Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
How long was Jesus in the grave? The skeptic is quick to say there is a contradiction in the Scriptures over the time Jesus said He would be in the tomb and the actual length he was there. When one considers the evidence, this allegation cannot be scripturally or logically sustained.
Jesus said He would be in the grave three days and three nights: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). But, Mark records Jesus saying He would rise again “after three days” (Mk. 8:31). This is where the skeptic thinks he proves his case.
Jesus died and was buried on Friday before the Sabbath (Lk. 23:53-56). Jesus rose from the death on the first day of the week, on which day two disciples said “today is the third day since these things happened” (Lk. 24:1, 7, 21). Parts of three days are under discussion.
Peter said Jesus was raised from the dead “on the third day” (Acts 10:40). Paul said, “that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4). Is it a conspiracy? Did Jesus and the apostles conspire to deceive? No, they did not.
Historically, the Jewish reckoning of time has been quite liberal. They counted any portion of a day as a day itself. The following from Eric Lyons, M.Min., is helpful on this point:
“In the first century, any part of a day could be computed for the whole day and the night following it (cf. Lightfoot, 1979, pp. 210-211). The Jerusalem Talmud quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived around A.D. 100, as saying: “A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it” (from Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbath ix. 3, as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp. 248-249, bracketed comment in orig.).” Azariah indicated that a portion of a twenty-four hour period could be considered the same “as the whole of it.” (Alleged Bible Discrepancies, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=3689)
We are not unfamiliar with this way of speaking of time. For example, a man says, “I worked all day” when in fact he only worked a 10-hour shift. Similarly, the expression “three days and three nights” in the Bible can properly include portions of three days without meaning the entire 72-hour period.
Furthermore, the Bible confirms this to be a common way of counting time.
In Genesis 7:12 the rain of the flood was on the earth “forty days and forty nights,” while verse 17 merely says, “the flood was on the earth forty days.” The one expression is equivalent to the other.
A Biblical parallel to the length of time the body of Jesus was in the tomb is found in 2 Chronicles 10:5 and 12. Here, when Jeroboam and all Israel petitioned King Rehoboam to lighten their load, the king said, “Come back to me after three days” (10:5). Verse 12 then observes, “Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, "Come back to me the third day.” When they came back “on” the third day it was “as the king had directed.” So, “on” the third day (v. 12) is equivalent to “after” the third day (v. 5). Because we might not speak of it that way today does not preclude the fact that Scripture so speaks of it, confirming the point that a portion of a day was spoken of as a day itself.
In Jewish reckoning of time, any portion of a day could be regarded as a day. Thus there is no contradiction between Jesus’ predicted length of His burial and the actual event. In truth, the accuracy is confirmed.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
A Gospel Meeting
Scripture Reading: Luke 14:15-24
1. Souls are saved by
gospel preaching – Mk. 16:15-16; Rom. 1:15-16; Acts 8:4.
hear God’s word
grow in Christ
Saving power of
saints with the gospel
things of the Spirit
works of darkness
Taking time to be holy (1 Pet. 1:13-17)
Now is the day
Go and teach
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Works of the Flesh: Rivalry (II)
Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 1:4-13
lesson: Began to study the traits of rivalry that destroy souls:
Hatred, contentions, jealousies.
I. RIVALRY ON DISPLAY.
Outbursts of Wrath [thumos]. (Prov. 14:29)
ANATOMY OF DIVISION.
1. Where there
is self-seeking (selfish ambitions, eritheia) there is confusion
(instability, disturbance) & every evil (base, wicked) thing – Jas. 3:16.
be Challenged in Ohio School Curriculum
Last Tuesday by a vote of 13-5 the Ohio State Board of Education adopted a set of optional science lessons for schools to use called “Critical Analysis of Evolution” (Andrew Welsh-Huggins, AP writer, Yahoo News). “Critics say the lessons contain elements of a theory called intelligent design, which states a higher power must have been involved in the creation of life.” (Ibid.)
Before getting too overjoyed, the creationist (who accept the Bible record that God created the universe in six, 24-hour days) should be advised that while the Intelligent Design argument draws the necessary conclusion that the complexity of life could not have randomly occurred, it does not attempt to identify the Designer who imposed intelligence upon that complexity. And, for the Bible believer, therein lies the limitation of the argument. Only the Bible, revelation from the Designer Himself, adequately identifies the Creator and the purpose of His creation (Gen. 1-2; Psa. 8; 139:13-16). Only the Bible tells us how the design was implemented (“For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast,” Psa. 33:9, 6; Gen. 1). Brethren who appeal to Intelligent Design to support Biblical creationism should know there are scientists who support the intelligent design theory but who carefully steer clear of using the Bible to challenge evolution. (Even some among us reject the Biblical account of a six-day creation period in favor of the old-earth theory and a universe that is 15-20 billion years old!)
According to Ron Numbers (a leading historian of the struggle Darwinism and anti-evolution movements of the past 140 years), “intelligent design is simply the latest effort to create a ‘big tent for all people critical of evolution’” (“Intelligent design: The new ‘big tent’ for evolution’s critics,” Terry Devitt, EurekaAlert.org, 14Feb2004). Numbers says there are significant differences between scientific creationism and intelligent design.
“First, adherents of intelligent design scrupulously avoid biblical arguments to undermine evolutionary theory and argue instead that the subcellular complexity of life demands a knowing designer. What's more, many who subscribe to intelligent design theory have no problem accepting the great antiquity of life on Earth.
“They do create some problems for people (strict creationists) who take the Bible seriously,” says Numbers, a professor of history of science and medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “They argue that the emphasis of young Earth creationists has been divisive.” (Ibid.)
I am not a scientist, but I do know, as did the Psalmist David, that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa. 139:14). I also know that those who reject the Bible as the word of God have always accused an appeal to it as final authority as being “divisive” (2 Tim. 3:16-4:3).
Some Christians will appeal to Intelligent Design to support the truth of Divine creation, yet turn around and reject the divinely inspired Genesis 1 account of a six-day creation, choosing instead to interpret “day” as a long “age” in which God used natural processes to form the universe. My brethren, if Intelligence designed the universe, did that same Intelligence have enough power to create it? And if so, does that Intelligence have the power to reveal how He created all things? Reason says “yes.” More importantly, the Bible says the Intelligent Designer, Creator and Revealer is God (Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3; Jno. 1:1-3).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA