On the Three Days and Three Nights:

 

How can One be three days and three nights "in the heart of the earth" and ALSO rise on the third day?

I submit that these two occurrences are a logical impossibility; they are mutually contradictory.  You cannot "rise on the third day," AND be in Hades "three days and three nights."If you enter Hades on the first DAY, you must emerge on the third NIGHT, in order to be there for three days and three nights.

That is, IF we only think about it in the manner that everyone I have seen posting on it is thinking about it (that "3 days and 3 nights" means 72 consecutive hours, among other unwarranted errors).   Instead of believing "ALL that the Scriptures have spoken" --- Luke 24:25.

Let's look at just some of those Scriptures, which I see no one paying any attention to, in all of this: Looking first at Exodus 12, theologically the most important Chapter/event in the OT.  God was very careful, as so often, to emphasize timing in the Passover: The Lamb to be slain was to be selected on the TENTH day of Abib (Nisan) --- Exodus 12:3. And, it was on the TENTH day of Nisan, Monday, March 30, AD 33, that God's Lamb (and Messiah) rode into Jerusalem, which we call "Palm Sunday." The establishment of this fact is very important, but too extensive to go into in this post: it follows from Luke 3:1, the record of the Lord's Passovers in John, the events of the "Passion Week," and other secular arguments.

But mainly, it follows from the Prophecies below (believing them): A very good treatment of it is Dr. Harold Hoehner's doctoral thesis, chapter 4 of "Chronological Aspects of the life of Christ." The command of God regarding the Passover went on to specify emphatically that that Lamb, selected on (what would turn out to be Monday, according to further revelation in Lev. 23) Nisan 10 was to be kept until FOUR DAYS LATER, Nisan 14 (Ex. 12:6). On that day, in the evening, the Lamb was to be slain. On Friday, Nisan 14, April 3, AD 33, our Lord was slain for (or rather, because of ---Rom. 4:24-25) our sins.

 Exodus 12:6 further specified that the slaying was to occur in the evening. Our Lord died at 3 pm, in the evening, contrary to the "norm," on Friday, Nisan 14, four days after He had arrived in Jerusalem both as her Messiah, and as the selected Lamb. The hours from 3 pm to 6 pm satisfy the requirements for the first DAY that He be in Hades(and there seems to be nothing to say that He could not have been there during the preceding three hours of darkness, as well). (and remember the significant comment that He had made to one of His four companions on the crosses: "THIS DAY thou shalt be with Me in Paradise" (one of the regions of Hades, at that time --- cf Josephus' "Discourse to the Greeks on Hades" and Luke 16 story of the rich man and Lazarus, etc)).

After Israel should enter the Land,  when Israel would have their first harvest, God gave further instructions regarding the Passover, in Leviticus 23:5-12. This constitutes a continuation and further elaboration of Exodus 12, and all that Exodus 12 was pointing to: "the Passover of the Lord falls on the 14th day of Nisan" --- vs 5, orienting us with Exodus 12 (notice that in John's Gospel, this got changed to the Passover of the Jews).

And then, continuing: " Nisan 15, the next day (a Sabbath), is to be called 'the Lord's feast of unleavened bread.'" This was a most special Sabbath, in which, as every Sabbath, no sort of work was to be done: vs. 7. Skipping ahead, for the moment, to vs. 11: "On the DAY AFTER THAT SABBATH (meaning, emphatically, a SUNDAY), the Priest shall wave the Sheaf before the Lord to be accepted on your behalf" This was to be a Sunday, Nisan 16. On Sunday morning, Nisan 16, April 5, AD 33, the first day of the week, our Lord had risen from the dead, and was conversing with Mary in the Garden, just maybe an hour or so before the ignorant Priest in the Temple would be performing the rite of the Sheaf of the Firstfruits, as per Lev. 23 above.

"Touch Me not!  For I have not yet ascended to the Father" --- John 20:17.  But just a  little over an hour later, He allowed to women to hold Him, obviously implying that the reason for the restriction to Mary had now passed. That is, in the interim, He had ascended to the Father, and had returned. And if the Priest in the Temple was doing it according to Kosher, the actions of our Lord in those moments precisely coincided with the actions of the Priest in the Temple. Our Lord ("Christ the Firstfruits" --- 1 Cor. 15:20,23) was presenting Himself "before the Lord, to be accepted on our behalf"

What happened in that interim is awesome; and it is the subject of what the Lev. 23 Firstfruits was the picture, and is the subject of Romans 1:4, Eph. 4:7-10, Matt. 28:18, Heb. 4:14, etc. But what happened in that interim is also the only possible solution of both of the problems:

    (1) How can we say that He rose on the third day, when the Scriptures are very plain that He rose "a great while before that day" ??? and

    (2) How can we say that He was in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, when at the moment He was talking to Mary, He had only been there for TWO DAYS and TWO NIGHTS ???
 
It's not actually a matter of counting days at all: it's more of a matter that  3 days and 3 nights were simply to be involved (see on 1 Samuel 30:12-13). They are not a matter of 72 consecutive hours of time duration.   As we have seen, they cannot mean that, since that would contradict the rising on the third day!  As we will see, from several different logical points involved, the Lord was in and out of Hades at least twice during the three days and three nights.  He was not there for only one consecutive period.  This was prophetically as well as physically necessary.

And the "Wed. view"  does even worse, to say nothing of outright contradicting the plain teaching of Scripture that the Lord rose on Sunday, and was therefore crucified on Friday, in agreement with the Types of Exodus 12/Lev. 23 (eg John 20:1, and the unanimous testimony of the early Church writers).

When the Lord gave the triumphal shout on the cross, “Finished!” He did not mean that there was nothing more to do.  That cry simply meant that the Atonement was completed, and his mortal life on earth. That there was yet more to be done is shown by, for starters, John 20:17 and Heb. 4:14.  He yet had to present Himself before the Father as “Christ the Firstfruits” (1 Cor. 15:20,23).And be declared “the Son of God in Power” (Rom. 1:4, cf Matt. 28:18).And to make His passage through the Heavens as our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14).  And “lead captivity captive” out of the realm of Hades to be with Him in the third Heaven.  Where all saints subsequently would go to be with Him, Who is has not been left in Hades. There were many activities and appearances that Sunday after He had returned to the earth after His Firstfruits presentation before the Father, and after He then allowed the women “to hold Him.”

To close this post, let’s briefly look at the last one of the day, and I speculate that that is where He returned to Hades to fulfill the prophets, leading the inhabitants of Paradise into the Third Heaven, and completing the requirement of the third day and the third night in the heart of the earth: Luke 24:29-31 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

And leaving them, He returned in triumph to that region of Hades called Paradise ("Abraham's Bosom"), fulfilling the third day and third night, and leading His Saints out of Hades and into the Third Heaven to be with Him forever more.
 

SUMMARY:

     1.   Our Lord entered Jerusalem on Monday, Nisan 10 (March 30), AD 33 (erroneously called "Palm Sunday") (Exodus 12:3, Daniel 9:25, Zech 9:9)

     2.   He was crucified on Friday, Nisan 14 (April 3), at 9:00AM, and died at 3:00PM (Exodus 12:6, Daniel 9:26 --- The "First Day" in Sheol).

     3.   He was resurrected on (our) Sunday morning, while it was still the "Second Night" (but this did not constitute His prophesied rising on the Third Day).

     4.   He completed His "rising on the Third Day" when He ascended to the Father as the Firstfruits after leaving Mary in the garden (Lev. 23:11).

     5.   He completed the "three days and three nights" when He returned to Hades after leaving Emmaus on Sunday evening, and leading the saints of

           Paradise (Abraham's Bosom) into the 3rd Heaven that night.