Note: Jack originally published this article in 2003. It remains one of the most popular on this site, and for good reason. It’s a great example of what we love about his studies: taking God at His Word and not relying on human logic or tradition. This study has been an eye opener for so many, but some have had a hard time reconciling the differences between the Jewish calendar and their own, in particular, that the Jewish day begins at sundown. I created the new image you’ll find at the bottom of the article, hoping that a visual representation would make this all a bit clearer. I hope this helps! -Samantha
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
In Matthew 12:38 Jesus was asked for a sign to show that He was the promised Messiah. The religious officials had just accused Him of using the power of Satan to perform His miracles, and so He described the only sign they would see. “Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish,” He said, “So will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40).” By this He meant that because of their hardened hearts they would only know for sure that He was their Messiah after He rose from the dead, an unmistakably miraculous sign. History shows they didn’t accept even as incredible a sign as this, but His response has resulted in a 2,000 year controversy surrounding the time of His death.