[Luke 24:44-46 ESV] 44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

[1Cor 15:2-4 ESV] 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Where is it written that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day?

6 Answers 6


"it is written" refers to the OT as there was no NT yet.

Matthew 12:39-40 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus spoke about Jonah as a sign of His impending death, burial and resurrection.

Jonah 1:17 The Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah speaks of more than being in a great fish; he speaks of Sheol and 'the pit' as if he was dead. Clearly, he wasn't dead if he could 'pray', but the type of Jesus holds.

That Jonah tried to 'run away' from God's purposes also reminds us of Jesus asking (with much more integrity) if the Father could take away the cup of his suffering.

While there is no direct 'it is written' in OT, Jesus was joining the dots for his hearers by reminding them of significant past events and how they were a 'type' foreshadowing a future event - being played out before their eyes in Jesus.

Everything that had happened was some kind of type pointing to Jesus - many were oblivious to these connections until Jesus pointed out how they were re-imagined in him.

Isaac's sacrifice for example is a type of the father sacrificing his 'only' son. (Which apparently also transpired over 3 days - Abraham receiving his son 'back from the dead' Genesis 22:4)

  • 2
    Thanks for the response. So as far as you know it isn't written in the OT? The only OT part you quote is Jonah 1:17 but that doesn't mention the third day (it is three days and three nights), nor does it mention dying, nor does it mention the Christ.
    – Glenn
    Jul 30, 2020 at 7:40
  • it infers dying as he askes to be released from Sheol - not a fish.
    – Steve
    Jul 30, 2020 at 8:21
  • thank you again, I hadn't realised he was supposed to have died, I had assumed he was being poetic.
    – Glenn
    Jul 30, 2020 at 8:46
  • He is, but as this was a type of what was to come, just as was Isaac's sacrifice (and a zillion other things), there is intended a figurative parallel with what Jesus experienced - so the language and events tie in quite closely. Obviously Isaac didn't die, like Jonah also, but God provided for the need.
    – Steve
    Nov 10, 2020 at 3:28
  • Does Jonah refer to a Messiah suffering for sin? Aug 13, 2021 at 14:16

It is written in Hosea 6

1 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth."

Hosea targeted Israel for this prophecy but it was a double prophecy fulfilled in Christ finally.

Luke 9:22 And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

Isaiah 49:3 He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor."

Jesus fulfilled above by being the true vine, true Israel.

  • Thanks for the response, but the writing in Hosea 6 seems to be referring to what the people brought down in Hosea 5 would be saying. People who had turned away from God. Both verses are about a group that had turned away from God returning to God. It doesn't mention the Christ nor anyone being killed. So I'm not sure how you think it refers to Jesus (who I wasn't thinking ever turned away from God). Jesus surely couldn't have been referring to Luke 9:22 either.
    – Glenn
    Aug 2, 2020 at 16:46
  • You are right. It is not an absolute match. I weight the positives and negatives factors plus spiritual discernment.
    – user35953
    Aug 2, 2020 at 16:55
  • I would have thought whether it states that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on/after the third day was a yes or no issue. Either it does or it doesn't. Are you saying that you think it does?
    – Glenn
    Aug 2, 2020 at 17:01
  • To me, Jesus rose on the 3rd day. The Jonah sign was a sign of pointing.
    – user35953
    Aug 2, 2020 at 17:05
  • 1
    Micah 5:2 is where Messiah is said to be born in Bethlehem. Later Micah talks about repelling the Assyrians. Does the fact that Rome, not the Assyrians, occupied Judea nullify this prophecy? No. (Although the conquest of Judea was initiated from the Roman province of Syria under General Pompey.) Prophecy uses relatable ideas and types as analogy, which tends to obscure the message. Sometimes it seems to be intended that the true meaning of the prophecy is only clearly understood after the fact.
    – wberry
    Nov 10, 2020 at 3:25

Jesus says in verse 44 of the same chapter :

These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. [Luke 24:44, KJV]

Jesus alludes to all that he has taught them in all the time he spent with them. And he alludes to all the scriptures : the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms - all of the written documentation of scripture.

Thus it is written . . . . .

Jesus is not quoting any particular place. He is summarising all that is written.

  • Thanks for the response. So what parts where you thinking that when taken together stated "that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day"?
    – Glenn
    Aug 2, 2020 at 16:48

Michael Brown writes in his Jewish Objections to Jesus, Vol. 3. Messianic Prophecy Objections.

4.38. Paul claimed that the Hebrew Scriptures prophesied the resurrection of the Messiah on the third day. Nowhere in our Bible is such a prophecy found.
Paul’s exact words are: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures …” (1 Cor. 15:3–4).
As a Jew schooled in the Scriptures from his childhood, Paul was not thinking of just one passage but of several passages that pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection on the third day. And remember: Paul was not trying to “pull a fast one” on anybody! And no one had pulled a fast one on him either. This is the tradition he received, and if someone taught him something that was not in his Bible, he would have known it immediately. In fact, when we study the Tanakh, we see that the third day is often the day of completion and climax—and so it was with the Messiah’s death and resurrection!

We should first look at some prophecies that make reference to restoration—or rescue from death—on the third day. • Hosea 6:1–2 states, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.”
This is a word given to Israel as a whole, but the sequence is there: full restoration on the third day!352

Footnote 352 Note that the Septuagint’s rendering of Hosea 6:2 reads, “On the third day we shall be raised up and we shall live,” while the Targum renders, “In the day of the resurrection of the dead he will raise us up that we may live,” avoiding the issue of the third day entirely—possibly because of the use of the text by the early followers of Jesus. For discussion on the significance of these translations as related to the question of resurrection on the third day, see Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 1195–97, with reference to G. Delling, “hemera,” TDNT, 2:949 (more broadly, 2:943–53).

• According to Genesis 22:4, it was on the third day that Abraham arrived at Mount Moriah and prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac—that important event known in later Rabbinic tradition as the Akedah, “the binding (of Isaac)”—an event seen as a Messianic foreshadowing by the rabbis (see above, 4.1). In similar fashion, the Letter to the Hebrews notes, “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (Heb. 11:19)—and this took place on the third day.
• This was the time set for the miraculous healing of King Hezekiah, who as a son of David serves as somewhat of a Messianic prototype (cf. also b. Sanhedrin 94a, 98a): “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD’ ” (2 Kings 20:5; cf. also v. 8).
• Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days (a deathlike experience, to be sure!— cf. Jonah 2:1–9) before being spit out on dry land, and hence saved from his watery tomb (Jonah 1:17; 2:10). Jesus himself makes reference to this event in the context of his death and resurrection (see, e.g., Matt. 12:40) [...]

Based on this biblical data, the German biblical scholar Roland Gradwohl argued that “ ‘three days’ is a stereotyped phrase used by the Old Testament in describing a situation when something will be fulfilled or completed within a useful and reasonable time.… The ‘third day’ is used to describe the moment when an event attains its climax.”354 Another German scholar, K. Lehmann, wrote an entire volume on the subject of resurrection on the third day, pointing to passages such as Exodus 19:11, 16; Genesis 22:4; 2 Kings 20:5; Esther 5:1; Hosea 6:2 (all cited above) as evidence that the third day was associated with special divine activity, something that caught the attention of the ancient rabbis as well.355 These insights, coupled with some key verses about restoration, salvation, or rescue from death on the third day, give Paul the right to say that the Messiah rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures. There would have been no day more suitable than this, from the viewpoint of the Word of God.356

  • 1
    Hosea 6 is about Israel - not the Messiah. and the purpose of Isaac was NOT to encourage Human sacrifice, I went over that in my reply. It wasn't prophetic of a human sacrifice to come. Aug 13, 2021 at 18:05
  • @MorrisBuel "All the prophets prophesied only of the days of the Messiah." [Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 99a] The rabbinic tradition on Akeda (the binding of Isaac) interpret as pointing to the Messiah too. I will reply you tomorrow for further debate. The pre-Christian Jewish interpretation are crucial in studying the Bible. They are the key to understand the NT.
    – Michael16
    Aug 13, 2021 at 18:12
  • @Michael16 Are you referring to Hiyya bar Abba says Rabbi Yohanan says all the prophets prophesied only about the messianic era, but with regard to the World-to-Come, "No eye has seen it, Gd, aside from you, Who will do for those who await him." ??? Why did you end the quote mid sentence? This is clearly only talking about messianic prophecies and them not being about the afterlife, but rather the age of the messiah. It is a massive stretch to then go on to say that every single prophecy is about the messiah. Dec 15, 2022 at 20:13
  • No it is not a stretch. It means every word or jot is about the Messiah alone. Whole scripture. He is the center or foundation of the word of God.
    – Michael16
    Dec 16, 2022 at 4:24

The truth is there is no scripture that says Messiah will suffer for sin, die and three days later be raised. The NT authors do this frequently and the goal is replacement theology. That Jesus Christ replaces the prophesies toward and about Israel.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: {1Co 15:1-4 KJV}

There are NO scriptures (writings) in Tanakh that say this or what the Jesus of Luke is saying.

I want to address some of the other answers that come from Christian presuppositions.

Isaac's sacrifice for example is a type of the father sacrificing his 'only' son. (Which apparently also transpired over 3 days - Abraham receiving his son 'back from the dead' Genesis 22:4)

The purpose of this act wasn't to provide a shadow of what YHWH would do to his own son. He provided the sacrifice then and there, a Ram. The purpose was to destroy the god of Ur (a Ram) and abolish the idea that YHWH needed human sacrifice. You see these nations all sacrificed their first born to various gods - Rams, Sheeps, Goats, Cows, etc. We see the same thing during the passover - and this is also why it's offensive to call the Messiah the "lamb of God". The lamb was destroyed because it represented pagan gods of Egypt.

They were killing the Egyptian gods, putting it's blood all over their door frame, and then eating the Egyptian God. By doing this, Father YHWH promised to protect them from the angel of death. YHWH wasn't setting in place some shadow of a human / God or son of God to become a "lamb" to be offered on passover on a Roman cross.

This is not possible, if you believe he was "sinless" this very act would make him a transgressor of the "law" or Torah.

Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. {Deu 12:31 KJV}

What happens to the Passover offering? It is burnt, consumed in the fire and offered to YHWH. He tells us do not offer to the gods of the nations (rams, goats, etc) your SONS and DAUGHTERS.

How then can we believe YHWH offered his own son as a burnt offering as a lamb of God?

It is offensive to YHWH.

Hosea targeted Israel for this prophecy but it was a double prophecy fulfilled in Christ finally.

I don't blame the person who wrote this - this is how the NT teaches people to read the Tanakh. That Messiah replaces the promises and scripture to Israel. It's why they read Messiah into Isaiah 53 as well, a scripture thoroughly about Israel in the context.

Hosea's writings are about Israel. Not the Messiah.

Here is why people do that, from the first book of the NT.

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. {Mat 2:15 KJV}

The author of Matthew claims the events he's recording were prophesied by the "prophet" (Which is Hosea) that the Messiah will be called out of Egypt. PLEASE when you see the NT reference the writings of the Tanakh (OT) compare them side by side.

When Israel [was] a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. {Hos 11:1 KJV}

This isn't even prophetic, it is about Israel HIS CHILD. About how YHWH called Israel out of Egypt when he was but a child. Read the context of Hosea 11. There is no way to justify the replacement theology of the NT Matthew when you do.

And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel [is] my son, [even] my firstborn: {Exo 4:22 KJV}

When you see these side by side, I pray you see the replacement theology the NT writers were trying to implant in people's minds.



There is nothing in the OT to imply that Jesus was going to die and be raised / resurrected – whether 3 days/nights or die for our sins.

This question asks to cover a number of issues and it would be too long to cover in 1 answer. Therefore, I refer you to 4 link Answers –

  1. OT evidence was Jesus crucified and resurrected Or saved - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/62632/33268
  2. did Jesus die for our sins - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/75324/33268
  3. inherit sin based on Romans 5:12? https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/62982/33268
  4. sign of Jonah - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/79588/33268.

The below is a summary.

Died and Resurrected

To the contrary the OT says that Jesus will be heard and saved – in particular Psalms.

Psalm 20:6 6Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He answers him from His holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand.

Psalms 34:20 & 22 - 20He protects all his bones; not one of them will be broken (to say the soldiers were very carful and precious when nailing Jesus is wishful thinking)

PSALM 91:10-16 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.”

John 11:41-42 - 41) Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42) And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”

Luke 24:39 - "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have".

Apocalypse of Peter

confirms that - The Savior said to me, "He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me." But I, when I had looked, said "Lord, no one is looking at you. Let us flee this place."

Peter implies Jesus was not on the pole / cross – if Jesus died on the poll he would be considered a false prophet Deut 21:22-23.

(Jesus was heard, saved, not a spirit, held, ate so on – Peter is very clear)
For more – if Jesus was forsaken – see link 1

Died for our sins

Matthew 9:13 - 13 But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Hosea 6:6 - 6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,

Psalm 40:6 - 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but my ears you have opened burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

Deuteronomy 12:31 - 31 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.

Deuteronomy 18:10 - 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,

Matt. 5:17-20 - 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. …….

***(it would go against the OT if God sacrificed Jesus – regardless if he is Prophet / son of God / God himself)

For more – if Jesus the sacrificial lamb / inherit sin - see link 2 & 3


Matt 12:40 – mentions as like Jonah & 3 days & 3 nights.

Yet Matt 16 & Mark 8

Matthew 16:4 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

Mark 8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

Psalms 18: 5The cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called upon the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for His help reached His ears.…

Jonah 2

2 1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.

7 “When my life was ebbing away,

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.

(Clearly, Jonah did not die - dead cannot pray or call for help, ebbing dying – not dead, another evidence that Jesus did not die)

'heart of the earth' (tomb is not earth or being buried) & 3 days & 3 nights another issue - hotly debated or an attempt to make it fit.

For more see: link 4 – Jonah


No evidence that Jesus died or was resurrected, regardless 3 days or not. Jonah was alive and has always been understood that way, albeit now some say he was also resurrected – again a manipulation to fit the post Jesus story line of Paul and others well after Jesus.

For interest: who wrote Matthew gospel - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/73492/33268

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