Just surface reading Matthew 12:40 a person might think that YAHUSHUA was "three days and three nights" in the grave, a literal 72 hours. Yet such a position contradicts the rest of Scripture, such as Luke 24:21, "today is the third day since these things were done," and that day was "the first day of the week." Luke 24:1, which was "the morrow after the Sabbath(ha-Shabbat)" Lev. 23:15. YAHUSHUA fulfilled the wave-sheaf, as saith inspiration, "But now is Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." I Cor. 15:20
YAHUSHUA said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Torah, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17
Matthew 12:40 does not say that YAHUSHUA would be in the grave three days and three nights. But, "in the heart of the earth", which some force to mean "in the grave", but consider that "in the heart of the earth" could mean something else.
Let me ask you a question. When Agur said, "There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:" Proverbs 30:18. One was "the way of a ship in the heart of the sea." Proverbs 30:19 margin. Must this mean that the way of this ship was to be sunken under the ocean??? Of course not! Obviously it means that the way of the ship is in the middle of the sea, like between America and Europe for instance.
The word "heart" in Matthew 12:40 is "kardia" the word used to describe a mans heart. But it is also used by analogy according to Strong's to mean "the middle" or "midst", as the heart of an apple or of a human which is in the middle.
Therefore YAHUSHUA meant by this saying (but He was not making it just real plain for these unbelieving Jews) that He would be "in the midst of the earth." Now compare this with a few important passages of Scripture, such as, Genesis 48:16, Deuteronomy 19:2, Psalm 46:2 margin, Psalm 74:12, Ezekiel 5:5; 38:12. Just to name a few, for there are so many.
Now consider as YAHUSHUA's ministry opened, He came to Jerusalem at Passover with a scourge of small cords, and drove out the money changers. "Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? YAHUSHUA answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But He (YAHU-SHUA) spake of His body." John 2:18-21
Then after three years YAHUSHUA came again to Jerusalem about Passover time and ran out the money changers once more. This was done at the opening and closing of His ministry.
By this dark saying, He was telling the unbelieving Jews that His ministry in the earth would be three days (Three prophetic days). So then Matthew 12:40 we find suddenly agrees with the rest of Scripture, and it is a true sign! Therefore we don't have to be Romans soldiers and try to force YAHUSHUA to stay in the grave for "three days and three nights."
The Wave-sheaf is the clue that unlocks the true understanding for us.
Ha-Shabbat can only mean the seventh day of the week, and the land sabbaths, which means the "seventh", but "a sabbath" as in reference to the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles is not "Shabbat", but is "shabbaton"! So there is a difference between the seventh day Sabbath and a festival sabbath, as the Hebrew bares out. However there is a phrase concerning the Day of Atonement, it is called "Shabbat shabbaton" (Lev. 23:32), which means that it is the "Sabbath of festival sabbaths". But the point that I am getting to is that the phrase, "the morrow after the Sabbath(ha-Shabbat)" in Lev. 23:15 is referring to the seventh day Sabbath. Therefore the wave-sheaf is always on the first day of the week. Likewise with Pentecost, it is always on "the morrow after the seventh Shabbat." Lev. 23:16
The Catholic version reads, "you shall count therefore from the morrow after the sabbath, wherein you offer the sheaf of the firstfruits, seven full weeks. Even unto the morrow after the seventh week be expired, that is to say, fifty days." Those who follow this rule, follow the same principle that Sunday keepers follow, which is, that sabbath means every seven days, but not the seventh day. Sunday could be the seventh day depending on which day you started counting. Do you see the difference. Seventh week verses seventh Sabbath. One reason that YAHUWAH did not say to Mose (specifically) that the fifteenth day of Abib was a sabbath, was so that there would be no confusion as to when the wave-sheaf was to be! Which was "on the morrow after ha-Shabbat." Lev. 23:11
No, the Saviour of the world was not raised from the dead in honor of the Easter festival! But in honor of the Torah in fulfillment of the Wave-sheaf! Therefore a Saturday night resurrection is impossible as it does not in any way fulfill the Torah! No priest ever gathered the wave-sheaf the night following Shabbat, it was always on the morning after Shabbat.
Also just surface reading Daniel 9:27 a person might think that YAHUSHUA was crucified "in the midst of the week" on Wednesday (the fourth day of the week). But the clear context is the 70 prophetic weeks determined upon the Jews. Which even the Jews in Messiah's day understood to be "prophetic" meaning a day for a year. That is the whole reason that there was a general anticipation of the coming of Messiah about that time. 69 weeks reached to the time when the Messiah would be anointed with the Holy Oil (the Holy Spirit) at His baptism, 31/2 years later, or, in the heart of the 70th prophetic week Messiah was cut off
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