I saw a post of Bill Muehlenberg about Easter, an indirect defense of essentially making Jesus Christ a liar by rationalizing the distortion of Biblical facts and figures in the Easter story. Mixing paganism with Christianity was justified.
Yes, we can surely rejoice that Jesus Christ has RISEN from the dead, our only Hope of Life. However, let’s set ourselves to eliminate confusion, spots, and wrinkles, for which God has no more tolerance than He did for the violence (“unjust gain”) in Noah’s day. His wrath is on ungodly mixture. The sons of God (believers) took daughters of men (unbelievers) as wives forming unholy alliances that caused confusion (Genesis 6). We cannot mix the holy and profane and not expect consequences.
Let me point out something very simple and ask you all a question: Jesus clearly said:
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40 MKJV).
Jesus also mentioned the importance of the Jonah event:
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall no sign be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. And He left them and went away” (Matthew 16:4 MKJV).
One sign and only one! Quite important, right? A sign pointing to the Event of the Ages.
Now, if Jesus was buried at the end of Friday and was up before sunup on Sunday, where are the 3 days? How do we know it wasn’t a Jewish idiom, an expression exercised to include partial days in the count of three days and three nights, as is so foolishly argued (https://www.sabbathtruth.com/free-resources/book-library/book/e/81/t/three-days-and-three-nights)? Why, we can go to the Authoritative Scriptures for the answers, always! That’s how we know. Is there a better way?
God inserted something that seemed rather meaningless in the Book of Jonah, but we find there was very good reason for it:
“So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the Word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey” (Jonah 3:3 KJV).
So who cares? What significance or relevance to the subject is there to how big Nineveh was geographically? There is much, for by this very fact, God has established the duration of Jesus Christ in the grave, thus verifying His Prophetic Word. Paralleling the three days’ journey with the “Easter” timeline proves the latter is false.
Consider: If you proceed by foot to cross Nineveh Friday at 6 p.m. (after the crucifixion) it leaves you no time to travel before sundown. You sleep Friday night, head out early in the morning on Saturday, travel all day by foot, sleep that night, and then travel no more because the grave is empty before the sun rises on Sunday. Travel time’s up! How then is “three days journey” an accurate and reliable description of the size of Nineveh?
But if a man were to walk three days across the city, we would know its size, wouldn’t we? No, this was no useless piece of information or vain speech the Lord gave. This information was there to confirm by a second witness that Jonah was in the belly of the fish a full three days and three nights. One cannot measure the size of the city with an idiot idiom. As well, one cannot measure the duration of the Lord’s burial with an idiom.
This twofold witness of Jonah, in turn, verified the Word of the Lord’s prophecy that He would be buried for 3 days and 3 nights. We can believe Him!!
If we can’t as children believe by a simple and wholesome faith these Words of the Lord, what else can we believe that He said? Not much.
Pass this on, folks! It’s the Dynamite of God, showing the wisdom of unbelieving men to be foolishness.
www.BillMuehlenberg.com, you didn’t say a word in your article about the three days and three nights, but I have little doubt you would believe the Jewish idiom rationalization and defend the Friday night to Sunday morning theory. It’s all part of the same package, along with Easter bunnies and eggs. Correct me if wrong.
Let’s rejoice in the Lord and put away calling Him a liar, directly or otherwise, spelling it out or not (as with the 3 days and nights). There are many things you say or suggest in the article that aren’t right before God. Your intellectual approach does the Lord no good service. Doctrine and theology are not good enough for Him or your hearers.
There is a common understanding in nominal Christianity that Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb on Friday evening and raised from the dead Sunday morning. But the Lord said He would be in the earth for three days and three nights. Who do you think is right? The Scriptures tell us exactly what happened.