One of the best things about sitting under a God-centered pastor is that when you err in understanding of the Bible, he's bold enough to point it out. When that happens, you have a choice to make. You can either choose to ignore that advice and stubbornly hold fast to your understanding or you can allow it to drive you further into study and prayer. I chose the latter.
About 3 years ago I was studying and began to wonder how in the world we get 3 days from Friday to Sunday. I found what I thought was accurate information regarding the subject. The information I found had just enough truth to push me astray. Now, 3 years later I post it again around Easter and my pastor remarks about it and how it's "disturbing." Well, when you sit under someone and genuinely trust their leading, a remark like that should throw up a red flag. I read his comment on my phone while at lunch and caution flags went a flying in my head. The 4 mile drive back to my home felt like an eternity as I could not get to my computer fast enough to retrace my steps and find out where I may have gone wrong. Sure enough, I was wrong. I pray that anyone who read that erroneous post was distracted would be around to see this one and ask for forgiveness if it caused anyone to be caught up in confusion.
My question, and one that bugged me for years was, "Jesus said He would be crucified and on the third day rise again. How do we get 3 days from Friday to Sunday?" My original post was some long, drawn-out explanation that now I find was completely wrong! I have now learned it is called in some circles, "The Wednesday Theory." Here's what I've discovered in light of recent encouragement to rethink this through.
In Matthew 12:40 we're told that, "For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." How could that be if there's not 3-24hr periods from Friday to Sunday? Consider this...
(Table of Explanation 1)
Basically the explanation was simpler than I first imagined. The solution is simple when we learn that according to Jewish custom any part of a day, however small, is included as part of a full day.2 "Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the 'three days and three nights' could permit a Friday crucifixion."3 That is where I was getting hung up. I was trying to force our modern-day culture and understandings into a text and in the end I've realized it doesn't fit. Kinda like trying to get a Wayne Grudem systematic theology book into Joel Osteen's church! ;)
Once I discovered that, wow did the lights come on and I truly felt satisfied as finding a legitimate explanation. Moreover I was reminded of how blessed our family is to sit under a pastor who has (and still is) devoted his life to studying the Bible and teaching our church. And I was humbled to know that despite how much I think I may know, there's always more to learn. Praise God!!
Admitting you're completely wrong about something is one of the hardest things to do as man at his core is a prideful being - and I'm no exception.
Soli Deo Gloria!
1 CARM.org, How long was Jesus dead in the tomb?
2 Jamieson, R., A. R. Fausset, and D. Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997.
3 Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press Publications, 1985.