EASTER QUESTION RESOLVED: “Did Christ really spend 3 days after his death to his resurrection; He should have risen on Monday if it is really 3 days?” HAPPY EASTER!!!

EASTER QUESTION RESOLVED: “Did Christ really spend 3 days after his death to his resurrection; He should have risen on Monday if it is really 3 days?” 


RESPONSE:

The 3 days and nights used in the scriptures is contextually based in relation
to the ancient Jewish culture; hence, a proper understanding of the scriptures
is also based on understanding the language and culture of the ancient Jews,
since Christianity is a product of the Jewish culture.

It is very obvious to the 21st-century reader that these
statements (after 3days) may initially appear to contradict one another, but in
reality, they harmonize perfectly if one understands the different and more
liberal, methods ancients Jews often used when reckoning time.
For the ancient Jews, any part of a day could be computed for
the whole day and the night following it. 
More importantly, the ancient Jewish day was measured from the rising of
the sun to its setting. Hence, 7am of our day is usually the first hour of the
day, while 12noon is usually the 6th hour. The day ends with 6pm, which is
known as the 12th hour… While the remaining 12hours belong to the night. That
is why the Bible usually makes use of the term “days and nights”(for
example, forty days and forty nights) to refer to events.
The Jerusalem Talmud quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived
around A.D. 100, as saying: “A day and night are an Onah (a portion of time)
and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it”
Thus, as awkward as it may sound to the contemporary man living
in the 21st century, a person in ancient times could legitimately speak of
something occurring “on the third day,” or after “three days and three nights,”
yet still be referring to the same exact day. How do I mean? The Scriptures
contain several examples which clearly show that in Bible times a part of a day
was often equivalent to the whole day.
In Acts 10, we can glean further insight into the ancient
practice of counting consecutive days (in part or in whole) as complete days. 
Luke recorded in “Acts”, how an angel appeared to Cornelius at “about
the ninth hour of the day” (approximately 3:00 p.m.; Acts 10:3). “The next day”
(10:9) Peter received a vision from God and welcomed visitors sent by
Cornelius. “On the next day” (10:23) Peter and the servants of Cornelius
departed for Caesarea. “And the following day they entered Caesarea” where
Peter taught Cornelius and his household the Gospel (10:24). At one point
during Peter’s visit,Cornelius spoke about his encounter with the angel of God.
Notice carefully how he began the rehearsal of the event. He stated: “Four days
ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour…” (10:30)
Although the event actually had occurred only 72 hours (or three literal days)
earlier, Cornelius spoke of it as taking place “four days ago to this hour.”
Why four days instead of three? Because according to the first-century method
of reckoning time, a part of the first day and a part of the fourth day could
be counted as whole days.
Surely one can see how this information aligns itself perfectly
with Jesus’ burial taking place on Friday and His resurrection occurring on
Sunday. A part of Friday, all day Saturday, and a part of Sunday would be
considered three days in ancient times, not one or two.
Further evidence proving that Jesus’ statements regarding His
burial were not contradictory centers around the fact that even His enemies did
not accuse Him of contradicting Himself. No doubt this was due to their
familiarity with and use of the flexible, customary method of stating time. In
fact, the chief priests and Pharisees even said to Pilate the day after Jesus
was crucified: “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver
said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made
secure until the third day” (Matthew 27:63-64, emph. added). The phrase “after
three days” must have been equivalent to “the third day,” else surely the
Pharisees would have asked for a guard of soldiers until the fourth day. 

It is interesting that modern skeptics charge Jesus with contradicting Himself,
but not the hypercritical Pharisees of His own day.
The idiomatic expressions that Jesus and the Bible writers
employed to denote how long Jesus would remain in the grave does not mean that
He literally was buried for 72 hours. Thus, we interpret the account of Jesus’
crucifixion, burial, and resurrection in light of the cultural setting of the
ancient Jews, and not according to the present-day.


Hence, in our counting, we commence with Good Friday (the day He
died, at about the 9th hour which is 3pm) as DAY 1; DAY 2 happens to be the
ancient Sabbath Day (Saturday), while DAY 3 falls on the first day of the week (Sunday) which we all know as Easter.

Leave a Reply