How Long Was Jesus in the Grave?



The traditional view is that He was crucified late Friday evening, and rose early Sunday morning, making His sojourn in the grave two nights (Friday and Saturday) and one day (Saturday) with a small part of Friday and Sunday.


The usual explanation is that the custom of the Jews was to reckon a part of a day or night as a whole day of 24 hours.  Thus we are told that there was a very small part of Friday, or a day and a night; all of Saturday, another day and night; and a very small part of Sunday, another day and night.




It does not take a logician to see that there are several difficulties to this theory that are insuperable.  The first one is that it is tradition rather than scripture.  Nowhere does the Bible teach, by direct statement or implication, that Jesus was crucified on Friday evening and rose Sunday morning.  There is a tradition to that effect, but Christ Himself warned us against “Making the word of God none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered,” Mark 7:13.  And in Colossians 2:8 the apostle Paul sounds the same note when he says: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”


Another difficulty with the tradition is that it contradicted the plain statements of Scripture that Christ would be in the grave for three days and three nights.  Let us note a few passages.  “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly SO SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH.” Matt. 12:40.


This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, “AND TO BUILD IT IN THREE DAYS,” Matt. 26:61.  “Thou that destroyest the temple, AND BUILDEST IT IN THREE DAYS, save thyself,” Matt. 27:40.  “Sir, we remember that the deceiver said, while he was yet alive, AFTER THREE DAYS I WILL RISE AGAIN,” Matt. 27:63.  “The Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected of the elders and of the chief priest, and scribes, and be killed and AFTER THREE DAYS RISE AGAIN,” Mark 8:31. “The Son of man is delivered up into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; and when He is killed, AFTER THREE DAYS HE SHALL RISE AGAIN,” Mark 10:34.  “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, AND IN THREE DAYS I WILL BUILD ANOTHER MADE WITHOUT HANDS,: Mark 14:58.  “Thou that destroyest the temple, AND BUILDEST IT IN THREE DAYS, save thyself,” Mark 15:29.  “Yea, and beside all this, IT IS NOW THE THIRD DAY SINCE THESE THINGS CAME TO PASS,” Luke 24:21.  “Jesus answered and said unto them, destroy this temple, AND IN THREE DAYS I WILL RAISE IT UP.  The Jews therefore said, forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou RAISE IT UP IN THREE DAYS?  But he spake of the temple of His body.  When therefore He was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that He spoke this; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” John 2:19-20.  Would that people today were as ready to believe the Scripture, and the words which He spoke as were the disciples.  These passages are so plain that no comment is necessary.


But that is not all.  If Jesus was crucified on Friday then the Old Testament prophecies which relate to His atoning death were not fulfilled.


For example, we know that all the sacrifices of the Old Testament were but types of Christ Who was the real Pascal “Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.”  Everything about the Passover lamb, therefore, must be fulfilled in Jesus.  If we accept the theory, however, that He was crucified on Friday, at least two of the very important details of the prophecy were not fulfilled, that is the Pascal Lamb must be chosen on the 14th of Nisan, in the evening just before the 15th of Nisan (Ex. 12:6).


Still another difficulty presents itself.  In the year 30 A.D., the year of the crucifixion, the astronomers tell us that the Passover fell on Thursday, April the 6th, which was a full moon.  In the light of that fact, the traditional theory that Christ was crucified on Friday, the day of the Passover, has no standing ground.  The gymnastics to which some have betaken themselves in order to extricate themselves from the difficulty is, to say the least, amusing.  For instance, it has been suggested that the crucifixion may have occurred in the year 33 A.D.  It is true that the full moon was on Thursday in 33 A.D. also, but the suggested solution is, that since it was about two and one half hours before Friday, maybe they observed it on Friday.


Note one more difficulty.  If Christ was crucified on Friday then He violated the divine law with reference to the Sabbath.  Six days before the Passover, (John 12:1) Christ made the journey from Jericho to Bethany.  Now if the Passover came on Friday, and He was crucified on that day, then this journey was made on Saturday, the Sabbath, just six days before.  Such a journey was a violation of law, and certainly Jesus would not have taken such a journey in defiance of law, because He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.


The fact is, the traditional theory that Christ died and was buried on Friday is so fraught with difficulties that it cannot be harmonized with the Scripture teaching at all.  Not only so, but when you take into consideration the fact that not one single thing is to be gained by the traditional theory, but that, contrariwise, it contradicts the plain teaching of the Bible on every hand, the difficulty becomes an absurdity and a rank inconsistency.  Our first question then is,




Since Jesus was in the grave three full days and three full nights the question naturally arises, when was He crucified?  By no possible stretch of imagination can one get three full days and three full nights from 6 o’clock Friday evening to 6 o’clock Sunday morning.  What, then, are the facts?


In Mark 15:42, 43 it is said: “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea…went in boldly unto Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.”  Inasmuch as Saturday is a Jewish Sabbath it is usually taken for granted that the crucifixion was on Friday.  What is not usually taken into consideration is the fact that the Jews had Sabbaths other than Saturday, the weekly Sabbath.  The first day of the Passover Week upon which it came.  This is clear from such passages as the 12th chapter of Exodus, 23 chapter of Leviticus, and the 28th chapter of Numbers.


The question, therefore, is, was Mark talking about Saturday, the weekly Sabbath, or the Passover Sabbath which always came on the 15th of Nisan, and fell that year on Thursday.  Fortunately, we are not left in doubt as to which Sabbath is meant.  In John 19:14 we read: “And it was the preparation of the Passover, which was always the day before the Passover.  Since the Passover came that year on Thursday, the day before would be Wednesday.  Hence Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, and died on the cross at the very hour that the Passover Lambs were being slain.  And what was the hour for the slaying of the Lambs?  Exodus 12:6 tell us: “And ye shall keep it (the passover lamb) until the fourteenth day of the same month (Nisan); and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at even.”  The Hebrew for the phrase “at even” is literally, “Between the two evenings,” that is, as the one day was passing out, and the new one coming in.  With the Jews that was about six o’clock or sunset.


When Wednesday is recognized as the day of the crucifixion how beautifully do the Scriptures harmonize, and how completely are the types and prophecies fulfilled.  Not only was Christ God’s real Pascal Lamb without spot and without blemish (Ex. 12:15; Heb. 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19), but the Lamb was chosen on the 10th day of Nisan in accordance with the law.  (Ex. 12:3).  As we have seen, in the year 30 A.D., the year of the crucifixion, the passover came on Thursday.  John 12:1 tells us that six days before the Passover, which would be on the preceding Friday, Christ made the journey from Jericho to Bethany, and it was the next day, Saturday, the 10th of Nisan, that the triumphant entry into Jerusalem was made (John 12:12).


According to the traditional theory we have seen that this journey from Jericho to Bethany was made on Saturday, the Sabbath, and that was contrary to law.  But according to this view the Passover was on Thursday and Christ died on Wednesday, making the journey from Jericho to Bethany on (Friday) and from Bethany to Jerusalem on Saturday, which was not only permissible, but altogether probable, because we are told that Bethany is a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem (Acts 1:12; Luke 24:50).


Jesus reached Bethany on Friday afternoon.  That evening a supper was given in His honor in the home of Simon the leper.  After supper Judas went to the chief priests and made a bargain with them, offering to turn the Savior over to them for thirty pieces of silver, the exact value of the Lamb predicted by the Old Testament prophecy (Zech. 11:12; Matt. 26:6-16; Mark 14:3-11).  As the bargain was made late Friday evening after supper, it was in reality made on Saturday, because the Jewish Saturday begins at 6 o’clock or Sunset Friday, and Saturday was Nisan the 10th.  Thirty pieces of silver being the price set on Christ, the Lamb, by the chief priests, it was the choosing, or taking to them of a lamb on the 10th day of Nisan, in accordance with their law.


The law provided that the lamb should be chosen on the 10th day of Nisan (Ex. 12:3), and slain on the 14th day of Nisan (Ex. 12:6).  Now Christ was chosen late Friday evening which was the beginning of the Jewish Saturday, or the 10th day of the Nisan.  He was crucified the day before the Passover, which came that year on Thursday, Nisan 15th, making the crucifixion on “Wednesday, Nisan the 14th.  And Luke tells us (Luke 23:54) that the hour of His death was just as the one day was passing out, and the new one coming in.  It is the same expression that we find in Hebrew in (Ex. 12:6), designating the hour at which the sacrifice was to be offered.  Thus the law and the prophets were marvelously fulfilled to the very letter.




Pressing our investigation further, let us raise the question.  When was the resurrection?  Tradition says it was early Sunday morning – perhaps about sunrise; but here again the Scriptures are silent as to any such idea.


We have found that Christ, the true Pascal Lamb of God died about 6 o’clock, or sunset, Wednesday evening or just as Wednesday was passing out and Thursday was coming in, the exact hours that other lambs were being slain for the Passover (Ex. 12:6; Luke 23:54).  We have seen, furthermore, that Christ, Himself, said that He would be in the grave, three full days and three full nights (Matt. 12:40).  Now since He died about 6 o’clock Wednesday evening, Thursday evening would be one day and one night; Friday would be two days and two night(s).  Thus the resurrection occurred Saturday evening about 6 o’clock, or sunset, making three full days and three full night(s), or a period of seventy-two hours, that He was in the grave.


But this is not the only line of argument, nor is it the strongest evidence.  Matthew makes it clear as to the time of the resurrection.  In 28:1 he says: “Now late on the Sabbath Day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”  (added: Actual quote is: “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, …..”)


Do you catch the significance of that statement?  In Exodus 12:6 we are told the hour that the Passover Lamb should be offered is “At Even”, or, as we have seen, as the one day was passing out and the new one coming in.  Luke tells us in 23:54 that the time of Christ’s death and burial the real Pascal Lamb was at even, or just as the one day was passing out and the new one coming in.  Now Matthew uses the same word to tell us that it was between the evenings, or as Saturday was closing and Sunday was beginning that the women made their visit to the tomb and found it empty.  The point is to note that when the two women reached the sepulchre late Saturday Jesus had already risen.  The Angel said to them: “He is not here: for He is risen, as he said,” Matt. 28:6.


With the possible exception of Mark 16:1, Matthew is the only one to mention the evening visit to the tomb.  All the other writers speak of the Sunday morning visits, which Matthew does not mention at all.  We must take all the records to get the full number of visits, but the important thing for us to remember is that the first visit was Saturday evening, and the tomb was already empty.


Now let us summarize.  How long was Jesus in the grave?  He was crucified on Wednesday, and died about 6 o’clock, or sunset, as the one day was passing out and the other coming in, and was buried at once.  He arose about 6 o’clock, or sunset, the following Saturday, just as the day was passing out and Sunday was coming in.  Thus He was in the grave three full days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), and three full nights (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), or a period of seventy-two hours, exactly the time that He said He would be in the tomb.  Therefore, Christ’s statement that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights is not only verified, but all prophecy which relates to Christ and His atoning death is gloriously fulfilled in every type, shadow and symbol.




To the above view it might be objected that, if Christ was crucified on Wednesday, and the Passover came on Thursday, then He either did not eat the Passover at all; or, if He did so, it was at an irregular time, and that the law prohibited.  What are the facts?  It is true that the law which enjoined a strict observance of the Passover on the 15th of Nisan was religiously enforced; however, it was not like the iron-clad law of the Medes and Persians.  According to the 9th chapter of Numbers there were two exceptions under which one was permitted to eat the Passover at a time other than the stated time.  If an ordinary Jew could claim those exceptions for good and sufficient reasons, certainly the provision would obtain with regard to the Lord of the Passover.  Yes, Jesus ate the Passover, but it was on Wednesday and not on Thursday, the regular day.


We are told by the Synoptists (Matt. 26:17-20; Mark 14:12-17; Luke 22:7-16) that Jesus observed the Passover, with His disciples, on the first day of unleavened bread.  The first day of unleavened bread was Nisan 14th, the day before the Passover.  As the Passover came that year on Thursday, Nisan 15th, the 14th would necessarily be on Wednesday.  Remember that according to the Jewish reckoning Wednesday began Tuesday evening at 6 o’clock.  So when Christ and His disciples met in the room for supper on Tuesday evening late, it was in reality Wednesday the 14th day of Nisan.


On this subject John is in perfect harmony with the Synoptists.  Some have fancied that there is a contradiction between them, but that is not true.  In John 13:1-11 it is said that Christ did observe the Passover before the regular time.  Furthermore, in John 13:27 Jesus said to Judas: “That thou doest, do quickly,” and in the 29th verse it is said distinctly that some of the disciples understood the instructions to mean that He was to secure those things necessary for the feast of the Passover.  Take the position that Christ ate the Passover Thursday, and died on Friday, and this passage is meaningless, but recognize the fact that the regular passover was to be observed the next day by the public, and the statement is perfectly clear and intelligible.


In John 18:28 we are told that the Jews would not go into the place of Pilate at the trial of Jesus, lest they be defiled and not be permitted to eat at the Passover.  If the Passover had passed, where is the force logic of that action?  The fact is, it was the day before the Passover, and they would not have time for the ceremonial cleansing which the law required as prerequisite to the Passover on the morrow.


An examination of the evidence discloses the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John agree that Jesus ate at the Passover, but not publicly with the Jews as a whole.  He gathered His little band about Him in the evening of the day before, and observed that ceremonial law, after which He instituted the Christian Passover, that sacred memorial to Himself, the Lord’s Supper.  Then, at the exact time and hour of the offering of the Pascal Lambs, He offered Himself on the cross as our Savior and sacrifice, as God’s real Pascal Lamb.


Blessed Book!  How beautifully does it harmonize with itself, and how the difficulties all roll away as the mists of the morning when it is allowed to speak its own message.


Written by R. A. Tindall

Approx. 1957

The Gospel Gleanings: April 6, 2019 by Elder Joe Holder

Dear Friends,

While emphatically believing what Scripture says of itself, that it is a divinely inspired and preserved document, we also need to acknowledge that it is a literary work. As such, it appears in literary form and uses many rich and communicative literary devices to teach us God’s way and truth. All too often well meaning Christians confuse many of the literary devices that appear in Scripture and muddle the structure of each and therefore lose the clear and right interpretation of them. “Types and shadows” are more a unique term that Christians occasionally use to refer to an Old Testament lesson’s prophetic description of a New Testament person or event, most often Jesus. A parable is a literary device that uses commonplace events or circumstances to teach a “Parallel” spiritual lesson. As the word implies, you choose the commonplace event or circumstance and apply one particular element of it to the spiritual truth you want to teach. An allegory is far more symbolic than a parable. In a parable, you look for the specific similarity that is “Parallel” to the spiritual truth you seek to teach. In an allegory, every detail is intended to represent something in the spiritual lesson. We err when we interpret a parable as if it were an allegory. If you study the literary genre of Revelation as it was commonly used in the ancient world before John wrote Revelation, you will learn much, and you will avoid the typical allegorical interpretations commonly imposed onto Revelation. Aside from Scripture, in which very few, if any, true allegories exist, Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the best known and most treasured of Christian allegories. Bunyan carefully chose every detail in his narration of “Pilgrim’s” journey to represent something in the true Christian experience of life. Quite often I have observed very sincere and well-meaning Christians read a parable and proceed to interpret it as if it were an allegory. Instead of spotlighting the divinely intended parallels between the natural event and the spiritual, these dear people impose the rules of allegorical interpretation onto the lesson and try to find something for every detail of the parable to “Represent.”


Whether “Type and Shadow” in the accepted sense of this term or “Parable,” the meaning of the Greek word translated “figure” in this lesson, our task in studying the Levitical priesthood, both priest and offerings, is to find the divinely intended parallels between them and Jesus. Hebrews, especially the first ten chapters, gives us a rich study guide to aid our task. I far prefer God’s inspired study guide to my own imagination.


From the first chapter of Hebrews, we have repeatedly seen the theme of Hebrews stand out. “Jesus is better.” A wise and quite helpful habit as we study the books of the Bible is to first read the whole book, if possible at one sitting. In fact, read it several times. As you go back and read the book over and over, try to find one simple (Please, no endless rambling sentences) and brief sentence that captures the dominant message of the book. Hebrews would be quite easy. “Jesus is better.” Jonah in the Old Testament is also an easy example. “I won’t go; I will go; I wish I hadn’t gone.” Jonah is a sad account of how the one and only enrollee ever in “Jonah School” flunked out!


The more we read Scripture and work to follow God’s way in our task of interpreting Scripture the more information we shall gather from it, and the fewer occasions will haunt us when we say, “The Bible simply doesn’t say that much about this topic.” I have a room packed with books in my home. I’ve spent time, lots of time, with most of them. I use three comprehensive Bible study software applications, each loaded with more books than I have in my library, all at my beck and call by the click of the mouse on the screen. And, yes, I do refer to many of them in my studies and writing. However, the longer I live and study the Bible the less time I spend with those books and the more time I spend with my Bible. In fact, I have become increasingly cautious about what I read and what I choose not to read. I’m simply too old and too tired to read the latest novel idea that has little ground for its support outside the writer’s imagination and a lot of speculation. Hebrews has consistently been one of my favorite Bible books for most of my lifetime, and it remains so today. It gives us the outline of faith for discouraged, disheartened pilgrims, just as it did when first written. Pilgrim, how much time have you spent with Hebrews recently?


God bless,
Joe Holder


Please send all communication to me at holder;


Figures Until the Time of Reformation


Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aarons rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:1-10 KJV 1900)

            Historically, Christian writing and preaching has referred to Old Testament lessons that point to Jesus and the New Testament as “Types and shadows.” “A” in the Old Testament is said to be a “Type or shadow” of Jesus or something in the New Testament. The Greek word translated “figure” in Verse 9 of this passage was translated from the same Greek word as the word “Parable” in the gospels. The word identifies the literary tool of putting two things side by side and dealing with the similarities, allowing the similarity in the “Figure” to depict or in some way represent the reality the teacher intends to convey. A literary “Type” or “Shadow” is more subtle than a “Parable.” The point of the word in this lesson reminds us; what God intended in the Levitical priesthood and rituals was quite direct, not at all subtle. What did God design to teach His Old Testament people through the multitude of priests and rituals established primarily in Leviticus under that priesthood? This lesson and much of the first ten chapters in Hebrews takes us by the hand and gently teaches us these truths.

I fully understand that my view is something of a minority view, but I am not personally comfortable interpreting an Old Testament lesson as a “Type or shadow” unless I find some indication of that divine intent as I read the New Testament. I have often heard preachers or other Bible students read an Old Testament lesson, often one that never appears in a New Testament reference at all, and proclaim, “This is a type of Jesus.” While the writings of the old English Christian Benjamin Keach contain many worthwhile thoughts, I fear that his writings set an excessive example in this line of thinking, as if everything that appears in the Old Testament is a “Type” of something or someone in the New Testament. When I encounter this line of thinking, I am inclined to ask, “If this is the case, why didn’t at least one New Testament inspired writer make this point?” If not one New Testament writer ever suggested this specific typological interpretation of that Old Testament passage, on what authority can we claim this typological interpretation? The typical objection to my reserved hermeneutic on typology is “That is too restrictive. If your view is correct, what do we have in the Old Testament that we can apply to Jesus and New Testament truths?” And my answer would be, “Read Hebrews.” Hebrews captures a near endless array of Old Testament truths and gives us an inspired interpretation of their New Testament object. If we carefully examine the New Testament text and document every reference to an Old Testament passage, we will discover hundreds of such references, and each reference gives us the Holy Spirit’s intended interpretation of that Old Testament passage. We have no need to rely on our private interpretation based on our imagination.

            Our study passage affirms that God intended His Old Testament law, specifically the whole priestly order and work, to be a temporary vehicle to teach His Old Testament people, to point their faith to the coming Jesus. Once Jesus came, that law fulfilled its divine purpose and was replaced by the glorious reality of the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect finished work. The “Type,” “Shadow,” and “Parable” were replaced by the glorious reality of God manifest in flesh and received back into glory upon completing His Incarnational assignment.

            The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing. So long as those priests did their periodic work with God’s approval, the Holy Spirit was teaching His people in that generation that the Messiah, God come in human flesh, had not yet come. It is not at all coincidental that, simultaneous with Jesus’ final announcement and death on the cross, an earthquake occurred that tore the temple curtain apart. At the very moment of Jesus’ death, the divine teaching purpose for the Old Testament priesthood and sacrificial system was completed, its divine purpose fulfilled and therefore ended, replaced by Jesus and His new and better way. God immediately declared that all the rich truths symbolically taught by those rituals were now a richer reality to be seen and understood in Jesus.

To get a sense of what this “Shadow” idea means, consider a simple illustration. You are standing in the warm sun on a spring day, talking with a friend. When you want to make a point with your friend, do you focus on your friend’s eyes, or do you focus on the shadow of his head on the ground? Do you place your hand on his shoulder, or do you move your hand so that the shadow of your hand appears by the shadow of your friend’s shoulder? When Christians become so bogged down by the rituals of Levitical orders that they spend more time with Levi than with Jesus, they practice the same illogical behavior. They are obsessing over the shadows of Jesus while all but ignoring the reality of Jesus before them. It was no accident that Paul, I believe the inspired writer of Hebrews, makes the point in Chapter 12, that we are to set aside weights (Could some of those weights for first century Jewish believers have been too much focus on Levi and too little on Jesus?) and besetting sins, and to faithfully and continually keep our faith’s vision “…Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2a) If we look too intently to Levi, we neglect looking to Jesus. Likewise, as we observed in an earlier study, if we focus too much attention on trivial details or conjecture regarding Melchisedec, we are liable to neglect looking to Jesus as fully and intently as we should. That lesson reminds us; Jesus is our one and only true Priest and King. And, in our present study, Jesus is our one and only true Priest who has completed every detail of sacrifice and intercession depicted in all the “Types,” “Shadows,” and “Parables” of the Levitical order. When we write or preach on these passages and the rituals they set forth, we are faith-bound to keep our focus on …Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, not on Melchisedec, or Levi, or the near endless rituals to be seen in Leviticus. The inference in the Greek word translated “Looking” in this verse implies that we need to “Look off and away” to Jesus. This implies a question. Off and away from what? And the answer faithfully affirmed in Hebrews is “Off and away” from all of the old orders, types, shadows, parables, and rituals to the glorious reality of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            …in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience. Both in this verse and in Hebrews 10:1-4, we learn that Moses’ Law and all the sacrifices offered under its priesthood could not put away the sins of God’s people. The idea occasionally surfaces that people were saved before Jesus came by keeping Moses’ Law. Both of these passages emphatically teach that putting away sins was impossible for all of those sacrifices, or by any other function of Moses’ Law. In fact, this lesson takes the point further. Nothing done under Moses’ Law or its sacrifices could resolve the convicted conscience of God’s people much less put away their sins before God. Whether for conscience or for a permanent removal of sins from their account before God, nothing in the Law could deal with the sin problem. Its purpose was to remind God’s people who worshipped under its provisions that God had provided a remedy for their sins yet to come at a future time.

            Another comforting point from Scripture, Jesus’ sufferings and death covered the sins of His people in the Old Testament era just as He covers our sins today. (Romans 3:25; “…for the remission of sins that are past”) Jesus’ sufferings and death are not limited by time, past or future. Just as He died to put away your sins, He also died to put away Abel’s sins, Noah’s sins, and Abraham’s sins. They, no less than you and I, shall sing the same redemption song in glory. If we accept the logical point of Revelation 5:9, “Thou art worthythou has redeemed us to God…” all of these Old Testament children of grace were actually present in glory at the time John heard heaven’s melody in these words. They were singing praise to Jesus just as Stephen was singing His praise.

            …imposed on them until the time of reformation. The “…time of reformation” refers to the new and better administration of God’s dealings with His people. Moses’ Law served God’s people from Moses to Jesus, beginning around 1500 BC. God ever intended this “Reformation” from old to new, from prophetic to fulfillment, from symbol to reality. All the gifts, sacrifices, and related rituals under the Levitical order were God-designed to remind the people at that time that a future God-intended reformation was to come. This new reformation perfectly matches the dominant theme of Hebrews; Jesus and His way is better. Consider every rule under Moses’ Law, every commandment that God gave to His people, was intended for that time, to be replaced by Jesus and His new and better way. Think in terms of all the specific personal behaviors imposed on the people during that era; diet, time and circumstance of worship, the rigid tithing form of giving for the support of the tribe of Levi, required attendance at national rituals around the tabernacle, or later in Jerusalem at Solomon’s temple. All of these things ended with Jesus, all replaced by Jesus and His new and better way. He is the priest who daily administers the tabernacle and its daily sacrifices. He is the high priest who offered the one Day of Atonement sacrificial goat, Himself. He is all of those daily sacrifices, including the Day of Atonement goat. He is all of the substance of all the Levitical order. And He does for His people what Levi and his successors could never do, truly and finally atone for their sins

Little Zion Primitive Baptist Church

16434 Woodruff

Bellflower, California

Worship service each Sunday                10:30 A. M.

Joseph R. Holder                                            Pastor


The Wine Ran Out, But the Lord’s Rich Blessings Never Do by Ronnie Loudermilk

The Wine Ran Out, But The Lord’s Rich Blessings Never Do

Elder Ronnie Loudermilk, Pastor of Union Grove PBC in Monroe, NC

John 2:3, “And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

In John chapter two we read about a marriage to which the Lord and His disciples were invited. At this event, when the guests began to be in want of wine to drink in celebration of the marriage, there was none to be found. Mary, the mother of Jesus, came to Him and said, “They have no wine.” Whatever wine was there, or had been there, had run out. The Lord in His mercy and infinite power gave wine to them by changing water into wine, but this important detail of the event can be easily missed if we do not pay close attention when reading. When we consider the wine running out, a Bible student should remember the parable told by Jesus Christ in Luke 15:1132. The Lord told us about a man who had two sons. The younger of the two “said unto his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.” When the father gave to him, the son “took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living” and “spent all” that he had. I’m sure when the young man took the goods from his father he thought he was on an easy street of life from then on. It’s very easy for a child of God to stray from the Lord and think he/she has enough to last. But this world’s goods, as the wine in John 2, will always run out. The things of this world are decaying and fading away. Nothing about this world can satisfy the soul of the child of grace. Yet we read about the son, after “he came to himself” (realized his father was right and he had been wrong), returned home. We read in verse 24, “And they began to be merry.” Nothing is mentioned about the merry making ending, just beginning. Dear child of grace, if this world has caught your eye; If you think it will last and make up for what you will lose by not serving the Lord, please reconsider. The things of this world never last, they always run out. And if you’ve strayed from your Father in heaven to enjoy the pleasures of this world, please turn back and enjoy the precious blessings of the richest Father of all. He and He alone is able to provide blessings and joy that will never run out. Those riches only get sweeter as the days of life pass, until that great and glorious day He takes you and all His children home to that better land above where we all will be glorified together and glorified forever, Amen!

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