THE SIGN OF THE MESSIAH                  

 "FOR AS JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE

GREAT FISH, SO WILL THE SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS

IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH."  Matthew 12:40      

       I have never heard anyone say "THE EARTH WAS CREATED IN THREE DAYS". Nor have I heard any one say that when God destroyed the earth and He told Noah build an Ark, "IT RAINED ON THE EARTH TWENTY DAYS". When the Israelite's were  in Egypt, I have heard no one say "THEY WERE IN CAPTIVITY 200 YEARS", nor that "JESUS FASTED AND WAS TEMPTED 20 DAYS IN THE WILDERNESS".

       All of these would not be scriptural, thus making the Bible a book of lies, would it not? There is not even one Bible believing Christian that would agree with any of the statements in the above paragraph. Why, then, as far back as I can remember, just about every church I have known, teaches that Christ was crucified and buried on Friday and resurrected Sunday morning? That is only ONE AND A HALF DAYS! Incredible!! 

       To my knowledge, none of the churches who hold to a Friday crucifixion, teach that Jonah was in the whale's belly only one and a half days! Even Christ Himself, declared that Jonah was in the fishes belly 3 days and 3 nights, stating, that in like manner, He would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.

       I have found that when teaching Biblical truth that it is very important to consider all that is said on the subject in ALL FOUR ACCOUNTS of the Gospel. Very few parables and other events are found in all four accounts. However, all four accounts; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give important facts of Jesus' last week. But, one must take in account that NOT ALL THREE give precisely the same details. In some cases one can read one account, then another one, and falsely draw the conclusion they have FOUND A CONTRADICTION in scripture. The FOUR ACCOUNTS OF THE GOSPEL and their harmony is another whole study in itself. But, it is sufficient so say here that they ARE NOT CONFLICTING, but rather, ARE INTERLOCKING. 

       The apostle Paul gives some important guide lines for studying scripture. One is Romans 15:4 - ". . . WHATEVER THINGS WERE WRITTEN BEFORE WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR LEARNING . . ." (NKJV).

       Another guide is: "BE DILIGENT . . . . RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH." II Timothy 2:15 (NKJV).

       I take very seriously Jesus' statement, "FOR AS JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE GREAT FISH, SO WILL THE SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH." Matthew 12:40 (NKJV).

       To take Jesus' statement (above) any other way, is to NOT believe scripture. He said NOTHING to indicate a part or parts of any day or any night.

       Here we will proceed with a seldom noticed detail found in Mark 16:1 - "NOW WHEN THE SABBATH WAS PAST, MARY MAGDALENE, MARY THE MOTHER OF JAMES, AND SALOME BOUGHT SPICES THAT THEY MIGHT COME AND ANOINT HIM." (NKJV).

       In Jesus' time on earth, if a body of a loved one was placed in a tomb, rather than being buried directly in the ground, friends and family would commonly place aromatic spices in the tomb alongside the body to reduce the smell as the remains decayed. Since Jesus' body was placed in the tomb just before that HIGH-DAY SABBATH began, the women had no time to buy spices before that Sabbath. They could not have bought them ON the Sabbath day, as shops were closed. Mark carefully specifies, "AFTER THE SABBATH" – "WHEN THE SABBATH WAS PASSED".

       Doctor Luke provides a detail, that some may consider as a contradiction: "AND THE WOMEN WHO HAD COME WITH HIM FROM GALILEE FOLLOWED AFTER, AND THEY OBSERVED THE TOMB AND HOW HIS BODY WAS LAID.

       THEN THEY RETURNED AND PREPARED SPICES AND FRAGRANT OILS. AND THEY RESTED ON THE SABBATH ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT." Luke 23:55,56 (NKJV).

       I can see a potential problem here. Mark clearly states the women bought the spices AFTER the Sabbath. Luke just as clearly tells us the women prepared the spices and fragrant oils, then "THEY RESTED ON THE SABBATH".   

       So they bought spices AFTER the Sabbath, and the prepared spices BEFORE resting on the Sabbath. This is a clear contradiction between these two Gospel accounts – UNLESS THERE WERE TWO SABBATHS INVOLVED!!!

       There are a few details that must be kept in mind: 

      ONE: John the Baptist seeing Jesus said, "BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD THAT TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD." John 1:29 (NKJV).  

      TWO: The sacrificial Lamb was offered on the FIRST DAY OF PASSOVER each year, on the 14th day of the first month. See Exodus 12:17,18. Also see Leviticus 23:4-8. For the Hebrews the first month was called ABID. Please see Deuteronomy 16:1. For the Jews the month was later called Nisan. 

      THREE: John clearly states that the approaching Sabbath was a HIGH-DAY. This expression is never used concerning the weekly Sabbath, only the annual Sabbath.

       A FINITE BEING has no power to order AN INFINITE BEING about anything. Conversely, AN INFINITE BEING does not rely on THE FINITE to accomplish anything. The INFINITE is in total power and control, independent of  THE FINITE. In fact Jesus said, "ARE THERE NOT TWELVE HOURS IN THE DAY? . . . ". John 11:9 (NKJV) This shows that Jesus was not constrained by how far a person walked in a day or by any common expressions.

       Another detail often not noticed is in John 20:1 "NOW ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK MARY MAGDALENE WENT TO THE TOMB EARLY, WHILE IT WAS STILL DARK, AND SAW THAT THE STONE HAD BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM THE TOMB." (NKJV). No sun-rise resurrection here, as we are often told that there was!! Please see also Luke 24:1.

       Though I have talked with many pastors who agree with me but unwilling to take a stand, it is not likely that the church will officially change it's teaching in the life time of my great, great grand children. Thankfully, all errors are forgivable, and I will continue to fellowship my fellow Christians, while maintaining my stand.   

       This time-line perfectly accommodates three nights (Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night) and three daylight periods (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). This is the only time that fits Jesus' own prophecy of how long He would be in the tomb. It fits perfectly with all the details recorded in the four accounts of the Gospel!


Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don. 

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                                                                 © 2009-2018 by Donald R. "Don" Brown, of Farmington, MO - U.S.A

                                    Each devotional was written by Parson Don Brown, and inspired under God's Direction
                                                                                                       

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