Many people wonder how Jesus could have been in the tomb for three days, as the Bible states, given the time frame from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
Rudy Ross explains the Jewish method of counting days in our YouTube video today. Please take a few minutes to listen to Rudy’s explanation on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Jesus had this to say about a sinful woman, who crashed a dignified party and wept on his feet: “Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little” (Luke 7.47).
Tradition identifies this woman with Mary Magdalene, who is mentioned in the next verses of Luke’s Gospel.
— Luke 8.1-3 – The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities:
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
The women faithfully followed Jesus throughout his Galilean ministry and to Jerusalem where he was crucified.
— Luke 23.49 – But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
From the early days of Jesus’ public ministry to his death, the women cared for the Lord.
— Luke 23.55-56 – The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid.
Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Despite intense grief and disappointment, the women came to the tomb to minister to Jesus, whom they loved and served.
— Luke 24.1-3 – But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.
The purpose of the spices was to mitigate the intense smell that occurs with the decomposition of a body.
The women who had faithfully provided for Jesus for three years had one more gift for their Lord. They would not allow his body to suffer the indignities of a poor man’s burial.
I’d like to recommend a prayerful meditation on the role of the women in Luke’s Gospel. I think you will find it edifying to your spiritual life.
Angels in the Tomb
The first thought of the women was not that Jesus had risen from the dead. They certainly believed someone had stolen the body to desecrate out of hatred for Jesus and his mission.
Luke wrote about a mind-shattering turn of events.
— Luke 24.4-7 – While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.
The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.
Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”
The women were part of the crowd who heard Jesus challenge the Sadducees, “Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive” (Luke 20.38).
They also heard Jesus’ prophesy about his resurrection.
— Luke 18.32-33 – “For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon.
“After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.”
Even though they had heard, their mindset didn’t allow them to conceive that the man who was horribly crucified would in truth be raised from the dead.
It took an angelic revelation to convince the women that Jesus had risen from the dead.
First Witnesses to the Resurrection
The women were the first witnesses to the resurrection. A woman’s testimony was not admissible in court, but God arranged to honor these faithful women with the responsibility of telling others about the resurrection.
–– Luke 24.8-12 – Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.
Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.
But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
The fact that the women were not believed did not affect the truth of what had happened. The reaction of the disciples reflects a truth that will be covered in the next verses (tomorrow’s article).
Everyone needs a personal encounter with Jesus and the revelation of the truth of his resurrection to come to faith.
Humans are always dependent on God’s revelation to “see” what he has done through Jesus Christ.
Please take a few minutes to listen to today’s video. Rudy used the Jewish way of reckoning time to explain Jesus’ three days in the tomb. The video is on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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