At what time did Jesus rise from the tomb?
The paragraph that appears to be confused here appears to be Matthew’s narrative, which we shall discuss in more detail later. As a starting point, we will look to the other sources, which include the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, which provide very definite indications of timing: When the Sabbath was finished, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and bought spices so that they may go to the tomb and anoint the body of Jesus. They were on their way to the tomb when they asked each other, “Who will move the stone aside from the entrance of the tomb?” It was very early on the first day of the week, just after daybreak, and they were on their way to the tomb.
After entering the tomb and seeing a young guy clad in a white robe seated on the right side, they were scared and ran out of the building.
It is Jesus the Nazarene who you are seeking for, and he has been crucified.” He has resurrected from the dead!
Take a look at the spot where they buried him.’ Mark 16:2-6 (New International Version) (emphasis mine) Mark provides us with two chronological markers, which I have highlighted in the preceding paragraph.
- While the exact time of Jesus’ resurrection is not specified, the conclusion from Mark’s passage appears to be that he rose at the crack of dawn.
- Upon entering, they discovered that the stone had been removed from the tomb but that they had not discovered the body of Jesus Christ.
- Because they were terrified, the ladies lowered their heads to the ground with their faces to the ground, but the men asked them, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?
- The tradition of recognizing that it was the first day of the week is carried on by him, as is the custom.
2 So Mary ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus cherished, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we have no idea where they have hidden him!” Once again, it is the first day of the week, and John’s story again implies that it is morning; the phrase “while it was still dark” indicates that, if it is not yet dawn, it is soon to dawn and darkness is about to be overtaken by daylight.
This is readily reconciled with the gospels of Mark and Luke by observing the motif of light and darkness that runs throughout John’s gospel.
Additionally, we can take into consideration the pertinent paragraph from the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, which you have alluded to in your query.
However, during the night of the Lord’s day, when the soldiers were guarding it two by two in every watch, they heard a loud voice in heaven, and they looked up to see that the heavens had been opened and that two males with great radiance had descended from the heavens and had arrived near the sepulcher.
- As a result, the centurion and the elders were roused after seeing what the troops had witnessed (for they too were present, safeguarding).
- A voice from the skies said, ‘Have you made proclamation to the fallen-asleep?’ they thought they heard it.
- However, it is apparent that numerous watches have already taken place, that people have been sleeping for a long time and must be roused, and that the resurrection itself is seen as the beginning of a new day.
- So, what about Matthew’s version of events?
However, based on your inquiry, it appears that you believe the right English translation should be something along the lines of: “Late on the Sabbath.” Although the grammar is difficult to understand, there are at least two viable solutions that would allow Matthew’s story to be reconciled with the other versions of the events.
Considering the clearly Jewish nature of the remainder of Matthew’s tale, however, it is generally preferable to embrace the interpretation held by the majority of modern commentators and the BDAG (3), who interpret the word as a preposition (“after”) rather than as an adverb (“before”) (“late”).
- All of this points to the resurrection occurring sometime after the Sabbath’s sunset and before the ladies come early on the first day of the week as the most likely time frame.
- Jesus, who was known as “the resurrection and the life,” was referred to as the “morning star” in the Bible (Rev.
- In this way, Jesus is claimed to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, who writes that a light has dawned on people who dwell in darkness (Matt.
- In other words, in early Christian belief, Jesus himself was associated with the beginning of a new day in a symbolic manner.
- Consider the following passage from Matthew 9:24: Jesus refers to the dead girl as “just sleeping” because he intends to wake her up later (i.e.
- John 11 contains a similar statement: “Our buddy Lazarus has fallen asleep; nonetheless, I am going there to rouse him up,” and when questioned on this, Jesus responds, “Lazarus is dead,” and we subsequently see him revived.
- In the same way, we read in Romans 13: “The night is nearly gone; the day is almost here.” As a result, the Romans are to live in the light of the resurrection as if they were living in daylight.
When did Jesus rise from the dead?
As recorded in the Gospels, Jesus was claimed to have risen from the grave “on the third day” or “three days later.” Although it appears to be a contradiction in words, the fact that there are numerous alternatives as to when Jesus resurrected from the dead may give the impression that there are multiple possibilities. Furthermore, the fact that Jesus died on a Friday makes these sentences even more perplexing, since a Sunday resurrection might be called into question as a result of the difference between the two days.
The difficulty with this type of current thinking is that it makes the assumption that the Gospel writers intended to constantly write with accuracy on this subject.
According to Witherington, there is an example from the Old Testament in which “‘after three days’ signifies exactly the same thing as ‘on the third day.'” As a result, even if these sentences in modern English appear to be in conflict with one another, “these writings were not created to fit our present rigorous requirements when it comes to time.” Furthermore, “days” in Jewish counting were not the 24-hour periods from midnight to midnight that we are accustomed to; rather, they were commonly defined as beginning at sunset on one day and ending at dusk on the next day.
- Reverting back to the original question, when did Jesus Christ resurrect from the dead?
- The following is Jimmy Akin’s reconstruction of the timing of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which is based on the Gospels and Jewish traditions.
- As a result, Jesus was indeed “resurrected on the third day” (Matthew 20:19).
- I am well aware that you are looking for Jesus the Crucified.
- It’s hardly surprising that the Church has always adhered to this schedule, with the Easter Vigil service on Saturday night already commemorating Jesus’ triumphant return.
- It is not essential when Jesus rose from the dead; what is significant is that he did rise from the grave and opened the gates of Heaven for us, along with the promise of a future resurrection at the conclusion of this world.
More information may be found at: After his resurrection, how many times did Jesus appear to his followers? Where did Mary go after the Resurrection? Continue reading this article
On What Day Did Jesus Rise?
The May/June 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review is available online. Biblical Perspectives is a weekly column. Staff of the Biblical Archaeology Society On November 16, 20217, there were 106534 views. What day did Jesus resurrect from the dead? Is it better to wait three days or to wait until the third day? During his Biblical Views column, “It’s About Time—Easter Time,” which appeared in the May/June 2016 edition of Biblical Archaeology Review, Ben Witherington III explores this subject in further depth.
“It’s About Time—Easter Time”
Anachronism is a hazard that arises when reading ancient books like the Bible in the twenty-first century. By this I mean that we risk introducing damaging current notions and expectations into our readings. This dilemma becomes much more serious when dealing with ancient scriptures on which a great deal of historical significance is predicated. For example, on what day did Jesus rise from the dead? As depicted here in Henry Osawa Tanner’s “The Three Marys” (1910), the three Marys came to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning to anoint his body (Mark 16:1–2), as recorded in Mark 16:1–2.Photo courtesy of Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, Tennessee.For example, we are a people who are obsessed with time —and with exactness when it comes to time—to the nanosecond.
The Gospels provide a few examples of how they did not obsess over precision when it came to time.Some texts tell us thatJesuspredicted he would rise ” afterthree days,” while others say he would rise ” on the third day.” In Matthew 12:40, Jesus refers to “three days and three nights,” but this is part of a general analogy with the story aboutJonah and the whale, and as such the tim is not precise.
- When Jesus says in Mark 8:31, “The Son of Man will rise again after three days,” he is simply referring to the experience of Jonah.
- On the surface, it appears that this involves a straightforward contradiction.
- The difficulty with this type of current thinking is that it makes the assumption that the Gospel writers intended to constantly write with accuracy on this subject.
- Even the Hebrew Bible has some hints about the kinds of variations we might expect to encounter.
- Is this simply a case of carelessness, or is it an example of the common imprecision that occurs when discussing the passage of time?
When it comes to time, these books were not written in a way that would suit our present high expectations.
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With an All-Access pass, you may access more than 9,000 articles from the Biblical Archaeology Society’s extensive collection, as well as much more. We must recognize that most of the time references in the New Testament are not precise, and we must give the ancient author the freedom to be general when he wants to be general and more specific when he wants to be more specific. This is one of the keys to understanding how the New Testament interprets time references. When you find both types of references to the time span between Jesus’ death and resurrection in the same book by the same author, and in some cases even within close proximity to each other, it is reasonable to conclude that these texts were not written in accordance with our modern exacting expectations when it comes to time references.
- I believe it is past time for us to accord these ancient authors the respect they deserve and to read them with a knowledge of the standards they followed when writing ancient history or ancient biography, rather than imposing our later genre norms on them, as we have done in the past.
- This article has been updated.
- Ben Witherington III is the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and a member of the doctoral faculty of St.
- He received his bachelor’s degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky.
Read Ben Witherington III, Reading and Learning the Bible, for assistance in understanding how to read the Bible in light of its original settings (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2014).
Related reading in Bible History Daily:
When Was the First Holy Communion Celebrated? Even yet, Jesus’ Last Supper was not a Passover meal. The Herod’s Jerusalem Palace Remains are on Display During a Seder Meal Tour— The site of Jesus’ trial is a possibility. And Why It Really Does Make a Difference The “Strange” Ending of the Gospel of Mark and Why It Really Does Make a Difference What Method Was Used to Seal Jesus’ Tomb?
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Just How Long Did Jesus Stay In The Tomb?
Daniel Burke contributed to this article. Religion News Service is a news service dedicated to covering religious issues (RNS) As Christians throughout the world prepare to celebrate Easter, they will follow a well-known sequence of events: During Good Friday’s Passion Week, Jesus was crucified and arose from the dead on “the third day,” according to the ancient Nicene Creed. If Jesus died at 3 p.m. on Friday and was exhumed from his tomb by daybreak Sunday morning – around 40 hours later – how does it add up to three days in a calendar year?
Even Pope Benedict XVI, in his latest book, Jesus: Holy Week, about Christ’s last days, wrestles with the latter topic in the final chapter.
In the words of Marcus Borg, an advanced biblical scholar and co-author of the book The Last Week, which is about Holy Week, “the chronological problem is a bit of a mystery.” However, according to Borg and other researchers, the issue may be solved if you understand how first-century Jews measured time and if you give the four evangelists a little poetic license in their writing.
- As a result, for them, Saturday night was Sunday.
- Using these techniques of counting, a backward computation from Sunday morning to Friday afternoon results in three days.
- “The Bible uses ambiguous expressions such as ‘three days’ and ’40 days,'” Borg explained.
- Evangelical New Testament scholar Ben Witherington, who teaches at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, concurred with the statement.
- His research has revealed that Gospel authors did not stroll about with sundials on their wrists in the same manner that current researchers walk around with wristwatches, according to the expert.
- What causes the most concern for these believers is Jesus’ own promise, recounted in the Gospel of Matthew, that he would rise from the grave after “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” This is the most worrying prophecy for these believers.
- John Behr, dean of St.
The Didascalia Apostolorum, a third-century Christian treatise, took a more radical approach.
That viewpoint is still promoted by several Christian denominations on the periphery.
To put it another way, “Jesus made a false prophesy,” said Robert Miller, a professor of religion at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
According to Witherington, the purpose of Jesus’ prophesy is to draw a contrast to Jonah, who was ready to die in order to save his shipmates (and who spent three days in the belly of a great fish), rather than to establish a timeline for the Resurrection.
John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., Martin Connell, refers to the chronology dilemma as a “never-ending problem.” “Because the evidence is so uncertain and the evidence is so elastic, the argument will almost certainly continue indefinitely,” Connell said.
Some biblical scholars, such as Wahlen, believe Paul is alluding to a passage in the Book of Hosea, which states that God would “heal” and “restore” Israel after three days of affliction and suffering.
According to first-century custom, it was only after three days that you could be sure someone was dead; after four days, it was assumed that the spirit had left the body.
When Did Jesus Die? The Year, Day & Time
There has been much speculation concerning the day and year of Christ’s crucifixion and death, owing to the absence of clear day-to-day linkage in the stories of the four Gospels. We know that Jesus died on Preparation Day because it is mentioned in each of the four Gospel narratives. But was it a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday when that happened? In addition, what hour did Jesus die? There has even been discussion over the year in which he passed away. To figure out the day of Jesus’ death on the cross, we must piece together the evidence from his four Gospels and our understanding of his historical period and cultural context.
Cultural Information to Keep in Mind
1. The gospel writers were more concerned with depicting Jesus as a person than they were with the precise chronology of his appearance. Dates have become increasingly important in today’s environment in order to provide proper news coverage. However, the Gospel authors were more concerned with the events themselves than they were with the precise date of the occurrences. They were attempting to introduce Jesus to a variety of audiences rather than providing a thorough biography. It was the day before the Sabbath that was designated as the Day of Preparation.
This is the day on which Jews prepared meals and completed all of the tasks that were prohibited from being completed on the Sabbath but that still needed to be completed.
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What the Gospels Say about Jesus’ Burial
The Gospel of Matthew contains the most detailed account of Jesus’ death and burial (Matthew 27:31-62). In this tale, we learn about Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea “who had himself become a follower of Jesus,” according to one piece (Matthew 27:57 b). In Matthew 27:58-61, it is said that Joseph approached Pilate and begged for permission to bury Jesus’ body. “The next day, the day after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate,” we are told in Matthew 27:62. Joseph followed out this plan on Preparation Day.
In the Jewish calendar, it was Preparation Day (i.e., the day before the Sabbath).” (Matthew 15:42 a.) … Consequently, Joseph purchased some linen material, brought the corpse down from the casket, wrapped it in the linen, and buried it in a tomb dug into the rock.
Jesus died on the Day of Preparation, as confirmed by Luke and John: “Then he carried it down, wrapped it in linen fabric, and buried it in a tomb cut into the rock, in which no one had yet been lain.” As it happened, it was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin” (Luke 23:54).
As it happened, they laid Jesus there because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and because the tomb was close by (John 19:42).
What Day Did Jesus Die? Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Over the years, scholars have developed a variety of hypotheses about what occurred during the days of the week leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross. These versions each offer a different day for Christ’s death, such as Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
- Wednesday The fact that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday permits for Him to have been buried for three full days and nights
- Nevertheless, this also means that He resurrected on the fourth day. Furthermore, the Triumphal Entry would have taken place on Saturday, the day of Sabbath rest
- Instead, it took place on Thursday. With a Thursday crucifixion, the Triumphal Entry is moved to Sunday, which makes more sense and removes the necessity for a “quiet day” (a day during thePassion Weekwhen no events were recorded). On the other hand, we know that the Pharisees hurried to put Jesus in the tomb on The Day of Preparation (John 19:34-42), which is Friday, and before the Sabbath began at nightfall (the Jews timed days from the beginning of the nightfall to the beginning of the nightfall). Upon closer examination of the facts, we find that Friday is the most consistent with the Gospel narratives and the historical context. According to the New Testament, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day—not necessarily after three complete, literal days—and was buried on the third day (e.g.,Matthew 16:21
- Acts 10:40). As previously stated, Jesus had to be hustled inside the tomb on the day of preparation because of the crowds. In contrast to a Friday crucifixion, which would demand a “quiet day” (most likely Wednesday), this day gives the Sanhedrin the opportunity to make plans for Jesus’s arrest and following trials. As a result, the day is just “quiet” since we haven’t documented anything significant
What Time Did Jesus Die?
Wednesday Even though the crucifixion took place on a Wednesday, this would allow Jesus to be buried for three full days and nights, which would also entail that He resurrected on the following day. Furthermore, the Triumphal Entry would have taken place on Saturday, the day of Sabbath rest; instead, it took place on Thursday, the day of the weekday rest. The Crucifixion on Thursday transfers the Triumphal Entry to Sunday, which makes more logic and eliminates the necessity for a “quiet day” (a day during thePassion Weekwhen no events were recorded).
The data suggests that Friday is the most consistent with both biblical narratives and historical circumstances.
The day before the preparations for the tomb were completed, as previously stated, Jesus was hurried into the tomb.
As a result, the day is merely considered “quiet” since we haven’t documented anything noteworthy.
Timing of Jesus Death in Mark, Luke, and John
- The Gospel of Mark 15: 33:34, 37 “At midday, darkness descended across the entire region, lasting until three o’clock in the afternoon. Also, about three o’clock in the afternoon, Jesus said, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” in an obnoxiously loud voice. (which translates as ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’). “Jesus breathed his last with a piercing scream.”
- Matthew 23:44-46 ” It was now around midday, and darkness descended upon the entire region until three o’clock in the afternoon since the sun had ceased shining. And the temple’s curtain was split in two by the earthquake. I put my spirit into your hands,’ Jesus said with a resounding voice, calling out to the Father. At the moment he stated this, he exhaled his final breath.” (See also John 19:14-16.) “It was approximately midday on the day of Passover preparations, and it was the day of Passover preparations. ‘Your king has arrived,’ Pilate said to the Jews. They, on the other hand, cried out, “Take him away!” Take him away from me! ‘Put him to death!’ ‘Do you want me to crucify your king?’ Pilate was the one who inquired. ‘We do not have a monarch other than Caesar,’ the leading priests responded. Eventually, Pilate gave him over to them, and they crucified him.”
What Year Did Jesus Die?
During this video, Doug Bookman, a New Testament professor at Shepherds Theological Seminary, shows why biblical academics have reached an agreement about the year Jesus died. “It all boils down to this. Pilate served as prefect of Judea and Samaria from 26 A.D. to 36 A.D., according to the evidence we have. So that’s our view out the window. The following question is: On what day of the week did Passover occur during the year that Jesus died? In the opinion of the majority, it occurred on Thursday or Friday.
Given all of this, the vast majority of researchers will agree that it leads to one of two conclusions: ” Theory 1: Jesus died about the year 30 A.D.
“At this point, the argument becomes pretty technical,” says Bookman of the situation.
I am convinced that the year 33 A.D.
3 Significant Events Shortly After Jesus’ Death
Matthew 27:51-54, Matthew 27:51-54 As a result of this, the temple’s curtain was split in half, from top to bottom. The ground trembled, the rocks cracked, and the tombs burst into flames. Many pious persons who had died were brought back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. They emerged from the graves following Jesus’ resurrection and proceeded to the holy city, where they appeared to a large number of people. They were startled and cried, “Surely he was the Son of God!” when the centurion and others with him who were guarding Jesus witnessed the earthquake and everything that had transpired.
- The temple curtain had been ripped in half.
- We know from the laws of the Old Testament that entering God’s presence was a severe matter.
- The fact that this curtain was destroyed represented the completion of Jesus Christ’s accomplished work on the cross, which eliminated the barrier between sinful humans and holy God by becoming the ultimate High Priest and the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of all people.
- John Gill’s remark on the event states that “this was a demonstration of Christ’s authority over death and the tomb.” When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death, he demonstrated that he had destroyed both the power of death and the permanence of the grave.
- In addition to its grandiose claims, this event is noteworthy because it is a narrative predicting Christ’s second coming to collect the remainder of his people.
Jesus is brought back to life from the dead. This text in Matthew glosses over such a remarkable occurrence, but Christ’s resurrection is told in greater detail in Matthew 28, which is the gospel of Matthew (as well as inMark 16,Luke 24, andJohn 20). Photograph courtesy of Joshua Earle via Unsplash.
Jesus’ Resurrection Day
QUESTION: Was Jesus’ resurrection day on a Sunday or a Saturday or both? Christians, as well as many other people, are familiar with the account of Jesus’ resurrection. Traditionally, it is thought that He died on a Friday (today known as Good Friday) and that He was raised the following Sunday (now celebrated as Easter Sunday). But there is disagreement about whether this timeline corresponds to the biblical prophesy contained in Matthew 12:40, which states: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Our present technique of counting days indicates that Jesus would have been in His tomb from late Friday afternoon until early Sunday morning according to our calendar.
- Even if you consider Friday and Sunday to be complete days, it would imply He remained in the grave for a total of three days and two nights at the most.
- In defense of Friday and Sunday, many biblical scholars argue that it was typical among Jews at the period to consider any segment of a day to constitute the full day and night, which is what happened on those days.
- According to Jewish custom, the next day (Sunday) begins when the sun sets on the previous day (Thursday), making it plausible that Jesus was killed and buried on a Thursday, or possibly a Wednesday, with His resurrection occurring on Saturday night.
- His disciples, without a doubt, were the only ones who knew how long He had been in the tomb.
- He either opted not to fulfill the prophesy in its entirety, lingering in the grave for three days and three nights, or he chose to do it in a way that was consistent with the text.
- His challenge to them, as well as to all of us, was to place our trust in Him, rather than on whatever “evidence” He may provide.
However, it would be far more awful if He had genuinely been dead for the entire three days and nights and they had failed to acknowledge it because they had hardened their hearts to the truth.
How do we understand the timing of the Great 3 Days?
How can we make sense of three days if Jesus died on Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday? Christians commemorate the salvific events of Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection over the course of three days, which we refer to as the “Great Three Days” (Triduum in Latin). The gospels all confirm that Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week, early in the morning. Matthew 28:1 (NIV): “After the Sabbath, when the first day of the week was beginning to rise.” Mark 16:1-2 (NIV): It was “after the Sabbath had ended.
Have questions?We have answers!
Fill out the form below to ask your questions and to view further FAQs. Luke 24:1 (ASKFAQSLuke 24:1): “It was the first day of the week at the crack of dawn.” “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,” says John in verse 1. Sunday is the first working day of the week. The day begins with sunset in that culture, as it does throughout the Bible, rather than with dawn or midnight. Saturday’s Sabbath came to an end at dusk. Sunday officially began just after sunset. Three days may not always equate to 72 hours.
It entails three different days, which are distinguished by the arrival and departure of the sun.
- The Last Supper and the Great Commandment will be held on Thursday. The beginning of the first day is marked by the setting of the sun (Eve of Friday). Jesus is taken into custody and tried
- Friday morning: The first day continues with the execution of Jesus, his removal from the cross, and his burial
- Friday night at sundown: The second day has begun. Friday evening/Saturday morning
- Saturday (from dawn to sunset): Jesus is laid to rest in the tomb. The third day begins at sunset on Saturday. Saturday evening
- Sunday morning: The third day continues, and Jesus is risen from the grave
From at least the third century A.D., this method of determining the beginning and end of Holy Week has remained constant in Christian practice, both East and West. It was created by Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, which may be found here.
Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
Derek Hiebert contributed to this article. 1 year ago today
Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
As a matter of tradition, Christians have commemorated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on a Sunday, three days following the commemoration of his crucifixion on Good Friday. This three-day chronology is based on a number of allusions in the New Testament to the Old Testament. Many times, Jesus foretold it, and the apostles included it in their delivery of the gospel message as well (see footnote references). However, why did Jesus’ resurrection take place three days after his death is a mystery.
Is the third day only a coincidental, insignificant element put on to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
The Third Day Matters
Timing is extremely important for Jesus and his apostles because it has significant theological ramifications. When it comes to biblical story, the three-day timeframe is important because it represents the one-of-a-kind day on which God creates new life and activates his covenant with mankind. How did the writers of the New Testament get at this conclusion?
After all, the Hebrew Scriptures have a constant “third day” design pattern, which Jesus and the New Testament authors are using as a model. Investigating this pattern for ourselves can help us gain a better understanding of the Easter celebration.
The Third Day Pattern in the Hebrew Bible
The passages Jonah 1:17 and Hosea 6:1-2 in the Hebrew Scriptures are among the clearest illustrations of third-day resurrection in the whole Bible. Jesus used Jonah’s three days in the belly of the huge fish as a metaphor for his own three days in the belly of the great fish. The prophet Hosea predicted that God’s reviving operation for Israel would take place on the third day. While these are important passages to study, the pattern of resurrection on the third day is established far earlier in the tale of Jesus.
The creation narrative in Genesis 1 and Abraham’s test in Genesis 22 both begin to develop a pattern of new life emerging on the third day.
The First “Resurrection”
What is the location of the initial glimpse into the three-day significance? The first page of the Bible. The creation story in Genesis 1 is written in the style of a poetry, with repeated declarations and parallelism between events. Within the rhythm of these repeats, two events in the creation tale stand out as particularly noteworthy, each occurring at a three-day interval and occurring at different points in the narrative. During the first “third day,” God creates dry ground and enables flora to emerge from the soil, including plants that produce seeds as well as trees that give fruit for human use (1:11-13).
The second “third day” event occurs on the sixth day of creation, when God produces animals and human beings for the first time (1:24).
Humans were produced from the dust of the earth, according to what we learn later in the book (2:7).
Take note of the parallels between humans and trees: both are newly generated from the ground (2:7, 9), both carry seeds and produce fruit (1:11, 28; 3:15), and both are made in this manner on the third day of creation.
A Pattern Emerges
There are three major characteristics of the “third day” events in Genesis 1 that serve as a template for subsequent events:
- God brings new life where there was once only death (1:11-13
- God establishes his covenant with the creatures he has newly created, in this case humans (1:28-29)
- God creates new life where there was once only death (1:11-13
- 26 In Eden, which we understand to be a lofty site from which a river runs out (2:10-14), the event takes place.
It is impossible to emphasize the significance of this picture and pattern, since it serves as a precedent for future resurrections to come.
Abraham’s Test on the Third Day
Is there any other place where this pattern can be found? Abraham is put to the test by God in yet another “third day” occurrence, which is one of the most interesting events in all of Scripture (Genesis 22:1-19). When God commands Abraham to present his only son Isaac as a burned offering on a mountain, the Bible states that Abraham spotted the location from a distance on the third day and proceeded to complete the test (22:4). God wants Abraham to learn to put his confidence in him when it comes to the covenant and the blessing of offspring in this scenario.
The connection to the “third day” concept here is established by a strikingly vivid act of atonement performed by God in which he substitutes an ox in Isaac’s place (22:13-14).
We learn that this deed is part of a bigger covenant endeavor to increase Abraham’s descendants and, through them, bless the nations, which we will discuss later (22:17-18). On the third day, we notice the same trend as we did on the first:
- God working to bring fresh life, in this case to Isaac by his life being spared and to Abraham with the return of his son (22:11-14). (Genesis 22:17-18) God confirms his bond with Abraham, using language and ideas identical with Genesis 1:28
- (22:2, 14) This event takes place on the summit of a mountain.
Israel’s Third Day at Sinai
At a critical moment in the Bible’s narrative, we discover still another occurrence taking place on the third day. With his people just delivered from decades of tyranny in Egypt, Yahweh is on the verge of entering into another covenant with Israel, this time on a mountaintop (Exodus 19:2-3). God makes it clear that he will descend to Mount Sinai in the presence of all of the people on the “third day” mentioned above. This time is a test for Israel, just as it was for Abraham. Their preparations for entering into covenant with God are to be completed by the “third day,” when they will be ready (Exodus 19:9-16).
As a result of what we’ve seen so far with “third day,” we should have come to assume a specific pattern, which we’ve now witnessed yet another time:
- It is God who brings about new life for his people — in this case, new identity for Israel — just as he did at the creation and with Abraham and Isaac (19:4-6)
- God enters into covenant with his people, specifically Israel (19:4-6)
- God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2)
- And God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2).
And that is exactly what we see in the tale! The rest of Israel’s experience in the Hebrew Scriptures, on the other hand, is defined by rebellion and disbelief, as well as a failure to fulfill their half of the agreement. This leads us back to the prophetic texts that refer to the third day, such as Hosea and Jonah, which we discussed before.
Hosea’s Hope, Jonah’s ‘Resurrection’
By returning to these prophets, we get a more complete picture of the “third day” and the tremendous imagery of resurrection that it evokes, as well as its relationship to God’s covenant with Abraham. A typical prophetic phrase for repentance toward covenant integrity is “return to Yahweh,” which Hosea uses to exhort Israel to do, and he also provides them hope in the form of resurrection language (Hosea 6:1-2). This restoration to the covenant will be marked by a renewal of life, as well as our resurrection as a people into the life of Yahweh, which will take place on the “third day,” in accordance with our pattern.
In many respects, the story of Jonah and his failure is a metaphor for the story of Israel.
In the third day, he vomits Jonah out of the fish, bringing him back to life in one of the most bizarre “resurrections” recorded in the Bible.
Jesus Predicts a Third Day Resurrection
In the Gospels, we find Jesus speaking of a third-day resurrection while he is discussing his death with his followers, which leads us to believe that he would rise from the dead on the third day. In fact, he refers to “three days” a total of 21 times! By now, you’ve undoubtedly figured out that this was not a coincidental choice of words. It is on the third day that Jesus was adamant, since it signifies God’s initiative in the creation of new life and the establishment of a covenant with mankind.
- Specifically, God raises fresh life from the earth (tomb), in this case, Jesus. God acts to bring about the new covenant via Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection, which in this case is for the benefit of everyone who believe in him. The act of atonement performed by Jesus takes place on a hill.
With the imagery of new life coming up from the earth in Genesis 1-2 on the third day, combined with the connection to the divine covenant found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the imagery of Jesus’ resurrection paints a striking picture of the theological importance of his resurrection. The significance of Jesus’ resurrection is underscored even further on the third day.
It is the culmination of God’s mission of new life and covenant, which has been brilliantly represented since the beginning of time, and which will culminate in the future resurrection of Jesus’ disciples and the restoration of the entire universe at the conclusion of time.
So what does this mean for us?
This year, as we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are not just carrying on a centuries-old tradition. We are engaged in a profoundly important theology centered on the third day, with all of the implications of God’s redeeming work that it entails, at this time. The design pattern for the third day serves as a reminder that God has begun the process of reviving individuals to new life and bringing them into his covenant partnership with them. What role are we going to play in it today?
Did Jesus Rise “On” or “After” the Third Day?
In the most common allusion to Jesus’ resurrection, it is revealed that He was raised from the dead on the third day after His entombment. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus as prophesying that He would rise from the tomb on this day in history (Matthew 17:23; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22). The apostle Paul stated in his first letter to the Corinthians that Jesus resurrected from the tomb “on the third day, according to the Scriptures,” referring to the third day of the week in which he died (1 Corinthians 15:4).
- Which one is it, then?
- While these assertions may appear to be in conflict to the 21st-century reader at first glance, if one knows the various, and at times more liberal, techniques ancients used to count time, they are in fact fully consistent with one another.
- 3, as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp.
A segment of a 24-hour period, according to Azariah, might be deemed “as much as the entire length of time.” As a result, as strange as it may sound to an American living in the twenty-first century, a person living in ancient times could legitimately speak of something occurring “on the third day,” “after three days,” or “after three days and three nights,” while still referring to the same exact day as they were speaking.
The Scriptures provide several examples that demonstrate unequivocally that throughout biblical times, a portion of a day was frequently comparable to the entire day.
- It rained on the Earth for “forty days and forty nights,” according to Genesis 7:12, at the time of the Noahic Flood. In verse 17 of the same chapter, it is said that it was only on Earth for “forty days.” Who would argue that it had to rain for exactly 960 hours (40 days x 24 hours) for both of these assertions to be accurate
- In Genesis 42:17, Joseph imprisoned his brothers for three days before they were released. In 1 Samuel 30:12,13, the phrases “three days and three nights” and “three days” are used interchangeably
- When Queen Esther was about to risk her life by going before the king uninvited, she instructed her fellow Jews to follow her example by not eating “for three days, night or day.” The phrase “three days and three nights” is used interchangeably in 1 Samuel 30:12,13. (Esther 4:16). The text continues by informing us that Esther entered the palace “on the third day” (5:1, emphasis added)
- And that she met with the king. The book of 2 Chronicles has one of the most striking Old Testament passages that plainly demonstrates that the ancients (at least occasionally) treated a portion of a twenty-four-hour period “as the whole of it.” In response to Israel’s appeal for relief from their responsibilities, King Rehoboam desired time to consider their request. As a result, he directed Jeroboam and the people of Israel to return “afterthree days” (2 Chronicles 10:5, emp. added). Jeroboam and the people of Israel, according to verse 12, returned to Rehoboam “on the third day, as the king had instructed, saying, “Come back to methethird day,” ” as the king had directed” (emp. added). That even though Rehoboam told his people to return “afterthree days,” they interpreted this to mean “on the third day” is fascinating, isn’t it? Furthermore, Acts 10 provides additional insight into the ancient practice of counting successive days (in part or in whole) as entire days. Cornelius was visited by an angel at “around the ninth hour of the day,” according to Luke’s account (approximately 3:00 p.m
- Acts 10:3). “The next day”(10:9), Peter was visited by a vision from God and welcomed people sent by Cornelius to the church. “The next day”(10:23), Peter and the slaves of Cornelius set off towards Caesarea, according to the Bible. “And the next day they arrived at Caesarea,” where Peter spent time teaching Cornelius and his family about the Gospel. Cornelius told Peter about his meeting with an angel of God at one point during Peter’s stay. Notice attentively how he began the rehearsal of the event. “Four days ago, exactly at this time, I was praying in my home during the ninth hour.” he explained. The NASB adds an emphasis at 10:30. Despite the fact that the incident had taken place just 72 hours (or three literal days) earlier, Cornelius referred to it as having taken place “four days agoto this hour” in his speech. Why are there four days rather than three? The reason for this is because according to the way of measuring time used in the first century, a portion of the first day and a portion of the fourth day might be considered as complete days. Anyone who has studied the Bible may easily understand how this knowledge corresponds precisely with Jesus’ burial on Friday and His resurrection from the dead the following Sunday. When it comes to ancient times, a portion of Friday, all of Saturday, and a portion of Sunday would be regarded three days, not one or two.
Despite the fact that some people in current times may find this logic a little strange, comparable idiomatic phrases are nevertheless often employed today. Consider the following example: A baseball game that concludes after only 81.22 innings is referred to as a “9-inning game.” Furthermore, despite the fact that the losing pitcher on the visiting team only pitched 8 innings (as opposed to the winning pitcher on the home club who pitched 9 innings), he is considered to have completed a complete game.
- on Wednesday and checks out at 5:30 p.m.
- Was the man in the hotel for a single day or for two days?
- check-out time.
- Another piece of evidence demonstrating that Jesus’ remarks about His burial were not inconsistent revolves around the fact that even His opponents did not accuse Him of contradicting Himself over His burial.
- In fact, the chief priests and Pharisees addressed Pilate the day after Jesus was executed, saying, “Sir, we recall how that liar stated, while He was still alive, ‘I shall rise after three days.'” Because of this, instruct that the tomb be secured until the third day” (Matthew 27:63-64, emp.
- The term “after three days” must have meant “after the third day,” otherwise else the Pharisees would have demanded a guard of soldiers until the fourth day, which would have been impossible.
- The use of metaphorical terms by Jesus and the Bible writers to indicate how long Jesus would be buried do not imply that He was buried for a literal period of seventy-two hours.
No flaws are found in any of Jesus’ and the gospel authors’ language if we interpret the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and rising in the context of the first century, rather than in the context of today’s (mis)understanding of skeptics.
“Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ—Part IV: The Day of Christ’s Crucifixion,” in Hoehner, Harold W. (1974), “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ—Part IV: The Day of Christ’s Crucifixion,” in Hoehner, Harold W. Bibliotheca Sacra, volume 131, pages 241-264 (July). John Lightfoot is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (1979 reprint), Using the Talmud and Hebraica, a commentary on the New Testament is presented (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker). Originally published on May 26, 2004.
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