Jesus in the heart of the earth

"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Mat 12:40 KJV)

Jesus Christ is risen! As they say in Russia: Христос воскрес, Воистину воскрес!

Yesterday (Holy Saturday) I pondered Jesus' time in the tomb. I was wondering about the sequence of events. Do the math: He was crucified Friday. His body vanished sometime before early Sunday morning. That's only two nights. But as the quote above shows, he said he would "be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Why the inconsistency? The answer became clear to me after a little googling. I don't know what a trained theologian would say. I read a couple web pages, though, and I don't think the explanation is difficult to understand. I was surprised how many ignorant web authors ignore the Jews' definition of a day beginning at sunset. Three days is easy by Jewish reckoning: Friday was day one, Holy Saturday began sunset Friday night. And Resurrection Sunday began sunset Saturday night. Jesus rose on the third day, just as he promised. But that's only three days and two nights. It's inconsistent unless one accepts that Jesus' passion – his travails in the "heart of the earth" – actually began in Gesthemane Thursday night. Our Pascal Lamb was unblemished when he was betrayed by Judas. That was his first traumatic night, like Jonah "in the whale's belly." His body was laid to rest before sunset and lay in the tomb two more nights. But "the heart of the earth" is not the same as the tomb. The fact that Jews count days starting at sunset cannot be disputed. One only has to accept that Jesus' suffering started Thursday night to explain the rest.

96 views and 1 response

  • Apr 23 2012, 9:40 AM
    crlopez responded:
    Greetings tbc, hope you're well.

    If we go back into Genesis, there are references to the number of days and the number of nights.

    I'm no theologian, and the only answer I could muster came from my Bible, Pauline XVI edition , in Genesis chapter 7 verse 4, God tells Noah He will make rain for forty days and forty nights.

    This leads me to believe they counted the days not by 24 hrs, but by the number of days and nights. Since there's no 0, the three days from the prophecy are fulfilled.