My son, forget not my law,
and let thy heart keep my commandments.
Some time ago, Ahmed Deedat, a muslim Apostate, raised a subtle and intricate objection against the Resurrection of Jesus, which goes as follows:
Objection: Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew the following:
“For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”
Now, according to Genesis, day and night are defined in this way:
“And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning one day.”
Genesis 1: 5
Now, Jesus died on Friday, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, with which the day of his death is 1 night. Later on Saturday, a day and a night, and Sunday morning was the Resurrection, totaling 2 nights and 1 day (according to whom explained the objection, 2 days if we count Sunday).
Therefore Jesus is not the Messiah, but an impostor.
Answer: Although it is certainly very interesting of this objection, how complex and deeply diabolical it is, (to the extent that many Protestant heretics even promoted the idea of changing the day of the Crucifixion), this objection can be answered, from a purely Biblical basis in the following way.
The Role of Translation
The Greek version of the aforementioned passage carries the word καρδιά (kardia-Corazon) in the last sentence (the part underlined in red) this is usually translated as “bosom” in the Spanish version, and “heart” in the English version (Ahmed Deedat was English speaking).
Now, the word “bosom” in Spanish is categorized in the dictionary as follows:
Internal part of a thing, especially of something not material.
This Word, in Spanish, leads the reader to the presupposition that the three days and three nights univocally suppose the burial of Christ, that is, that we would have to count from Friday one night, until Monday morning, with the third day, finished.
The small problem with this “solution” is that it goes against the Bible (Matthew 28, 1-6). Let’s see this more clearly:
“And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.”
Now, this “problem” is exacerbated when we see that the day of the burial of Christ is also biblically defined:
“And when evening was now come, (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the sabbath,) Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead. And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre.”
Mark 15, 42-46
Therefore, the only orthodox explanation must explain that Christ rose on the third day according to Biblical chronology.
The Greek word καρδιά (kardia)
The word that in the passage generates problems for the people who face this objection (popularized and perhaps invented by the Muslim Ahmed Deedat) is καρδιά (kardia) that in Spanish translates as “bosom” and in English “heart”.
Even though in the English version, the translation is true to the word, the context and the common interpretation have understood that Christ refers to his burial exclusively in this passage, the Spanish translation being a bit more unfortunate, suggesting more explicitly the burial.
Now, when the Bible mentions the word καρδιά (kardia-corazon), what exegesis can be rendered? Let’s see some passages about it:
“But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart / καρδιά also.”
“Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.”
In these two cases (dozens could be added) we see that the word heart / καρδιά in these cases does not have a literal meaning, but rather assumes a metaphorical sense, where καρδιά is the center of personal intention (Matthew 22:37) or the fundamental affection (Matthew 6:20-21).
Now, among these metaphorical examples, we note further that they do not suggest, neither the tomb, nor the physical earth
Therefore, the exegesis around καρδιά is in these cases predominantly metaphorical, suggests the center of intention, of will, of affection, or, in the case at hand: the center of events.
That is, when in this passage, Christ warns that He will be in the “heart of the earth” a plausible interpretation is that He was at the center of earthly events, which is also consistent with Biblical chronology and with the Theologica meaning of the event.
Do we have a Biblical basis to support this interpretation? Yes.
The Synoptic Gospels
It is very interesting that in the Gospel of Matthew the significant descriptive line goes as follows, first a mention to the earth:
“Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Matthew 26, 38-39
Afterwards a signaling of the hour of when the Redemption begins:
“Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them: Sleep ye now and take your rest; behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go: behold he is at hand that will betray me.”
Matthew 26, 45-46
And finally a confirmation that this event fulfills the prophecies:
“Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?”
Matthew 26, 52-54
Here Jesus emphasizes that, at that moment, on that night, the scriptures were being fulfilled, as a few paragraphs later it is also pointed out:
“In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes: You are come out as it were to a robber with swords and clubs to apprehend me. I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on me. Now all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples all leaving him, fled.”
Matthew 26, 55-56
Here, Jesus makes a new emphasis on what happened, at that moment, on that night, so that what the prophets wrote would be fulfilled! With which, in the most natural way we can include The Prophet Jonas.
Now, if someone wants to “argue” that this imprisonment of Jesus is not synchronized or coordinated by providence (an “argument” that would be a blasphemy) or that his imprisonment is not of capital importance, we point out some Biblical passages, which point out and emphasize the crucial importance of the precise hour in which Jesus was to begin the Redemption of the human race, which was to begin with his arrest:
“They sought therefore to apprehend him: and no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.”
“These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, teaching in the temple: and no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.”
Another Gospel that narrates this fact is the Gospel of Saint Mark 14:35
“And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed, that if it might be, the hour might pass from him.”
Note here that it is also a reference to the world in an important context, and emphasizes that the intance that is narrated is a crucial hour. In fact, it is the initial hour of human Redemption.
This story takes on additional relevance in verses 41-42 of the same chapter:
“And he cometh the third time, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest. It is enough: the hour is come: behold the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise up, let us go. Behold, he that will betray me is at hand.”
Finally, we see more clear evidence that the imprisonment of Christ is undoubtedly the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies, for, when reviewing the Gospel according to St. Luke, we read:
“For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: And with the wicked was he reckoned. For the things concerning me have an end.”
This passage of the Gospel according to Saint Luke is very interesting, because it points out Jesus’ imprisonment as the “beginning of the end” of everything that refers to Christ. That is to say, with this event the fulfillment of the prophecies is concretely defined, uniting it definitively to the imprisonment of His Person.
On the other hand, continuing a few verses ahead, we read:
“And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”
St. Luke 22:43-44
This verse is extremely important, because it indicates that in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus entered in agony, that is to say, that the Redemption of the human race began. In addition to pointing out that Jesus poured drops of blood on the earth, this event is non the lesser, because it must be known that Christ has redeemed us with his Blood.
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled.”
1 Peter 1, 18-19
That is, as it is the doctrine of Faith that the Blood of Christ redeemed us, it is in this same place that the profusion of Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ begins, which would augment, by the blows of the soldiers at the Temple, the Flagellation, The Coronation of Thorns, The Winding Path of Christ carrying his Cross, to end with the Crucifixion.
Even so, this is not all, continuing with the following verses of Saint Luke, we read:
“And Jesus said to the chief priests, and magistrates of the temple, and the ancients, that were come unto him: Are ye come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Saint Luke 22, 52-53
This verse ends up destroying the false and diabolical argument of Ahmed Deedat, since here it is pointed again – the time – emphasizing that this is the initial moment that triggers all the others, but, surprisingly, it also gives us a clear signal that the night / darkness / darkness that Jesus deals with when he refers to Jonas, begins in the garden of Gethsemane, at the moment of Christ’s imprisonment.
To reinforce this argument from a purely Biblical basis, we present to readers the following paragraph, where Christ explains how His imprisonment and burial are almost equivalent events, to the point that Christ himself points out:
“But Jesus said: Let her alone, why do you molest her? She hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come beforehand to anoint my body for burial.”
Mark 14, 6-8
The word bosom in “The bosom of Abraham”
Now, with regard to the fact that The Son of Man (Jesus, the messiah) was to be found in the “bosom” of the earth, we can add the exegesis of the Bosom of Abraham, which was a place in which the saints of the Old Testament waited for the Messiah, who would free them:
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom:”
Luke 16: 22-23
It is very relevant to this whole subject the fact that Jesus, when he died, went to free Moses and the prophets from the bosom of Abraham so that they in turn entered the Celestial Homeland, since as we already pointed out, the liberation began in the garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus went into agony and began to shed his most precious blood on earth.
The Lord of this world
It is common knowledge that the Lord of the world (of the earthly) is the Devil, Satan, as the Bible faithfully points out:
“Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me.”
Matthew 4, 8-9
For example, here we see that all the kingdoms (or social groupings) that exist are under the jurisdiction of the Devil. This jurisdiction can be attributed to an amplified effect of original sin. If individuals are subject to the corruption of the first sin, their will is inclined to evil and their understanding darkened, it is to be expected that the union of persons will tend to amplify this individual fact.
Note then that the reason behind the power that the Devil possesses is due to the transgression of Adam, who had primacy among creatures.
“And the Lord God having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name. And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the cattle of the field: but for Adam there was not found a helper like himself.”
Genesis 2, 19-20
Therefore, with his sin, it happened that all humanity was subject to the Devil, Adam lost (in part) his power, and all of creation over which he had a particular jurisdiction, came to be corrupted by sin.
“Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now. And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body.”
Romans 8, 21-23
Here we see that the creation is prey to servitude by corruption, and this leads it to unfold that even the inhabitants of the earth are waiting for that liberation, implying an almost absolute dominion of the Devil because of original sin.
This power that the Devil has over the world, began to be destroyed and reversed with the announcement of Our Lord:
“And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Luke 1, 30-33
With the coming of Christ, the spiritual reign of the Messiah began to operate and wrest power from the Devil:
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers strength, and those who use force seize it.”
Notice, as in this passage, “the days of John” are designated as the beginning of the operation of the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ, while the birth of John the Baptist was inextricably linked to that of Christ in the Annunciation.
In addition to the previous passage, we also have references to how Christ comes to seize spiritual power from the Devil:
“And if I, for my part, cast the devils for Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them? That is why they will be your judges. But if by the Spirit of God I cast out the demons, it is evident that the kingdom of God has come to you. Or else, how can someone enter the house of the strong man and take away his property, if he does not first bind the fort? Only then will he plunder his house. “
Matthew 12, 27-29
Therefore, we see that the fall of man and of all creation, was foreseen by God, who sent his only begotten Son to reverse and repair what had previously been wrongly done, and thus the sin of Adam, would come to be repaired by the holiness of Christ, who is the second Adam:
“Since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each one by his order: as a firstfruit Christ, then those of Christ in his Parousia “
1 Corinthians 15, 21-23
“The first man, Adam, was made a living soul,” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (…) The first man, cast from the earth, is earthly; the second man comes from heaven. “
1 Corinthians 15, 45.47
And so, as Christ is the second Adam, Mary is the Second Eve, who, commanding all the people of God, destroys the power of the Devil.
“Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, you shall be cursed among all the cattle and among all the beasts of the field. You will crawl on your chest and eat the dust all the time of your life. I will put perpetual enmity between you and the woman, and between your lineage and yours; She will crush your head, and you will stalk her heel “
Genesis 3, 14-15
Now, what does all this have to do with the exegesis regarding the 3 days and 3 nights? Well, all the above is relevant, since God, being a just God, allowed the Devil to have an extraordinary power over nature in general and humanity in particular, since Adam freely consented to sin, under the influence of Eva, his wife. Therefore, the destruction of Satan’s empire over humans and over nature, had to be a fair procedure, not arbitrary.
Well, what is the way in which God has justly taken away the power of the Devil? Let’s point out only three main ways in which he has done it:
Humanity sinned against God, therefore, only Christ (God and true Man) could satisfy for the insult. We see this in the genealogy of Jesus by Mary (there is a legal genealogy by Joseph, which is exposed in the Gospel according to Matthew):
“And Jesus himself was, in his initiation, about thirty years old, being a son, while he believed himself to be Joseph, of Heli, (…) of Levi, (…) of Judah, (…) of Boaz, (…) of Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, (…) Arphaxad, Shem, Noah, Lamech, Matusala, Enoch, (…) Seth, Adam, God. “
Luke 3, 23-37
Adam sinned freely, those who want to be free from the Devil will have to do it with liberty:
“Jesus answered them: “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave (of sin). Now, the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son stays forever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Juan 8, 34-36
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; nobody goes to the Father, but by Me. “
“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, in order to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth, hears my voice. “
Finally, let’s point out the third and most important for this topic
Christ became sin and payment for all sins
“He was pierced for our sins,
that brained by our faults;
the punishment, cause of our peace, fell on him,
and through his wounds we have been healed.
We were all like wandering sheep,
we follow each our own path;
and Yahweh charged over him
the iniquity of all of us.
He was mistreated, and humbled himself, without saying a word;
as a lamb that is taken to the slaughterhouse;
like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So he does not open his mouth.
He was caught by an unfair trial,
without anyone thinking about his generation.
It was cut off from the land of the living
and wounded for the crime of my people.
He was assigned burial among the wicked,
and in his death is with the rich,
although he did not commit injustice,
There was no deceit in his mouth.
Yahweh wanted to break him with sufferings;
more after offering his life
in sacrifice for sin,
will see offspring and live long days,
and the will of Yahweh
It will be fulfilled by your hands.
Vera (the fruit) of the torments of his soul,
and will be satisfied.
My servant, the Just,
will justify many for their doctrine,
and bear their iniquities.
For this I will give in inheritance
A great crowd,
and will divide the spoils with the strong,
Because I give his life to death,
and was counted among the delinquents.
Because I take on the sins of many
and interceded for the transgressors. “
Isaiah 53, 5-12
When reading this prophecy of the prophet Isaiah, one marvels at the very explicit detail in describing the Calvary of Jesus, being a surprising prophecy about the historical reality of an event that was going to to happen centuries after being written, it even seems that it was written ex-profession after the death of Jesus.
The most interesting thing about this prophecy is how it defines the salvation of sinners, with all the events, starting from when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, until He offered His life for the sins of the world, exactly as it has been demonstrated in this article.
In addition, we see that this central idea and capital for our refutation, is reiterated more than once in the sacred scripture, let’s read:
“Christ, however, redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, because it is written:” Cursed be everyone who hangs on the tree “.
“He who spared not his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how shall he not freely give us all things with him?”
“Have in your hearts the same feelings that Jesus Christ had; which, being its nature that of God, I do not look like booty to be equal to God, but he stripped himself, taking the form of a servant, made similar to men. And being in the condition of a man, he humiliated himself, becoming obedient to death, and the death of Cruz. “
Philippians 2, 5-8
“Behold the lamb of God, which bears the sin of the world.”
“And I, once lifted from the earth, will draw everything to Me.”
In this last verse, Christ declares that He is the center of all history, the main reason for the existence of humanity, the Savior and restorer of creation. He received in His body the punishment the world deserved, for which, it is definitively concluded, that at the beginning of His punishment in the Garden of Gethsemane, the 3 days and 3 nights began, thus fulfilling the following:
“For just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the bosom of the earth three days and three nights.”
Saint Paul destroys the Objection of Ahmed Deedat and confirms the Catholic position on the Resurrection.
Now, to finalize and completely annihilate the skein of darkness of this perverse apostate who is now burning in hell, and to point out that our exposition is faithful to Catholic doctrine by the aforementioned Biblical arguments, we indicate the following thing:
“For I conveyed to you everything that I myself received: that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he was resurrected on the third day, according to the scriptures. “
1 Corinthians 15:3–4
So, with all the previous points shown, the chronology is as follows:
Thursday Night: Seizure of Jesus
Friday Night: Burial of Jesus
Saturday Night: Jesus in the Limbo of the Fathers
With respect to the days, the count is as follows
Friday in the day: Crucifixion
Saturday in the day: Jesus in the limbo of the Fathers
Sunday in the day: Resurrection
Three days and three nights.
3 days and 3 nights, Theological consideration
In the course of historical events, nothing is carried out without permission or without the participation of God, every sinful event is permitted by God, in order to demonstrate his justice before the ungodly on the Day of Judgment:
“Do that, if God, willing to show his wrath and make his power known, suffered with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath, destined to doom.”
Likewise, every good act is carried out with the help of God, who gives grace to those who work virtuously.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, because apart from Me you can do nothing. “
John 15: 5
Therefore, when considering the prophecy about the 3 days and the 3 nights that Christ would have to pass in the center of events (in the heart of the earth) we should consider that this time frame is neither chance nor caprice, but there is a cause and a reason.
“From now on I say it, before it happens, so that, when it has happened, you will believe…”
My personal consideration of this crucial event in the history of the salvation of the human race is that Christ was making an obvious parallel with the creation of the world.
“On the seventh day God finished the work he had done; and rest on the seventh day of all the work that have done. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because in him God rested from all his work that he had made in creation. “
Genesis 2, 2-3
Thus, the creation was carried out by the Holy Trinity in 6 days, resting on the seventh day, and thus, also, Christ (second person of the Holy Trinity) became incarnate in Mary, through the Holy Spirit, obeying the Eternal Father, to make a new creation subject to grace. This exegesis is confirmed with the words of Christ in the following passage, words that in a non-coincidental and symmetrical way, are found in the last prophetic book that will be fulfilled, The Apocalypse:
“And He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make everything new.'”
Revelation 21: 5
With the grace of God, I have shown in this article, with 100% Biblical evidence, that Christ did not lie about the 3 days and 3 nights prophecy, and that the Bible does not contradict or err on the subject. I have shown with irrefutable proofs how the understanding of this passage is illuminated around the whole experience of Calvary, and not just the burial of Christ. And finally, I have exposed to every honest person, the incalculable malice of Ahmed Deedat, who is now dead, and keeps the reprobate company in hell.
It is worthy of consideration, in what way Amed Deedat lived the last years of his life, he, due to his great intellectual capacity and his firm will (unfortunately, firm in evil) achieved international notoriety, even converting some Protestants to Islam, and distributing millions of copies of the blasphemous Koran throughout the world. Thus, when he was at the height of his worldly glory, and at the center of his power and influence, he suffered a stroke that left him incapacitated for more than 10 years, which was an obvious punishment from God, in advance payment for his career in apostasy. Some might already know of a video of his agony, in which, he cried with great pain in front of a television, in which a disciple of his showed him his lectures, some could say that he cried of nostalgia for no longer being able to display his activity with freedom, which seems plausible to me, although also, I think it is possible that he (in an intuitive way) had perceived, especially in his last moments, the incredible malice of his actions, and perceived, before dying, that his soul was reproved, that Christ came to judge him, and that he had no way of escaping his destiny:
“You rejected all my advice, and you did not make any of my admonitions.
That is why I will also laugh at your calamity, and I will mock when the horror hits you.
When terror overtakes you like a hurricane, when it falls upon you, like a whirlwind, calamity, and distress and tribulation come upon you.
Then they will call me, and I will not answer them; they will rise early to seek me, and they will not find me, because they hated instruction and abandoned the fear of God,
not loving my advice, and disdaining my exhortations.
They will eat the fruits of their behavior, and they will be satisfied with their own advice. “
Proverbs 1, 25-31
Unfortunately, he did not abjure his errors, nor did he become a Catholic, for which, sadly he is now in hell, paying for his incalculable malice, along with Muhammad.
Long Live Christ the King!