Archive for April, 2010
The Bible does not explicitly state on which day of the week Jesus was crucified. The two most widely held views are Friday and Wednesday.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Those who argue for a Friday crucifixion say that there is still a valid way in which He could have been considered in the grave for three days.
- In the Jewish mind of the first century, a part of day was considered as a full day. Since Jesus was in the grave for part of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday—He could be considered to have been in the grave for three days.
- One of the principal arguments for Friday is found in Mark 15:42, which notes that Jesus was crucified “the day before the Sabbath.” If that was the weekly Sabbath, i.e. Saturday, then that fact leads to a Friday crucifixion.
- Another argument for Friday says that verses such as Matthew 16:21 and Luke 9:22 teach that Jesus would rise on the third day; therefore, He would not need to be in the grave a full three days and nights. But while some translations use “on the third day” for these verses, not all do, and not everyone agrees that “on the third day” is the best way to translate these verses.
- Furthermore, Mark 8:31 says that Jesus will be raised “after” three days.
The Thursday argument expands on the Friday view and argues mainly that there are too many events (some count as many as twenty) happening between Christ’s burial and Sunday morning to occur from Friday evening to Sunday morning. Proponents of the Thursday view point out that this is especially a problem when the only full day between Friday and Sunday was Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. An extra day or two eliminates that problem. The Thursday advocates could reason thus: suppose you haven’t seen a friend since Monday evening. The next time you see him it is Thursday morning and you say, “I haven’t seen you in three days” even though it had technically only been 60 hours (2.5 days). If Jesus was crucified on Thursday, this example shows how it could be considered three days.
The Wednesday opinion states that there were two Sabbaths that week.
- After the first one (the one that occurred on the evening of the crucifixion [Mark 15:42; Luke 23:52-54]), the women purchased spices—note that they made their purchase after the Sabbath (Mark 16:1).
- The Wednesday view holds that this “Sabbath” was the Passover (see Leviticus 16:29-31, 23:24-32, 39, where high holy days that are not necessarily the seventh day of the week are referred to as the Sabbath). The second Sabbath that week was the normal weekly Sabbath.
- Note that in Luke 23:56, the women who had purchased spices after the first Sabbath returned and prepared the spices, then “rested on the Sabbath” (Luke 23:56). The argument states that they could not purchase the spices after the Sabbath, yet prepare those spices before the Sabbath—unless there were two Sabbaths.
- With the two-Sabbath view, if Christ was crucified on Thursday, then the high holy Sabbath (the Passover) would have begun Thursday at sundown and ended at Friday sundown—at the beginning of the weekly Sabbath or Saturday.
- Purchasing the spices after the first Sabbath (Passover) would have meant they purchased them on Saturday and were breaking the Sabbath. Therefore, according to the Wednesday viewpoint, the only explanation that does not violate the biblical account of the women and the spices and holds to a literal understanding of Matthew 12:40, is that Christ was crucified on Wednesday. The Sabbath that was a high holy day (Passover) occurred on Thursday, the women purchased spices (after that) on Friday and returned and prepared the spices on the same day, they rested on Saturday which was the weekly Sabbath, then brought the spices to the tomb early Sunday.
- Jesus was buried near sundown on Wednesday, which began Thursday in the Jewish calendar. Using a Jewish calendar, you have Thursday night (night one), Thursday day (day one), Friday night (night two), Friday day (day two), Saturday night (night three), Saturday day (day three). We do not know exactly when He rose, but we do know that it was before sunrise on Sunday (John 20:1, Mary Magdalene came “while it was still dark”), so He could have risen as early as just after sunset Saturday evening, which began the first day of the week to the Jews.
- A possible problem with the Wednesday view is that the disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus did so on “the same day” of His resurrection (Luke 24:13). The disciples, who do not recognize Jesus, tell Him of Jesus’ crucifixion (24:21) and say that “today is the third day since these things happened” (24:22). Wednesday to Sunday is four days.
- A possible explanation is that they may have been counting since Wednesday evening at Christ’s burial, which begins the Jewish Thursday, and Thursday to Sunday could be counted as three days.
In the grand scheme of things, it is not all that important to know what day of the week Christ was crucified. If it were very important, then God’s Word would have clearly communicated the day and timeframe. Besides, Paul admonishes us to: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ”….Colossians 2:16-17.
What is important is that He did die and that He physically, bodily rose from the dead.
What is equally important is the reason He died—
- to take away our sins and sin nature,
- to take the punishment that all sinners deserve, and
- to make the life and nature of Almighty God possible and available.
Oh, hallelujah!! John 3:16 and 3:36 both proclaim that by believing in Him we become possesors of eternal life!
This is Zoe, that life and nature of God is ours now; and that’s why Paul says that life and immortality have been brought to us by Christ – 2Timothy 1:10.
This is equally true whether He was crucified on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
The ‘un-die-ableness” of God which was to be delivered to mankind, was an accomplished mission by Jesus Christ!
So Good Friday (or Wednesday, or Thursday) is not a day to mourn Christ because of His sufferings, great as they must have been, but a day to love Him more – that love which Paul says ‘constraineth us’ to give our all to this great One who loved so much, He died for us!
The Bible says that for the ‘joy’ that was set before Him, He endured the cross and despised the shame; that ‘joy’ is you and becoming the sons of God. And sure He did it! So let’s be grateful for this. Let’s share and celebrate His joy!! Celebrate your sonship and the ‘Godness’ in you because you are that joy – worship the Lord. Dedicate yourself to a life of His worship, knowing that you’re just so special to Him.
Happy Easter! God bless you!
AP Photo/John Bazemore
When Paul Fischer checked his bank account Friday night, he had a happy surprise. His balance had exploded to $88,888,888,888.88. A very lucky number indeed, and close to $89 billion.
Of course, the balance was a technical error by SunTrust Bank , which quickly fixed the problem. It also may have occurred in other accounts.
“You say, ‘Eighty-eight billion, what can I do with that?'” said Mr. Fischer, who owns a jewelry concessionaire for Florida theme parks. “Maybe a handful of us could have brought down SunTrust Bank.”
Mr. Fischer had other ideas as well. Before the problem was fixed, he asked a SunTrust rep if he could move the money to an interest-bearing account until it was reclaimed and donate the interest to charity.
Total interest: more than $7.3 million!!!
The bank said no.
The money was stripped out of his account by Saturday morning.
“It’s all gone. I’m poor again,” he said. “I was a billionaire for five hours.”
This kind of bank error happens frequently. But Mr. Fischer raises an interesting question: What if, for five hours, you truly did have $89 billion?
What would you do with the money? The ground rules are that you would have to give the money back — and whatever you bought or invested with it — after five hours.