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How many days was Jesus in the tomb?

Answer: “3 days and 3 nights” (Matthew 12:40).

Many believe that Christ died Friday night and rose Sunday morning–that would be two nights and one day. However, the Bible says differently, and our quizzes are strictly based on the Bible.

Scripture tells us that Jesus was in the grave for exactly 3 days and 3 nights. Jesus said He would give no sign except this one to prove who He was.

Here’s what He said:

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.

Matthew 12:40

Jesus confirms this number of days after His resurrection too:

…it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day…

Luke 24:46

If we count from Friday night, one day later would be: Saturday night. Two days later would be Sunday night. And that puts us past Easter morning.

Friday night to Easter Sunday is only 2 nights and 1 day. This doesn’t match what Jesus said.

This exact 3 days and 3 nights was so important, Jesus said that this was to be the only sign to be given in this case:

…no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matthew 12:39

Because Jesus was in the tomb three days and three nights and the tomb was empty Sunday morning (Luke 24:1-7), Jesus couldn’t have died right before Saturday.

The math works out if you account for an annual Sabbath. The Jews may also keep a Sabbath during the week if there’s a high day (or Holy Day). A unique Sabbath is mentioned in the book of John:

Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day)

John 19:31

To conclude the answer to this question, Jesus died during the week and was in the tomb three days and three nights.

Similar questions to this are in these two quizzes:

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Who Wants to be a Bible Millionaire?

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