The Muslims said that they want to
conquer the entire Africa. They try with their violence to conquer the world.
Here in Durban there was a radical Muslim, Ahmed Deedat. He was determined
to conquer South Africa. He founded the IPCI, and held large meetings where he said that
Christianity was wrong, Jesus never died and never rose from the dead and made many other
inflammatory claims. He held many debates with Christians. In one such a debate he said
that Jesus never claimed that He died and rose again. It was simply fabricated by Paul.
Many Christians didn't know how to answer him, but Josh McDowell answered him in the
Durban 1981 debate that Jesus Himself said in Rev 1:17-18 that He was dead and is alive
Rev 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He
laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, Do not fear, I am the First and the Last,
Rev 1:18 and the Living One, and I became dead, and behold, I am
alive for ever and ever, Amen. And I have the keys of hell and of death.
We must be armed with the Word of God and be ready to give an
answer (1Pet 3:15).
Another point which they use a lot, is to claim that the sign
Jesus predicted about Jonah was never literally fulfilled (Matt 12:40), in that Jesus was
never three days and three nights in the grave, e.g. if He died on Friday then He was only
two nights in the grave. In reply Josh McDowell said that in Gen 1, Esther 4 and in Matt
12 where He refers to being buried for three days and three nights, we must look at His
prediction in the context of the time in which He lived.
Firstly, the Jews' measurement of days is that any part of a day
is counted as a day and night, for example in Esther we read:
Est 4:16 Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and
fast for me, and do not eat nor drink three days, night or day. My maidservants and I will
also fast in the same way. And so I will go in to the king, which is not according to the
law. And if I perish, I perish.
Est 5:1 And it happened on the third day, Esther put on royal
clothing, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, across from the king's house.
And the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, across from the gate of the
Here in Esther we see that the instruction was that they fast
three days and nights, but on the third day Esther already acted and their fasting would
Secondly, in Genesis the Bible refers to "and evening and the
morning was the first day". The Jews measured their days as starting in the evening,
at 6 in the evening to be precise, and any part of a day is counted as the full day and
night of that day.
Jesus died at about 3pm in the afternoon, so on Friday He was
already dead and in the grave for almost three hours before the evening of the next day
started. In the Jewish understanding any part of a day is counted as a day and night (and
even in our own time measurement, for example if a child should be born at 11.59pm, his
birthday would still be counted on that day, and if born the next minute his birthday
would be counted with the next day. So whether you were born 12.01am or 11.59pm, almost
24h apart, your birthday would still be counted on that day!).
So those three hours on Friday would be counted as a full day and
night, according to the Jewish reckoning. Then you have the full Saturday (counting from
the evening) and then part of Sunday again (starting in the evening again, counted as a
full day and night) when He arose. The full time in the grave would then be counted, as
per the Jews way of timekeeping, as three days and nights.
Even though Deedat was shown his errors time and again, he refused
to stop with his inflammatory remarks and even became more and more vocal, mocking Christ
and the Bible etc.