In this post I will lay out what I have discovered to be the perfect fit for the sign of “three days and three nights” that Jesus left to those asked Him for “one more sign”. When He spoke of three days and three nights, it is literally what He meant, three literal complete days and three literal and complete nights. No more and no less.
We noticed in an earlier post that the verses dealing with the “three days and three nights” around the death and resurrection of Jesus hold different statements: “the third day”, “after three days”, and
“three days and three nights”. Somehow, all of these statements must
In yet another post, we looked at the Sabbath day connection and were
left with the following question: “How is it possible for the women to
buy the spices AFTER the Sabbath (Mark 16:1) AND prepare the spices
BEFORE the Sabbath (Luke 23:56)?
And in yet anther post, we looked at the buying and preparing of the
spices as a clue to the chronology of events between the death and resurrection of Jesus.
And in one more post, we looked at how Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection fulfilled the first three Feasts of Jehovah; the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Firstfruits.
If you have not done so, I recommend that you review the Three Days and Three Nights: According to the Scriptures before continuing.
If you have not done so, I recommend that you review the Three Days and Three Nights: The Women Hold the Key before continuing.
If you have not done so, I recommend that you review the Three Days and Three Nights: A Spicy Solution before continuing.
If you have not done so, I recommend that you review the Three Days and Three Nights: Every Jot and Tittle before continuing.
The Time of Jesus’ Burial
The Gospel accounts are clear that Jesus was buried in the evening at the time of the setting sun. This corresponds to the moment when the Jewish calendar went from the 14th to the 15th. View the study on the Day According to Genesis 1:5 for more details on this concept (link pending). In a literal sense, after Jesus expired (died) at 3pm on the 14th, he was buried at 6pm on the 14th literally at the start of the 15th (which was a Sabbath high day).
Remember that the sign that Jesus gave was, that the Son of Man would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. This sign did not start at the moment of His death, but at the moment of His burial.
The Moment of Jesus’ Resurrection
When the women went to the tomb around the break of dawn, it was likely somewhere around 6 am. Many often confuse the time of the women going to the tomb as the time when Jesus rose from the dead. As a side note, many also confuse the time of the earthquake with the time when Jesus rose from the dead.
As the Scriptures teach us, Jesus had already risen prior to the women going to the tomb in the early morning. Additionally, the earthquake was not to let Jesus “out” of the tomb but rather to let people see “into” the tomb. Jesus did not need the rock to be moved in order for Him to rise from the dead, but the people certainly needed the rock to be moved in order to be able to see that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Let us consider again the three statements: “the third day”, “after three days”, “three days and three nights”. These three different statements must mesh, otherwise the Scriptures contradict themselves. Let’s look at them one by one.
“the third day”: when considering the meaning of this statement, we can look at what it would mean if it said “the first day” after the burial of Jesus. In practical terms, if the burial day was “day zero”, then the first day after would be “day one”. If we considered “the second day” after the burial of Jesus, it would be considered “day two”. Following along, “the third day” after the burial of Jesus we would be “day 3”. Observe the following chart.
“after three days”: when considering the meaning of this statement, we can look at what it would mean if it said “after one day” from the burial of Jesus. Remember that Jesus was buried literally at the change of the day, as one day went into the other. Therefore, if we consider the day that Jesus was buried as “day zero”, “after one day” would not mean “day one”, but “day two”, after one day had passed from His burial. Likewise, “after two days” would not mean “day two”, but “day three”, after two days had passed from His burial. So when we look at “after three days”, it does not mean “day three”, but “day four”, after three days had passed from His burial. Observe the following chart.
When we combine the two charts, there seems to be a contradiction. Remember that both statements MUST be true.
The only moment of time that makes both statements true is the moment of transition from the one day to the other. Literally, the time of the setting sun on the Sabbath day, the moment when the first day of the week was about to start.
Why does it matter? Because we still have one more phrase that MUST be included in the solution: “three days and three nights”. As you look at the following chart, consider how the Spirit of God was able to use the “looseness of telling time” of that age, to confirm the exact time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, fulfilling to “the minute” the sign of the prophet Jonah. It was not “around three days and three nights”, it was exactly three days and three nights.
The Day of Jesus Death
After determining the details as to the day and time of the resurrection of Jesus, it is only a matter of going backwards to find out on which day Jesus actually died. If we count back from 6pm Saturday (the Sabbath) to Friday 6pm, we have one day. If we continue to Thursday 6pm, we have two days. If we continue back to Wednesday 6pm, we have three days.
As you try to assimilate all this information, take a deep breath. The Scriptures are loaded with information, but by searching them, we find out that God has given us more than enough to find out these precious realities.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is spoken of as God’s seal of approval for the work Christ did on the cross to save sinners. I would suggest that the exact fulfillment of the sign of the prophet Jonah serves as a great big exclamation mark.
Why does any of it matter?
Before the idiom The devil is in the detail came about, there existed an idiom that said “God is in the details”. And a truer idiom could not have existed. Many say they believe in God, and some will go as far as to say that they believe God.
But why can mankind believe God and take Him at His word?, because God is in the details. A careful study of Scripture will reveal an amazing message written to man from His Creator. All kinds of “Easter Eggs” are hidden in plain sight in the Scriptures to be found by those who take the time to look. Clues left by the Creator so that we would know without a doubt that He was communicating to us.
Search the Scriptures, find the gems, share the treasure is the theme of this website. These events surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are just that. They are a hidden treasure that serves to confirm the authenticity of the author of the Scriptures as the Creator of all.
Redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” 1 Peter 3:19 – 21.
- This was a pretty intense study and I encourage you to go back and start over from Three Days and Three Nights: According to the Scriptures
- Download and print the Three Days and Three Nights PDF Summary chart
- Let us know what you think in the comments below.