The Story of Jesus How Many Days Was Jesus in the Tomb? (Lesson 16)
1. By searching the Scriptures we can learn "The Story of Jesus" (John 5:39), and we can grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). 2. We have covered the details of Jesus' crucifixion, burial, and resurrection as they are revealed in the Gospels. a. Jesus was crucified at "the third hour" (Mark 15:25), and He died at "the ninth hour" (Mark 15:34-37). b. The day when this occurred was "the preparation" (John 19:30-31). c. Jesus' body was buried the same day (John 19:38-42). d. Jesus' body was in the tomb over the Sabbath (Luke 23:54-56). e. Jesus was resurrected on "the first day of the week" (Matthew 28:1-6). f. Thus, Jesus was crucified on Friday, His body was buried Friday afternoon, His body remained in the tomb Saturday, and He was resurrected early Sunday morning. 3. There seems to be some confusion over how long the Lord's body was in the tomb. a. Jesus said that He would "be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:38-40). b. Paul said that Jesus "rose again the third day" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). 4. In this lesson we are studying several passages that clear up any confusion that exists.
I. FIRST, LET US CONSIDER SOME STATEMENTS MADE BY JESUS
A. (Matthew 16:21) "Be raised again the third day." B. (Matthew 17:22-23) "The third day He shall be raised again." C. (Mark 8:31) "After three days rise again." D. (Mark 9:31) "He shall rise the third day." E. (Mark 10:34) "The third day He shall rise again." F. (John 2:18-19) "In three days I will raise it up." G. These are expressions that Jesus used to show how long He would be in the tomb.
II. SECOND, LET US CONSIDER HOW THE JEWS UNDERSTOOD THESE STATEMENTS
A. See Matthew 27:62-64 1. (vs.63) The Jewish leaders quoted Jesus as saying, "After three days I will rise again." 2. (vs.64) They wanted Pilate to secure the tomb "until the third day." B. (Mark 14:55-58) "Within three days I will build another." C. (Mark 15:29-30) "In three days." D. From their understanding of the Lord's statements, the Jews were concerned that something might happen to the Lord's body on the third day [Sunday].
III. THIRD, LET US CONSIDER SOME ADDITIONAL PASSAGES
A. Genesis 42:17-18 B. 1 Kings 12:5, 12 C. Esther 4:16; 5:1
1. From these passages we understand that people living when the Bible was written used several expressions interchangeably: a. three days and three nights b. after three days c. on the third day. 2. There is no contradiction concerning how long Jesus was in the tomb. 3. He was crucified on Friday, He was buried on Friday afternoon, He remained in the tomb on the Sabbath, and He arose early on the first day of the week.