How could Jesus
have remained in the tomb three days and three nights if He was crucified on Friday and
rose on Sunday?
Jesus told them, "This is what is
written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance
and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations" (Luke 24:46-47).
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. (Acts 2:32)
George Bernard Shaw once wrote, "The statistics on
death are quite impressive. One out of one people die!" Death is a certainty for all
of us, but for every Christian, Heaven is also a certainty.
As Christians we celebrate Resurrection Sunday, Easter.
Christ's death and Resurrection prove we have placed our faith in the only Savior who can
actually deliver on His promises. Only Jesus Christ, out of all the religious figures who
have ever lived, has risen from the dead.
Jesus said His miracle of rising from the dead would be
proof that He was God.
As the crowds increased, Jesus
said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be
given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the
Ninevites, so also will
the Son of Man be to this generation." (Luke 11:29,30).
For as Jonah was three days and
three nights in the belly of a huge fish,so the Son of Man will be three days and three
nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40)
How was Jonah a sign (a miracle) to the
Ninevites saw how he was transported to their city and realized he had been delivered from
certain death. Like Jonah, Jesus said His life would also be a miraculous sign to His
generation when He was buried in the ground for three days and three nights. How so? He
would conquer death by rising from the dead.
By the way, as you know, in Jewish thought, "three
days and three nights" was a figure of speech referring to any part of three separate
days. Here is a brief outline of those three days.
Day 1 Jesus was tried before Pilate Friday
morning, and was crucified at 9 a.m. He hung on the cross until He died at 3 p.m. Friday
afternoon. He was placed in the tomb before the Sabbath began at sundown.
Day 2 Was the Sabbath which began at sundown
Friday night and lasted until sundown Saturday night.
Day 3 Began at sundown Saturday and went
until sundown Sunday. Jesus rose from the dead in the early hours of Sunday morning, the
Perhaps you wonder how to reconcile John 19:14, where we
are told Jesus' trial took place at the sixth hour, with Mark 15:25, where we are told
Jesus was crucified at the third hour.
Keep in mind that Matthew, Mark and Luke used Jewish time
in referring to Jesus' trial, death and Resurrection, but John used Roman time since he
wrote his book from Ephesus, the capital of the Roman Empire of Asia. Jewish time began at
sunrise. The Romans began their day at midnight. So sunrise, or 6 a.m. for the Romans, was
the first hour for the Jewish people. If you want, the ninth hour for the Romans was the
third hour for the Jewish people.
This reconciles John 19:14, where we are told that Jesus'
trial happened on the day of preparation of Passover Week about the sixth hour. Again, the
sixth hour, here, is Roman time, which would be the first hour Jewish time. According to
John, Jesus' trial took place at the sixth hour, which coincides with the time cited in
Matthew, Mark and Luke. In brief, there is plenty of time for Jesus to be led away and
crucified by the ninth hour (Roman time) or the third hour, Jewish time.
If you have other questions about the Resurrection of Jesus
Christ, please feel free to write to call The John Ankerberg Show.