Good Friday Or Good Wednesday?
April 9th, 2014
|The Gospel Is The: Death Burial And Resurrection |
Of Jesus Christ
Good Friday is a traditional religious holiday observed primarily by Catholics and protestant Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross of Calvary. Let’s be very clear about something – This is Traditional but it is not Scriptural. In the 28 year history of Grace Baptist Church we have never observed Good Friday. Jesus was not crucified on Friday. The day of his crucifixion was Wednesday. Unfortunately the papist tradition of a Friday crucifixion is not mathematically or scripturally possible. A Wednesday crucifixion coincides with the Jewish sacrifice of the Passover Lamb (Which Is An Old Testament Picture Of Jesus Christ). A Wednesday Crucifixion of Jesus Christ allows for Christ to be in the tomb for three days and three nights as he told the Pharisees (Matthew 12:40), rather than two night and a day if he had died on a Friday.
There ought not to be anything that you and I believe unless it's in the Bible. What does the Bible teach? Now, I know that all over the country on the Friday before Easter, people have their Good Friday services, and many start at noon, because people say our Lord was crucified over 2000 years ago on Friday and at that time of the day.
It makes a very pretty picture, except it's not true. Our Lord was crucified on Wednesday. He gave up the Ghost at three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon. He was laid in the grave somewhere about six o'clock on Wednesday evening. He was in the grave Wednesday evening, all day Thursday, Thursday evening, all day Friday, Friday evening, and all day Saturday, and He rose from the grave on Saturday after sundown, which was the beginning of Sunday and the end of the third day in the grave. It is important for you to bear in mind that a Bible day started at 6:00 PM in the evening, not at 12:00 Midnight.
No doubt someone who is reading this is thinking, "Well, my church doesn't believe this." I am not wanting to be the least bit controversial or critical but can I ask you a question, “Do you attend a Bible believing and preaching church?” What matters is what the Bible says on any matter. What does the Bible say? In the Bible, it doesn't say the morning and the evening were the first day; it says the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
The Hebrew day began at six o'clock in the evening, not as our day does with the morning. So, our Lord was in the grave three days and three nights. What days? Thursday, Friday, Saturday. What nights? Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, don't you see. He came out of the grave, about evening time on Saturday. Luke 24:1–3 says, “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus." When Mary and the other women came to the garden tomb it would have been Sunday morning, which began on Saturday night at 6:00 PM.
Someone might ask, “Pastor did not the Bible say that he had to be taken off the cross before the Sabbath?” This seems to mean, the Sabbath was the day after the crucifixion. You see, now that throws a monkey wrench into this Wednesday talk. Now, what day is the Sabbath? Saturday. And if the Sabbath is the day after the crucifixion, then what day would it normally seem that our Lord was crucified? Friday. And that's where we have the problem. All right, if you turn to (Mark 15:42) you will see the Bible says, “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath.” This is where we get Good Friday from, but we need to look a little deeper. There is no way in the world you can get seventy-two hours between Friday afternoon at three o'clock and Sunday morning.
Doesn’t (Mark 15:42) prove however that Jesus was crucified on Friday? Is there a contradiction? The answer is no, there is not a contradiction. There are two kinds of Sabbaths. There is the seventh day Sabbath and the High Day Sabbath. Two different kinds of Sabbaths. (Leviticus 23:23) mentions a Sabbath that was celebrated on the first day of the seventh month of the year. This was an annual Sabbath and it coincided with the annual “Jewish Passover”. Is this the Sabbath that coincided with the crucifixion of Jesus? Listen to (John 19:31) “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” A "High Day" Sabbath was not the seventh day Sabbath or what we know as Saturday.
Let me ask you a question. Was our Lord crucified, the day before the weekly Sabbath, or the day before a High Sabbath? John says it was a High Sabbath. Does it have to be on Friday? What does the Bible say? (John 19:14) “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!” All right, now what Sabbath was it, then? The Passover Sabbath. All right, which means our Lord was crucified the day before the Passover Sabbath, and not the weekly Sabbath. So our Lord was crucified on Wednesday, and on Thursday was the Passover Sabbath. Does this have any further significance? Oh yes, the Passover is nailed to the cross. Man no longer comes to God through the Old Testament ceremonial law, but through Christ.
Does the Bible say anywhere that Jesus was crucified on Friday? In fact, it doesn’t. For centuries, many have just assumed that to be the case. In summary, if Jesus was indeed dead for a full three days before He was resurrected before dawn on Sunday morning; and if He indeed was taken off the cross the day before the Sabbath, then for all the various passages regarding the death of Jesus and His resurrection to be simultaneously true, the Sabbath following the crucifixion of Jesus must have been a special Sabbath, a high day, and not the regular Saturday Sabbath.
The only “crucifixion day” that works, therefore, and allows a full three days and three nights to pass before the two Marys found the open tomb at dawn on Sunday morning is Wednesday. So, it is good Wednesday that we should be observing, not Good Friday.
You might ask: Why is this issue worth raising? Does it really matter? Here is why I believe this is at least an issue worth raising. The fact that Jesus spent three days and three nights in the belly of the earth before being resurrected is the only sign He offers to the world that His claim to be the only begotten Son of God is true. It is the sign of the prophet Jonah, and it evidences the single most important event in the history of the world, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead
Christians disagree on a lot of doctrines, but there are two fundamental things that one must believe to be counted as a believer. A Christian must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God raised Him from the dead. That is the crux of the matter. Whether He was crucified on Wednesday or on Friday, to be a Christian one must believe that God raised His Son from the dead.
Sure, Christmas is fun and like most believers I enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus, when God became a man and walked among us. But Jesus joined the human race for two primary reasons: First, to show the world what God was like by living a perfectly sinless life; a life in which Jesus perfectly expressed both God’s anger toward sin and God’s mercy toward those who recognize their sin and acknowledge their need; and second, after living a perfect and sinless life, He came to die for the sins of the world as the spotless Passover Lamb, the one Lamb to which all those other Passover lambs only pointed.
The resurrection of Jesus is the very heart of Christianity. It is the one sign that tells us with perfect certainty that the sacrifice of Jesus was acceptable to God and that a way had been made for our sins to be forgiven, if we but believe His message.
After being dead for three days, Jesus arose, triumphant over death and hell. That’s powerful news; life changing news. And it makes me cry like Job of old, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” I hope you can say that, too.