THREE DAYS 7-26-17
Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Three days. A term used 61 times throughout the bible. Just a short period of time consisting of 72 hours. If you are waiting for pain relief or going hungry it is a space of time that seems like forever. In comparison to a week or a month, it doesn’t seem too long. I began to think about how often it is mentioned in the bible after reading a statement somewhere that said, “a lot can happen in three days.” I pondered on that a little while and came to this conclusion; A lot CAN happen in three days!
The first time “three days” is used is when Jacob was feeding Laban’s flocks and that was the distance between Laban and Jacob at that time. The last time is in Revelation 11:11 talking about the two prophets that will be killed and left in the streets and not buried. After “three days and an half” God will put life back into them and they will live again causing great fear among those that had just been throwing a big party celebrating their death. The next occurrence is in Genesis chapter 40 when Joseph is in prison in Egypt with the Pharoah’s butler and baker and interprets dreams for both of them. The butler was again restored to his position and the baker was hanged, both occurring three days later just as Joseph had told them. The butler went from the dungeon to the palace in three days and the baker went from the dungeon to the gallows in three days, both occuring on Pharoah’s birthday. This was definitely an instance where a lot did happen in the lives of these men in three days.
The next occurrence was when Joseph had been released and promoted to be the number one man in Egypt having control of all that pertained to Pharoah after interpreting a dream for him. After that we go to Exodus where we see the children of Israel asking to go three days into the wilderness to worship and then the plague of darkness so thick that it could literally be felt, which was upon Egypt for three days. The odd thing about the children of Israel wanting to go three days into the wilderness to worship is that in chapter 15 when they were finally released, they went three days into the wilderness and found no water and began to complain. I guess that just goes to show that we as humans just can’t be satisfied.
We skip on over to Joshua where he gives them three days notice to prepare before they go in to take possession of the promised land. From being transients in the wilderness to settling their own land three days later. Truly a big turn of events in three days. On over in Judges 14 we see Samson expounding the riddle of the honey in the lion’s carcase to the Philistines and gives them three days to solve it. In 2 Samuel we find where Israel suffered three days of pestilence because David had sinned in numbering the people. Seventy thousand died as a result of his sin. In 2 Kings chapter 2, the sons of the prophets sent fifty men that searched for three days for Elijah after the Lord had taken him up with a horse and chariot of fire. This search had been conducted against the advice of Elisha who knew exactly what had become of Elijah. Nehemiah was in Jerusalem three days and surveyed the damage left from years before when Jerusalem had been besieged and taken captive. In Esther, we find that she called for a three-day fast before she would go before the king on behalf of her countrymen. Then we come to Jonah who, to avoid preaching to the city of Nineveh, hopped a ship going the other way. He soon found out that you cannot flee from the presence of the Lord. He spent 3 days in a whales belly or as he put it, “out of the belly of hell cried I.” After he repented, the fish vomited him out on dry ground. He then made a three day journey to Nineveh in only 1 day.
Then, we come to the good stuff. I skipped several other times the term was used to get to the next few. In Matthew 12, Jesus refers to Jonah’s three days in the whale in reference to the three days he would spend in the heart of the earth after his death. Ephesians 4:8 as well as 1 Peter 3:19 I believe, speaks about Jesus ascending leading “captivity captive”. Jesus spoke in different places about rebuilding the temple in three days and also feeding the multitude that had been with him three days with nothing to eat. But the best time it is mentioned is not as three days but as the “third” day. Three times in Matthew, Jesus resurrection on the third day is spoke of and also the command is given in chapter 27, to set a guard for three days after his death. The term “third day” is used 48 times in scripture with several of them referring to Christ’s resurrection.
That is what I wanted to get to because our very forgiveness of sin and our redemption is wrapped up in what took place in over that particular three-day span. Three days that would change the world forever. On the Friday before passover, Christ was crucified for our sins. Guilty of nothing but as the prophet Isaiah said in chapter 53 verses 5 and 6, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; with his stripes we are healed.” (6) “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The scripture in Ephesians 4:8 and Matthew 12:40 speaks of Paradise. One of the last things Christ done was to promise the repentant thief that he would be with him in Paradise that day. That thief was the last one to enter Paradise and was among those that came forth when Christ ascended back to the Father to present his blood there as the supreme sacrifice for our sins. Afterwards, he appeared that evening to his disciples in a closed room. He had appeared that morning to Mary but told her not to touch him because he had not yet ascended. In the room with his disciples, he told them to touch him. Obviously at that point he had ascended.
Think for a minute about all the followers of Jesus. On Friday, their world and all their hopes were crushed as they watched him die on the cross. Three days later however, everything changed. Now, it all made sense. Salvation had been purchased and the price had been paid by the darling Son of God. No more forever, would sacrifices have to be made for atonement because now the perfect lamb had been sacrificed. The veil of the temple had been ripped open when Jesus had given up the ghost opening for man, direct access to the throne of God. No more would man have to go through a high priest to get to the Father. Those folks went from fear and hopelessness to jubilation and amazement. Only 3 days. Yeah; a lot can happen in three days! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!