There seems to be a great debate over the time frame that the Bible says Jesus was in the tomb. If you research this issue, you will find some conflicting answers. In one of his books, Max Lucado says that the Jews consider any part of a day as one day; therefore, the crucifixion and the burial on Friday is day one, a full day in the tomb on Saturday (the Sabbath), and risen Sunday morning, day three. Lucado is not the only source that follows this logic, but the others are fundamentally the same.
Other commentators believe that the crucifixion actually happened on Wednesday and the resurrection on Saturday. The other fly in the ointment is the part about Jesus being in the tomb “three days and three nights,” just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for “three days and three nights.” The sticking point seems to be on whether the verbiage “three days and three nights” is a literal 72 hour period.
Smoke and mirrors
Why the debate over Jesus being in the tomb for three days? Why all the arguing about, “well, that was Friday to Sunday, that’s not three days” and people say this and people say that. They are missing the point by a mile! The point is, the Lord Jesus Christ was dead; they killed Him on a Roman cross; they laid Him in a tomb, and He rose from the dead. It doesn’t matter if it was three days or three months or three seconds. The point of the story is He was dead but now He’s alive. Everything else is just a distraction.
Instead of standing with our mouths open, with outstretched hands to feel the holes in His hands and His side, instead of jumping out of the boat and swimming to shore, instead of falling at His feet in the garden, we are debating semantics. And this is how it goes.
We demand an explanation. We won’t accept a God you can’t see. We won’t believe that there are things we cannot understand. If it doesn’t make sense, we want no part. Wait. Aren’t we supposed to walk by faith and not by sight? It’s not just this question that we trip over. It’s everything that seems impossible. But with God all things are possible.
I understand that we want to understand exactly how this can be. We are analytical. We like sense; we like explanations. But if we trip on this question, what about all the others? Don’t you find it strange, the big debate about three days? Sometime shortly after this, Jesus “was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’ Acts 1:10-11
Is anyone debating if He rose into the sky and then two angels appeared and asked a question? If we spend all our time debating the little things, we miss the big ones.
JESUS CHRIST TOOK OUR PUNISHMENT FOR OUR SINS, DIED FOR US AND ROSE AGAIN….No matter how you count the days, the result is the same.
I don’t think I could have presented it better myself. You’re absolutely right! The important part is that He died and rose again. No sense in arguing semantics. God bless.
Thank you, Joel.