21 March 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)|
Day #6, 5934 AM
and the Day After
In the Right Place at the Right Time
An American brother recently brought this curious passage of scripture to my attention which I had never studied before. When I started looking into Aramaic versions of the New Testament such as the Syriac and Peshitta some interesting variations presented themselves. Clearly in speaking of a sequence of three days Yah'shua is not speaking literally, since He did not complete His mission the day after He spoke these words, so what could He have meant? Scripture speaks of "yesterday, today and tomorrow (forever)" to indicate eternalness when speaking of Yah'shua's Deity (e.g. Heb.13:8), but never (to my knowledge) of "today, tomorrow and the day after".
"On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, 'Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.' And He said to them, 'Go, tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day (Yom heShleshi) I shall be perfected (Aram. "finished" or "reach My goal").' Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following (Aram. "and on another day I go"); for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem'" (Luke 13:31-33, NKJV).
The context is casting out demons and performing cures. Yah'shua will do this and not heed the well-meaning Pharisees' advice to leave the Judean territory (for Samaria or Galilee) because as a prophet He must perish in Jerusalem (which also means Judea). Many commentators see in this passage a reference to the resurrection (on the third day), which is admittedly possible but I think unlikely as for three days Yah'shua was in the earth and certainly not casting out demons or healing the sick, though He was preaching in the world of spirits (1 Pet.3:18-20).
Those who believe this passage has something to do with with the three days in the tomb have a timing problem. We read:
What this means is that Yah'shua rose from the dead after the Sabbath at around 6-7 p.m, or Saturday evening (the beginning of the first day of the week, at around the time of the traditional havdalah or closing Sabbath service which took place at 6 p.m.) but Mary did not see Him until the following (Sunday) morning (proving He was not resurrected on 'Sunday' or the first day of the week - see Lk.24:1). He was literally in the tomb for three whole days (not part days) from Wednesday evening to Saturday evening, just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three whole days and three whole nights as a similitude of Yah'shua's entombment (Mt.12:40).
"Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week (mia sabbaton) began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of Yahweh descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it" (Matt.28:1-2, NKJV).
What three days, then, is Yah'shua alluding to in His response to the concerned Pharisee sympathisers? Yah'shua began His ministry aged 30 and ended it aged 33. It lasted three years. He had also lived three decades before commencing His work. But was "today" - the 'day' he answered these Pharisees - in the first year of his mission? If it was, then these 'days' might have been prophetic years. But that is not clear. More likely, I think, is that these 'days' refer to millennia: in the first two 'days' or 2,000 years, Yah'shua is working in driving our demons and healing people (personally and by proxy) and the third represents the actual Millennium where He brings all things to completion/perfection.
Yah'shua's point was that He had a destiny and was following Yahweh's timetable. He had to remain where He was to accomplish His Father's will and Plan of Salvation. Logic and expediency might have dictated that He withdraw Himself from the danger zone His sympathisers were alerting Him to but that was not why He was there. We in our turn need to be where we have been called even if 'logic' and 'expediency' might indicate we should be elsewhere. This is a hard one because the responsibility to be in a spiritual condition conducive to hearing Yahweh's voice and revelation to us falls on us. I find this to be personally one of the greatest challenges there is. For if we are not prepared and if we are not listening we could well end up in the wrong place and at the wrong time in a world that is falling apart before our very eyes.
So let us make sure we are in right relationship with the Master to ensure that we complete our time in our own 'Jerusalem.'