus were wrong and Christ didn't even bother to straighten them out when they told him "today [Sunday, the day of the wave sheaf offering on the morrow after the weekly sabbath] is the third day since these things were done."

Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
"These things were done" includes Christ apprehension and trial, not just His time in the tomb.

I would like to point out that "the fourtheenth day at even" is actually the beginning of the fifteenth day because the day begins at evening and not in the morning. It certainly did not begin, as we do today, at midnight. In the World Wide Church of God we considered the Passover to be a separate feast from the days of unleavened bread. And indeed it does take place at the beginning of the days of unleavened bread and not in the middle and not at the end. But while the eating of the Passover was part of a high day, it was slain and prepared on the fourteenth day to be eaten after sunset on the fifteenth. According to this verse the Passover was eaten on the first day of the days of unleavened bread:

John 18:28 Then led they [the chief priests and the Pharisees] 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 .

The same scenario is revealed in describing when the day of atonement begins:

Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

So trumpets was the first day of the seventh month and atonement was the tenth day of the seventh month. But look at how this is described to the people of Israel:

Lev 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it [is] a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
Lev 23:29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
Lev 23:30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Lev 23:31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
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, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

"The ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even [of the tenth day], shall ye celebrate your sabbath."

So it was at the Passover. The lamb had to be killed before it could be eaten. One of the most important days of the year, representative of the one of the most important events in the history of mankind, and we in the WCG did not even consider it to be a high holy day. But it was a high day. And as only the Great Mathematician Himself could work it, that high day also fell on a weekly sabbath the year that our Lord was crucified. Consequently the next day was the "the third day since these things," of which 'things' we are not left to speculate:

Luk 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luke 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Until we take our eyes off of letters and see the spirit behind the letters, like Israel of old, we will still have a veil over our faces in the reading of God's Word.

2Co 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
2Co 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

I hope you see that Christ's Words are spiritual words which, just like the symbols, types and shadows of the Old Testament, have a meaning far above their literal meaning. I hope that you can see that we, too, must live by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God and present our own bodies as living sacrifices filling up in our own bodies what is behind of the sufferings of Christ" and be "perfected on the third day."

In closing I want to list the scriptures where the phrase 'the third day' appear. then I will list the scriptures where "three days and three nights appear:

The third day:

1) Mat 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.

2) Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

3) Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify [him]: and the third day he shall rise again.

4) Mat 27:64 Command therefore that the sepulchre 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.

5) Mar 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

6) Mar 10:34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

7) Luk 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

8) Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

9) Luk 18:33 And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

10) Luk 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

11) Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

12) Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day :

There they are. It just happens that this phrase appears twelve times in reference to Christ's crucifixion in the gospels.

Now here is a listing of how many times the parable of the "three days and the three nights" is mentioned:

1) Mat 12:40 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.

That is the 'list.' That phrase appears but one time. It is said to be a sign which proves Christ's messiahship. If we think that "a wicked and adulterous generation is someone besides ouselves, we have once again missed the point of 'every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God.' It is you and I who seek after a sign. But only those who know Christ will even see what is that sign. Christ was not in the tomb 72 hours, but he was in the 'heart of the earth' three days and three nights while He was being beaten, scourged, crucified and killed by His own people.

Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

This is a parable given to the very people who were to be our Lord's murderers. It has nothing to do with a literal seventy-two hours in a tomb. It does have to do with those who make up what the scriptures call the 'earth.' It has to do with the part which this 'earth' played in carrying out the gruesome events which were foreordained to be accomplished in sacrificing the Son of God for the sins of the whole world. It has to do with each of us and our part in denying and crucifying our Lord as well as all the rest of mankind:

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
I hope you don't think that I am arguing with you. I am just craving to understand correctly. Any information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

I feel the same way. All I want is to know the mind of God and the mind of Christ on this and on any other subject. What I know about that mind of God is that it is never to be understood by taking the words of scripture at just face value. If that were not so then anyone could get their concordance and carefully consider the context and understand the deep things of the spirit. But the truth is that any Truth given to any man will not be the results of the efforts of the flesh. Rather revelation of all truth will always be because "flesh and blood has not revealed [Truth] unto you but my Father which is in heaven." All understanding of all truth is always by divine revelation. Anything less is 'head knowledge', void of the spirit of God. "Three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" is no exception to that rule. The time table of events can easily be followed. The carnal mind itself can see that according to the scripture Christ was in the tomb just before sundown Friday, and was up and gone before sunrise Sunday morning. That is one and one half days at the very most. Nevertheless he was "perfected on the third day" and He was "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." But this is all true in the sense that "the damsel is not dead, she only sleeps." They laughed Him to scorn because they knew that she was dead, again demonstrating that Christ's words do not mean what the say. They mean what they mean.


Mike


Good morning J___,

I am attaching this note to the above letter which deals with what 'three days and three nights' means. This letter also brings many of the verses referring to this period of time together. When you have the time, please look at this and get back with me. I think you will see that the statement made by the men on the road to Emmaus precludes a Wednesday Passover.

Joh 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the [weekly seventh day] 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.

Christ was crucified on Friday, was buried just before sunset, and was up and gone before sunrise Sunday morning. And the men on the road to Emmaus tell Christ:

Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.

What "things were done" for this man to say that "today is the third day since these things were done?"  Was it simply Christ's time in the grave that was meant by "these things?" Christ Himself asked this very question"

Luk 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luk 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

"The third day" is since "the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and to have Him crucified." That is the "these things" which transpired to give this man, Cleopas, the right to say that "today is the third day since these things were done." But this conversation between Cleopas and Christ took place shortly before sunset on this "third day since these things were done." Christ had risen before sunrise this very same day:

Luk 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
When were these women at the sepulchre early?
Luk 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
Luk 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
Luk 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
When was Christ talking with Cleopas and his friend?
Luk 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongs.
Luk 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
Luk 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

It was "that same day... the first day of the week, very early in the morning..." How early is "very early in the morning?"

Joh 20:1 The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Mary came "while it was yet dark...very early in the morning...the first day of the week."

And Christ was buried before sunset on the day before the weekly sabbath which weekly sabbath just happened to be the Passover, making it a 'high' holy day that particular year:

Joh 19:31 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.

So if Christ were buried just before sunset Friday and was up and gone before sunrise on the first day of the week, the very most He could have been in the tomb would be something near one 24 hour period and another 12 hour night making a total of 36 hours tops.

But if "the heart of the earth" is a parable referring to being in the clutches of His enemies, then we are not even concerned with exactly how long Christ was in the tomb. Christ was addressing the Pharisees when He made this statement:

Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 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.
And how did Christ speak to the Pharisees and to the multitudes?
Mat 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
Let me know what you think, J___.

Mike