3 Days & 3 Nights in the Grave
Have you ever wondered about the 3 days & 3 nights? When the people asked Yeshua for a sign, this is what He said. “No sign will be given …but the sign of the of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40).
Isn’t that strange? Today, we don’t hear about or see much about that “sign” in many of the traditional teachings. Why is that? Three days and three nights is supposed to be a very important “sign” that points to the Messiah.
The answer can be found by looking at the year Messiah was crucified and understanding He was crucified on a Wednesday, not on Friday. This is the only count that gives Him 3 days and 3 nights in the grave. Let’s take a closer look at the month Yeshua died by looking closely at God’s Biblical Calendar. Passover is in the 1st month of God’s Biblical Calendar.
The 1st month of God’s Biblical Calendar – zooming in on the year Messiah died –
10th day = the day a “spotless” Passover lamb, without blemish, was selected. This was the very day Yeshua rode in Jerusalem on a young colt. God selected Him as the Passover Lamb & the people shouted, “BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF YHVH” (John 12:12-15).
14th day = Passover *- It is the day the Passover lamb is prepared and sacrificed. “In the 1st month, on the 14th day… is YHVH’s Passover ” (Lev.23:5). This day is also referred to as ‘Preparation Day’ in the New Testament. “Now it was the day of preparation… so they cried, ‘Crucify Him!” (John 19:14-16). “It was the day of preparation… so the soldiers came…and pierced His side… because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Yeshua there” (John19:31,34,42).
15th day = Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on15th day of 1st month. Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts seven days (Lev.23:6).The first day of Unleavened Bread is a holy convocation “on first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no work” (Lev.23:7). The New Testament refers to it as a ‘Holy Sabbath’ or a ‘High Day’. That’s the reason there was such a rush to get Yeshua’s body in the grave before sunset – before the15th day began, the first day of Unleavened Bread “so the bodies wouldn’t remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day)” (John 19:31).
16th day = Yeshua, the Bread of Life, was without leaven and lived a sinless life. He was in the grave during the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread without decay or corruption.
17th day = Yeshua was in the grave three days & three nights (15th,16th,17th). This 17th day was the day of the weekly Sabbath (Friday night & Saturday) in the year Yeshua died. Remember Yeshua said, “No sign will be given to this generation but the sign of Jonah the prophet: for just as Jonah was three days & three nights in the belly of the fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39-49).
Firstfruits = the day the priest waves the firstfruits of the barley harvest as an offering to YHVH. “Firstfruits …on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Lev.23:10-11). Firstfruits is the day after the weekly Sabbath after Passover. Firstfruits is always on Sunday, the first day of the week. Firstfruits was on the18th day of the month in the year Yeshua died. “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb”(John 20:1).HalleluYah! God raised Yeshua from the dead! Yeshua is the firstfruits offering. He is the firstborn from among the dead (Col. 1:18). “Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits” (1 Cor.15:20)
* Passover is on the 14th day of the 1st month of the Biblical Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar has the first month as January, but the first month of the Biblical Calendar is in the spring (March/April ) when the barley is ripe. “YHVH said this …is to be the first month of the year ” (Exd12:1). The Biblical Calendar begins at the first sighting of the sliver of the new moon. As you observe the Biblical Calendar, you’ll find Passover falls on different days of the week each year (it may be Mon, Tues, Wed, Friday, etc.). The year Messiah was crucified; Passover was on Wednesday, in the middle of the week. Yeshua was crucified on Wednesday – on Passover – and put in the grave before sunset- before Feast of Unleavened Bread began. He was in the grave 3 nights and 3 days, arose, and then became the Firstfruits offering. “Now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corth.15:20,23).
Messiah’s crucifixion on Wednesday is the only count that gives Him three days and three nights in the grave. Just as the Scripture says, “so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40). As you celebrate Passover each year, you will soon see that Passover can be on Monday or Wednesday or Friday. It’s all according to when the new moon is seen and when the month begins. But in the year Messiah died, Passover was on Wednesday. It was part of God’s perfect order and design so the Scripture could be fulfilled.