3 Days – 3 Nights, is this true, on the Sabbath between the High Days

3 Days – 3 Nights, is this true; on the Sabbath between the High Days, Resurrection and Ascension, what is the difference

Resurrection and Ascension, what is the difference

The Jewish leadership wanted a sign from Jesus. 

Matthew 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

They asked Jesus to show them a sign, which is a miracle or they will not believe.

Matthew 12:39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Did Jesus pause when He said this.  Were they wondering what Jonah has anything to do with a sign.

Matthew 12:40 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.

Did they wonder, what did Jesus really mean about the 3 days -3 nights

Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

Matthew 16:1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.

They just wanted to test Jesus’ claim of being the Messiah by asking him to show them some great demonstrations in the skies.

Matthew 16:4 This evil, unbelieving nation is asking for some strange sign in the heavens, but no further proof will be given except the miracle that happened to Jonah.” Then Jesus walked out on them.

Luke 11:16  Others asked for something to happen in the sky to prove his claim of being the Messiah.

This is the reason for proof the Jewish leaders wanted that Jesus is the Messiah.

Luke 11:29-30 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. (30) For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.

To prove I am the Messiah, but the only proof I will give them is a miracle like that of Jonah, will prove that God has sent me to these people. 

Luke 11:32 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

Jesus just said, He is far greater than Jonah is here, now, among them, but this nation/people won’t listen

Just a side note:  for those who say the story of Jonah is untrue and just legend, Jesus doesn’t agree with them.

There is another important feast day that is not a High Sabbath day, the Feast of Firstfruits.  Interestingly enough, is this the day of Resurrection and or Ascension.   

As we know there are two High Sabbath Days during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and a weekly Sabbath fall in-between the High Sabbath. 

When did Jesus die. 

Mark 15:25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.

Area where Jesus was crucified was in Darkness from Noon until 3 pm

Mark 15:33-34 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. (34) At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, eloi, lema sabachthani?”, which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus last words and died around 3 in the afternoon

Matthew 27:46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

Mark 15:37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

Jesus died before sunset, that means after 3 days – 3 nights, Jesus was raised from the dead just before sunset on the weekly Sabbath.

This Sabbath, is the day, we are celebrating, now.

  • Jesus died at about 3 PM on a Wednesday and was laid in a new tomb.
  • On the weekly Sabbath, Saturday, exactly three days and 3 nights after His burial,
  • Then God the Father resurrected His Son to eternal life.

How do we know these times are correct?  Do we believe this statement?

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

The words and deeds of Jesus was recorded in the Scriptures about His death and resurrection in the four gospels.

Even Pharisees and high priests remembered Jesus said what His sign was, when they said this to Pilate:

Matthew 27:63  and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will be raised.’

Matthew 27:57-66 Later that evening, a rich man arrived from Arimathea. His name was Joseph, and he had become a disciple of Jesus. (58) He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, and Pilate ordered it to be done. (59) So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.

(60) Then he placed it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out of the rock. After rolling a large stone across the door of the tomb, he left, (61) but Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained there, sitting in front of the tomb. (62) The following day (that is, after the Day of Preparation), the high priests and Pharisees gathered before Pilate

(63) and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will be raised.’ (64) Therefore, order the tomb to be secured until the third day, or his disciples may go and steal him and then tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ Then the last deception would be worse than the first one.” (65) Pilate told them, “You have a military guard. Go and make the tomb as secure as you know how.” (66) So they went and secured the tomb by putting a seal on the stone in the presence of the guards.

Did Jesus explain what constitutes a “day” and a “night”?

John 11:9,10 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. (10) But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

  • The plain meaning is that Jesus said there are twelve hours of daylight to form a “day,” and the corresponding twelve hours of darkness Jesus called “night.”
  • Thus three days and three nights would be made up of six twelve-hour periods or 72 hours.

Jesus was buried and His body was prepared before sundown by His disciples

  • After Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus and was granted the body to Joseph.
  • Joseph then wrapped Jesus body in fine linen and laid Him in a tomb.
  • Joseph only had about 3 hours before sunset, when the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread will start.
  • Jewish law required all dead bodies to be buried before a Sabbath.

Mark 15:42,46 It was the Day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath. Since it was already evening, (43) Joseph of Arimathea, a highly respected member of the Council, who was waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (44) Pilate was amazed to hear that Jesus had already died, so he summoned the centurion to ask him if he was in fact dead.

(45) When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he let Joseph have the corpse. (46) Joseph bought some linen cloth, took the body down, wrapped it in the cloth, laid it in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Matthew 27:59,60 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,  (60)  and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.

John 19:31 The Jewish leaders didn’t want the victims hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath at that, for it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to order the legs of the men broken to hasten death; then their bodies could be taken down.

They place the body of Jesus in a new tomb, never used before, because the Sabbath was on them.

John 19:41,42 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. (42) So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

He was buried for exactly 72 hours, He was also resurrected at sunset—not at dawn!

Jesus fulfilled another Old Testament festival upon being resurrected, the Feast of Firstfruits.

Leviticus 23:9 The LORD spoke to Moses,

Leviticus 23:10,11 “Tell the Israelis that when you enter the land that I’m about to give you and gather its produce, you are to bring a sheaf from the first portion of your harvest to the priest, who will offer the sheaf in the LORD’s presence for your acceptance. The priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:12,13  “On the day you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a one year old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering in the LORD’s presence.  Also present a meal offering of two tenths of a measure of fine flour mixed with olive oil as an offering made by fire to the LORD, a pleasing aroma. “Now as to a drink offering, you are to present a fourth of a hin of wine.

Leviticus 23:14 You are not to eat bread, parched grain, or fresh grain until that day when you’ve brought the offering of your God. This is to be an eternal ordinance throughout your generations, wherever you live.”

This festival, in which a priest waved “a sheaf of the firstfruits of harvest” before the Lord, was held each year on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Thus, a priest would have conducted this wave sheaf ceremony on the day after Christ’s resurrection.   On the Day of Jesus ascension {Sunday} to the Father for his approval.

During this period, according to the Mishnah, the sheaf to be waved in the ceremony was taken from the field as the Sabbath ended and Sunday began.

This is on the Sabbath at evening, when the 1st Day of the week start, Sunday.  So, at dusk at the end of the Sabbath, the priest “put the sickle to the grain”

Deuteronomy 16:9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.

This is how we are to count from this Feast Day when Pentecost is observed.  Counted from the sickle to the grain.

When was the sheaf waved? Histories of the time show that it was waved about the same time as the daily morning sacrifice, that is, about 9 am on Sunday.

  • The reaping and waving of the sheaf symbolized Israel giving the first and best of the harvest to God and is acceptance by Him.
  • It is exactly this symbolism that Jesus fulfilled!

As the weekly Sabbath was ending, exactly 72 hours from His burial, God resurrected Him from the dead! God “reaped” the first and best of His spiritual harvest

1 Corinthians 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

Now, are we saying, Jesus resurrection, no, I do not think so, but it is Jesus accession to the Father Sunday morning.  We will look at this a little closer.

We know Mary was at the tomb early Sunday morning, what did Jesus tell her.

Matthew 28:1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

John 20:14-16 After she had said this, she turned around and noticed Jesus standing there, without realizing that it was Jesus. (15) Jesus asked her, “Dear lady, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she told him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him away.”

(16) Jesus told her, “Mary!” She turned around and told him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means “Teacher”).

John 20:17 Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. {Very Important Information} But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

  • Notice Jesus was resurrected or brought back to life, what 6 to 14 hours before Sunday morning,
  • He had not ascended to the Father yet, to be accepted as in the Feast of Firstfruits.

John 20:18 So Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” She also told them what he had told her.

Wonder why the long time between resurrection and ascension.

As a Side, very difficult Scripture, pure guess.   Warning: Could this be it, a hint.

1 Peter 3:18,19 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, (19) by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,    {Could this be where Jesus went during this time period}

  • As the firstfruits of God’s Family, Jesus had not yet appeared before the Father for acceptance as our Savior and High Priest!
  • He had not yet been “waved”!
  • The context of John 20 shows that it was still early in the morning, and most likely, shortly after Mary returned to the disciples,
  • Jesus ascended to His Father’s throne in heaven to be accepted as our Redeemer; at about the same time the priest waved the sheaf before God in the Temple.
  • God fulfills His Word to the letter!

As a Side, very difficult Scripture, pure guess.

The words of the angel to the women, “He is risen!”

Matthew 28:5,6 Responding to the women, the angel said, “Stop being frightened! I know you’re looking for Jesus, who was crucified. (6) He is not here. He has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying.

Mark 16:6 But he told them, “Stop being astonished! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised. He is not here. Look at the place where they laid him.

These Scriptures show Jesus did ascent to the Father sometime around Sunday morning and was resurrected before sunset on the Sabbath.

Resurrection and Ascension are two different events.

It is an amazing true fact; Jesus gave Himself to be crucified to pay the penalty of our sins.  Yes, yours and mine sins.

Paul tells us, as we wait eagerly for Jesus to return to the earth for us:

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Our Future Glory as we wait for His second appearance.

Romans 8:18,19 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  (19)  For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

What we are told that just as Christ rose from the dead, so will His faithful disciples {that is us} when He returns.

On this Paul writes,

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus God will bring those who have died with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  With a shout of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of God’s trumpet, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, and the dead who belong to the Messiah will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (18) So then, encourage one another with these words.

Jesus is our elder Brother, we will be as He is.  What a wonderful gift we will be given.

Jesus has given us the potential to share eternal life with Him in the Kingdom of God!

What a tremendous hope we have.  What a wonderful God!

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