I've ministered quite a few Easter messages and articles but Jonathan Cahn's Book of Mysteries devotional has given me a new insight. He has a devotional he entitles "The Sunset Mystery."
It's always been a bit of snag for me to understand Jesus rose the THIRD day when the Bible plainly states he was put in the tomb on Friday afternoon and, to the Western way of thinking, Sunday is two days later, not three.
But this is not true in the Hebrew and Biblical thinking. Jonathan says that when the sun goes down, that is the end of the day and the beginning of new day. Everything that happened that day is now in the past, and a new day has begun at sundown or 6 PM.
This helps explain several things:
1) Why the Jews begin their Sabbath at 6 pm on Friday and it ends at 6 PM on Saturday.
2) So do all their holidays. They begin the day before at 6 PM.
3) It began in Genesis 1. God established this when he said "and the evening and the morning were the second day" and so on.
Jonathan relates this sunset mystery to Jesus. Jesus was the Light of the World. When he died on Calvary, the "light of the world" went down. All that happened that day was in the past, including payment for all mankind's sin. When we repent and accept Christ ALL our mistakes and sorrows now become PAST. A new day begins dawning as the SON rises in our hearts.
Back to Jesus rising the THIRD day. Here's how it is actually accounted:
Day 1 began at 6 PM on Thursday when Christ agonized in prayer in the garden during the night. This day ended at 6 PM on Friday as Jesus was laid in the tomb before sunset. They had to get His body in the tomb before sunset or it would have been on the Sabbath which began at 6 PM Friday.
Day 2 began at 6 PM on Friday and ended at 6 PM on Saturday (like the Jewish sabbath).
Day 3 began at 6 PM Saturday and ended at 6 PM Sunday --so Jesus indeed arose the THIRD day.
Finally "getting this" impacted my prayer life (and my writing time) in a special way. My first calling is as an intercessor. For many years I've spent quite some time in my prayer closet in early mornings to hopefully get my prayer lists and spiritual warfare in at the start of each new day. This meant I usually got very little writing done in the fresh morning time.
But now I understand the "new day" begins at sunset the day before. I have started doing my long intercession lists and spiritual warfare in the evenings before going to bed, about 9 PM. It's like something has fallen into place in my life that wasn't there before. I get much better writing done in the fresh morning time. And I believe the people on my intercession list are probably getting better sleep, and hopefully awaken the next morning all prayed for and ready to go.
Have a blessed Easter Season,
Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin; and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin
Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI