[quote="MattofTexas, post:1, topic:337506"]
In Matthew 12:40 the Lord states:
How do we reconcile this statement with Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter? Even if Friday and Sunday are counted as days, I'm really struggling to understand where the third night is counted?
Go to part D:
D) The Meaning of "Three Days and Three Nights" in Jewish Reckoning
"For as Jonah was THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40; cf. Jonah 1:17 RSV)
THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS : What Does This Really Mean?
Now the Jewish reckoning of time must be considered. Before I appeal to scholarly sources which are overwhelming in support of my position, let's see what can be established simply from statements we find in the Bible. First, there is the similar reference to days/nights in the account of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus is said in Matthew's Gospel to have fasted "forty days and forty nights" (Mt 4:2) while the parallel account in Luke's Gospel Jesus fasted simply "forty DAYS" (Lk 4:2). Here we definitely see that "forty DAYS and forty NIGHTS" is equivalent to "forty DAYS" -- just as "three days and three nights" (Mt 12:40) would be equivalent to "ON the third day" and "AFTER three days."
Second, the phrase "EIGHT days later" (John 20:26 RSV, the Greek reads literally "AFTER eight days") is definitely equated with "a week later" (compare the KJV, RSV, NIV, NASB, etc). The NASB has both readings: in the text "AFTER eight days" and in the margin "or a week later."
This one is very helpful in understanding the phrase "AFTER three days" (cf. Mk 8:31 and texts above). Jesus appears to his disciples in the Upper Room on the first day of the week, Sunday (Jn 20:19), and appears to them again on the following Sunday -- which is referred to as "eight days later" or literally in the Greek: "AFTER eight days" (Jn 20:26).
Why? Because of the Jewish "inclusive reckoning" of time that PART of a day is considered a WHOLE day (see also documentation below).
To see this Jewish reckoning "after eight days" = "a week later" :
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4 day 5 day 6 day 7 day 8
part whole whole whole whole whole whole part
Since the days are counted "inclusively" -- a part of both Sundays are included as WHOLE days -- then Sunday to Sunday is called "AFTER eight days" = one week later (Jn 20:19,26; cf. Lk 9:28; Mt 17:1; Mk 9:2).
"'A week later' (26) represents the Greek for eight days which brings the chronology to the Sunday after Easter." (New Bible Commentary, edited by D.A. Carson, R.T. France, et al , p 1064)
"The expression used in this passage, 'after eight days,' need not mean Monday, since it was customary to count the days inclusively, as we shall note below...in conjunction with the designation eighth day..." (Sam Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday , p 87)
We can see now that since Sunday to Sunday = "after EIGHT days" then similarly, Friday to Sunday = "after THREE days" (e.g. Mk 8:31 et al).
FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
day 1 day 2 day 3
part whole part
See how simple this is -- the Jews in reckoning time counted inclusively and a PART of a day is considered a WHOLE day, hence "AFTER three days" or "three days and three nights" need not mean three COMPLETE days or EXACTLY 72 hours, but could mean a period slightly over 24 hours.