WAS Jesus three days and three nights in the grave, as He said in Matthew 12:40?
Can you figure three days and three nights between sunset "Good Friday" and sunrise Easter Sunday?
We have never published an article that stirred more comment and enthusiastic endorsement than this article.
IT is commonly supposed, today, Jesuswas crucified on FRIDAY, and that the resurrection occurred about sunrise on Easter Sunday morning. It would seem that no one, until recently, ever thought to question or to PROVE this "Good-Friday-Easter" tradition. Yet the Bible tells us to PROVE all things. And you will be literally astounded by this proof. For PROOF there is but one dependable authority; a sole historical record -- the Bible.Tradition No Evidence
There were no eye-witnesses to the resurrection. Even so-called "apostolic fathers" had no source of information save that record which is today available to us. Tradition, then, must be dismissed.
What are the recorded facts? The doubting Pharisees were asking Jesus for a SIGN -- a supernatural evidence -- in proof of His Messiahship.
Jesus answered: "An evil andadulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 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." (Matt. 12:38-40).
Now consider, please, the tremendous import -- the overwhelming significance -- of Jesus' statement!
Heexpressly declared that the ONLY SIGN He Would give to prove He was the Messiah was that He should be just THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the rock-hewn sepulchre in "the heart of the earth."
The Significance of the Sign
These Christ-rejecting Pharisees demanded PROOF. Jesus offered but one evidence. That evidence was not the fact of the resurrection itself -- it was the LENGTH OF TIME Hewould repose in His grave, before being resurrected.
Think what this means! Jesus staked His claim to being your Saviour and mine upon remaining exactly THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the tomb. IF He remained just three days and three nights inside the earth, He would PROVE Himself the Saviour -- if He failed in this sign, He must be rejected as an imposter!
No wonder Satan has causedunbelievers to scoff at the story of Jonah and the "Whale!" No wonder the Devil has set up a tradition that DENIES Jesus is the Messiah!
The Dilemma of the Higher Critics
This one and only supernatural PROOF ever given by Jesus for His Messiahship has greatly bothered the commentators and the higher critics. Their attempts to explain away this sole proof for Christ's divinity are ludicrous inthe extreme. For explain this away they must, or their "Good-Friday-Easter" tradition collapses!
One commentator says, "Of course we know that Jesus was actually in the tomb only half as long as He thought He would be!" Some expositors impose upon our credulity to the extent of asking us to believe that "in the GREEK language, in which the New Testament was written, the expression 'three daysand three nights' means three PERIODS, either of day or of night!"
Jesus, they say, was placed in the tomb shortly before sunset FRIDAY, and rose at sunrise Sunday morning -- two nights and one day.
The BIBLE Definition
But the BIBLE definition of the duration of "nights and days" is simple.
Even these same higher critics admit that in the HEBREW language, in which the book of Jonahwas written, the expression "three days and three nights" means a period of 72 hours -- three twelve-hour days and three twelve-hour nights.
Notice Jonah 1:17: "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS!" This, they admit was a period of 72 hours. And Jesus distinctly said that AS Jonah was three days and three nights in the great fish's belly, SO He would be the...