General Question

MooCows's avatar

Why did it take Jesus 3 days to arise from his tomb?

Asked by MooCows (3195points) March 27th, 2016

This was a big discussion at the Easter dinner table today
and everyone had their say but we didn’t come up with a definitive
answer. Being who He was He could have made it 3 minutes
or 1 second or whatever so why did He choose 3 days?

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31 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

~He needed some time alone. He also rested. Also he took the Sabbath off. Actually I was raised that he freed the souls from hell and purgatory. Like Dante he spent one day each in heaven, hell and purgatory.

zenvelo's avatar

“In fulfillment of the Scriptures.”

There were various prophecies regarding the Resurrection in the Old Testament, including Resurrection on the third day.

Also, it is not three days, but rather on the Third Day. It’s not 72 hours after the Crucifixion.

XOIIO's avatar

Because it makes for “suspense” in the story.

And yes, it’s a story.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Three is traditionally a magic number.

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Pandora's avatar

Maybe it has to do with the fact that in Jewish Tradition a dead Jew must be put in the ground no later than 3 days and he was placed in a tomb, not in a pine box in the ground, or it could be because it was close to the Sabbath.
As to what he did. I don’t think he filled out an itinerary. But according to the Apostles Creed , he suffered, died and was buried and descended into hell (or Hades as some believe people were not sent to actual hell but a waiting area since they could not go to Heaven until Christ was born and die and could deliver them) and rose again on the 3rd day. So maybe hell was very busy.

Here2_4's avatar

Cell phones make news travel fast, and so do internet, and television. None of our technology was available back then. Word took awhile to get around.
“He’s dead” had to circulate a little, or “He’s back”, would have had diminished effect.

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JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

He hadn’t seen his dad in over 30 years. You really think he could have gotten away with an overnight trip? ~

Since this is in General, I guess I need to give a serious answer. But any serious answer is going to depend on what you think happened. If Jesus really was just in a coma, then maybe that’s just how long it took for him to come out of it. So it could be a record of actual events, with his subsequent disappearance being attributable to either death (not all that surprising given that he had just barely survived crucifixion and didn’t receive medical care upon waking up) or dysphoria (which could have led to him wandering off after making his final statements to the Apostles).

If you want a religious answer instead of a scientific one, then it could be a confluence of mystical beliefs (the magical properties of the number three, the old Jewish belief that a soul hangs around the body for three days before moving on, and all that stuff). Or it could be to show that he was really dead (and not just sleeping), so only the power of God could explain his return. There are also some people who read some of the epistles in a way that suggests Jesus visited the souls of the damned while he was in the afterlife, which would probably take up some time. Or maybe it would have counted as “work” to come back to life on the Sabbath, so he had to wait.

Really, there are a lot of possible answers. But there’s no canonical answer to the question. It just is what it is.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, dang man. He was beaten and stabbed, and had rail road spikes hammered through his wrists and feet, he was dying of dehydration, sunburn, blood loss, hunger, and shock and infection was setting in….and then he died. I’m amazed he recovered in just 3 days. It takes me that long just to recover from a bad hangover.

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elbanditoroso's avatar

@Dutchess_III – but if he was the facsimile of god, then he should not have been suffering the effects of dehydration, blood loss, hunger, and so on. He should have been impervious to tall these earthly things, right?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right. BUT wait..I have to think… but God allowed him to suffer these things as a human being would, so he’d understand the kind of shit that humans go through, so he can be more empathetic than he already was. And he was pretty empathetic before that. But it wasn’t enough.
And, also, he went through it so that humans would never have to. But they did anyway because…they’re sinners. They turned their faces from God—or just had a run of really bad luck. But if they’d been praying and were being righteous they wouldn’t have had a run of bad luck. Only the unrighteous have bad luck.

So pray and now it is now time to pass the holy bank deposit bag around. Anyone who contributes less than $100 is going to hell.

<end Sunday Sermon, no more questions allowed />

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MooCows's avatar

Very disappointed at all the disrespectful answers.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, a serious answer, and end of this discussion is, “How could we possibly know?”

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Inter-dimensional traffic was really bad that weekend.

(In all seriousness, many things happen in 3’s in mythology – in this case – Father, Son, Holy Spirit?)

Kropotkin's avatar

@MooCows What on Earth is a “disrespectful answer”?

The only source for the third day resurrection is Paul.

Paul likely hallucinated (there were many hallucinogens and psychoactive plants in the region), or he had some sort of psychosis or schizophrenia.

The third day is as good as the second or fourth when you’re making up some crazy story—though it’s a common number in mythology and other resurrection myths.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Kropotkin Some of us, including me, were disrespectful to this particular Christian belief, an important one to Chrisitans at that, by making fun of it.

Having said that, the “disrespectful” answers are as close to reality as anything else. If he had really died on the cross, then he wouldn’t have “risen.”
Even as a Christian I never believed in all of the hype, such as the virgin birth (who cares if Mary was a virgin, anyway? And how do they actually know she was? Did somebody check her?) or Jesus rising from the dead. Or the Great Flood (although I do think the story has an underlying basis in localized, historical flooding of certain regions. Some rivers flooded like clockwork. Maybe some local farmer, who knew whatever river was going to flood in exactly 9 months, built some sort of floating pen for his little bit of livestock…if it was necessary to do so.)

Here2_4's avatar

Me too. I always figured Mary and Joseph got too lovey dovey before time to marry, and she made up the story to keep from being stoned. It went to far though, and she could not let it drop. Word had spread further than she had counted on. At that time, all the rules, stories and whatever to do with god was handled by scholars… who kept to themselves, and poured over the “rules” to make sure they didn’t conflict, and such. This Jesus kid put a chink in their carefully worded scripts. They couldn’t kill him, the story was too well known. They decided to coach him. That is why Jesus disappeared a few years, and came back god’s devout and learned son. They grilled him on all things scripture. Eventually, they secretly divulged to Pilot what had been done. He was urged to kill they guy to end the whole thing. Jesus was hushed, and the scholars got to keep their story without further threat of being exposed by the claims of an outside voice.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I read that book. Wasn’t Mother Mary portrayed as a loose woman?

Here2_4's avatar

Somebody wrote a book on that theory? Cool!

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was something I came across years ago. It was really meant to horrify Christians, me thinks. But in many ways it actually made sense. But since it was meant to be insulting, instead of clarifying I didn’t like it.

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