Jesus can count
Jesus tells us concerning His death that "THE SON OF MAN WILL BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH". Yet Christian tradition has Him being killed on Friday (after "the ninth hour" or 3 pm) along with the fact that He rose from the dead on Sunday morning ("dawn on the first day of the week"). We might be able imagine three days using the few hours left on Friday as the first day (note: God's day (see Ge 1:3) and the Jewish day starts at sundown) but there is no way imagine "THREE NIGHTS" with just Friday and Saturday nights. Supporting the 2 night tradition are comments in the bible like "the Sabbath was about to begin". Some have claimed that some Jews refer to high holy days as a Sabbath but that is uncertain as most knowledge of Jewish thinking and details in Jesus day comes from what is learned from the New Testament. Rising from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week, is an accurate understanding, so the only possible question is the day of His death. 1
Regarding the 3 night understanding, in addition to Jesus' statement with "THREE NIGHTS", the celebration of the Passover is usually a seven day event so Jesus could have had a Passover meal with his disciples on Wednesday night. Jesus instructed His followers to make preparations of the Passover and then they had the meal, which is referred to today as the Last Supper. After the meal, Jesus went out and prayed and then was arrested and put on trail that night continuing into the morning hours by the Jewish leaders and then the Roman leaders. When the Jewish leaders took Jesus to the Roman leaders, they would not enter the Roman governor's palace because they did not want to be ritually unclean as "they wanted to be able to eat the Passover". Apparently the Passover meal Jesus ate with His disciples was prior to the main Passover meal at the end of the seven days. The next day (still the same day for the Jews as their day started at sundown the night before) Jesus was crucified. John account, apparently our only eyewitness account, tells that it was "the day of Preparation of Passover Week" meaning that the main day of Passover would begin at sundown that day. This would indicate that the Last Supper and the arrest took place on Wednesday evening, the trial later that night continuing into early Thursday morning and the crucifixion on Thursday with Jesus death Thursday afternoon and the concern to have Him buried before the main Passover day began at sundown, with the main Passover meal being eaten that Thursday evening. Another clue is the day following His burial is referred to by Matthew as "The next day, the one after Preparation Day", the Jewish religious leaders made a trip to Pilate to see about guarding the tomb. Notice in Matthew's account, which is usually oriented to the Jewish reader, he did not refer to it as the Sabbath and that the Jewish leaders traveled to see Pilate, which would have been frowned upon, if that was a Sabbath. Yes, there is confusion as to days but the one thing certain is Jesus statement mentioning Jonah where He says, "THE SON OF MAN WILL BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH". 2
"What difference does it make if it is two nights or three nights"? "It certainly will not affect salvation", some may say. Do not be so sure, as Jesus states "I AM THE TRUTH ... NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME". If we accept Christian tradition over what Jesus says, then we do not believe Jesus tells the truth or we are saying Jesus is lying. Jesus says, "HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME WILL LIVE, EVEN THOUGH HE DIES". Believing Jesus is directly related to our eternal life. Rejecting or ignoring or treating as lies what Jesus says is an act of not believing Jesus, which can hinder eternal life. Jesus tells people who believe in Him, "IF YOU OBEY MY TEACHING YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE". Jesus' teaching will set us free from Christian traditions and manmade doctrine and teachings that are not consistent with what God and Jesus teach. 3
To summarize, Christian tradition says Jesus rose from the dead after two nights and Jesus says it was "THREE NIGHTS". People who believe in Jesus and what He says will have eternal life. Be encouraged to believe what Jesus says and does, so you may have eternal life.
1. Mt 12:40; 27:45; 28:1; Lk 23:54 (NI)
2. Jn 18:28; 19:14 Mt 27:62 (NI)
3. Jn 14:6; 11:25 (NI); Jn 8:31 (GN)
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A Psalm for reflection "I will bless the Lord who counsels me; he gives me wisdom in the night. He tells me what to do." Ps 16:7 (TL)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
Protect your relationship by anticipating problems. It is unrealistic to not expect some problems. Onetime I had a man that just insisted that they never had any problems and never had any disagreements in their marriage. As they practiced the Speaker Listener Technique together (I insisted) they discovered the reason he thought they never had any problems or disagreements was that he never let his wife talk:. Once she was enabled to talk by using the SLT, he was actually happier. You can also protect your relationship by taking responsibility for your own behavior. Edit out negative responses. Jesus teaches us in Lk 6:31 (TL) to "Treat others as you want them to treat you." This should definitely apply to your spouse. Because two become one, when you build up your spouse you are also building up yourself and your marriage. In a cartoon a woman asked her husband, "what do you think about renewing our wedding vows?' He responded, "Let me think it over, when do they expire?" Your vows are for life. They never expire.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). Much of what is mention above can still be done. You can take responsibility for your own behavior, anticipative problems, edit out negative responses and treat your spouse, the same way you would want them to treat you.
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