three days and three nights

I apologize if this thread has already made an appearance during this holy season, but I missed it.
Why do we claim 3 days and 3 nights that Jesus was in the tomb, when Friday-Sunday does not fulfill that prophesy?

Jesus prophesied He would rise on the third day. That’s Friday, Saturday, and “on the third day” is Sunday.

The three days and three nights is a Hebrew idiom (see A.T. Robertson’s Harmony of the Gospels; he has an explanation of its usage). It just means three days, not 72 hours. We have a similar usage; if I say, “I’ve been working all day,” you don’t think I mean 24 hours, even though I did say “all day.” We understand the usage of “all day,” as the Jews understood Jesus.

By the way, Jesus was crucified on the “Day of Preparation.” In contemporary Greek, the word used for “Day of Preparation” simply means “Friday.”

  1. Unlike today when we divide the new day from the old day at midnight, in that time the ending of one day and the beginning of the new day were at sunset.

  2. When the Passion events unfold is when to start counting days. Thus, the Last Supper, agony in the garden and arrest of Jesus (occurring after sunset) all through the crucifixion and burial of Jesus (all occurring before sunset) were the first day. The sabbath day of rest was the second day (remember, starting from that sunset and lasting until the following sunset). The resurrection then occured on the third day (again, the “day” beginning after sunset). Therefore, Mary going to the tomb before the light of day still means it was the third day – Easter – the first day of the week.

The “three days and three nights” that Jesus said is not the condition of a single part of the earth only, but of the whole earth. Jesus will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. Probably he didn’t mean it as the condition of Jerusalem only but of the whole world and the condition of day around it

This is my hypothesis:

First Day: Friday

He still didn’t go into the “heart” of the earth in these hours. Scriptures says that Jesus will accompany the repentant criminal into Paradise on that day. He will in the other day

Second Day: Sabbath

Third Day: First Day of the Week (Sunday)

Yet in the fourth chart, it is tradition that Jesus rose at 12 o clock midnight. Whenever he had resurrected, the same he underwent a "day’ and a “night” even though he hadn’t completed the 12 hour span.

Three days and three nights is an example of “synecdoche” which means the part can imply the whole and the whole can imply the part. This figure of speech is used often in the New Testament, for example parts of man such as “soul” and “flesh” are used to refer to the whole man. Also, “world” is used to refer to only a small part of the world, ie. the Roman Empire.


Thanks guys, This is cool stuff.
Your chart is WOW, gooky! I’m also going to look up that word you used, prodromos. Good to have in my back pocket!

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