Mar 27, 2013

Evidence That Jesus Was Crucified on a Wednesday

I'll admit that Thursday is also a possibility, and I may have some articles supporting that view in coming weeks. What of "Good Friday"? This is an invention of the Roman Church to separate Christian faith from the Jews and Passover.  Why would they call it Good Friday?  Even if it was the day of the crucifixion, it was a day of suffering and sorrow.  Just one more way the Roman Church disrespects the Lord (by shortening and attempting to destroy the truth of the scriptures in Matthew 12:40) and misdirects the people from the truth.

By Roy A. Reinhold

I was quite blown away recently to hear Hal Lindsey state on his national radio program that he has come to believe that the scriptures show a Wednesday crucifixion. Perhaps you ought to examine the evidence and decide for yourself; be like the Bereans who were complimented in scriptures for examining the teaching of Paul in light of the scriptures to see if it was so. There is clear, concrete evidence in the scriptures for a Wednesday crucifixion; you be the judge.


One of the most common questions asked by new Christians is, "How could Jesus have been in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights if He died on a Friday afternoon and rose before sunrise on a Sunday?" Most Christians duck the question, since at most they can only come up with one day and two nights (Friday nighttime, Saturday daytime, and Saturday nighttime in our measure of days). If they add in the Friday daytime they get two periods of daytime, even though Jesus would have died in the late afternoon on a Friday. This late afternoon death is consistent with the Passover lamb being killed between the two evenings of Jewish teaching. The lamb was killed between 3 and 6 PM on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib/Nisan and prepared, because the 15th was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was an annual Sabbath observance (the first and last days of Unleavened Bread were annual Sabbaths in addition to the normal weekly Sabbaths). This search of the scriptures is important, not because it affects salvation, but because it answers the questions posed on whether Jesus kept His Word, and whether the Bible is true in this matter. A legitimate concern and question for all Christians!!

"On the fourteenth day of the first month--between the two evenings (at twilight)--is the Passover to Yahweh (YHVH). And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh (YHVH); seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh (YHVH). On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work." Leviticus 23:5-8

The above text confirms that the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are annual Sabbaths, to be observed as a day of rest in addition to the weekly Sabbaths. These days would occur on the 15th and 21st of Abib/Nisan. The Passover meal was an important religious observance in which to remember that the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their houses kept them alive when the angel of death passed by, and that God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. The Passover is a perpetual observance to celebrate pasing from death to life. These ancient events foretold the blood of Jesus being spilled for our sins, and our passage from death to eternal life, by the everlasting covenant of the blood of Jesus. They also foretold that Jesus would die as the national Passover Lamb, exactly on the 14th of Abib/Nisan and that the day following was an annual Sabbath.

What follows is a close examination of the biblical record, in which Jesus was killed on the 14th of Nisan in the afternoon, and the next day was the annual Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We shall also see from the biblical record that this annual Sabbath did not fall on the weekly Sabbath, in the year that Jesus died.

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:38-40

But later on two came forward, and said, "This one (man) stated, I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days." Matthew 26:60-61

Now on the next day, which is the one after the day of preparation (after the eve of the Sabbath), the Chief Priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate. And they said to him, "Sir, we recall that the deceiver said when he was still alive, 'After three days I will arise.' Therefore, command to guard the tomb until the third day, lest his disciples should come and steal Him away in the night and say to the people that he has risen from the grave, and the last deception be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have guards; go guard it just as you know how." Then they went to guard the tomb; and together with the guards, they sealed that stone." Matthew 27:62-66

The above verses show that Jesus had openly taught that the major sign that He was the Messiah was that He would die and three days later rise again. Even more clearly, He said that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. This promise meant that 72 hours would pass from His death to His resurrection and that this would be the sign for the Jews that He was who He said He was (the Messiah). The Friday crucifixion with a resurrection before sunrise on Sunday morning totals approximately 36 hours. If we understood Jesus to mean that within three days and three nights He would rise again, then any period short of that would suffice. But He taught that after three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, then He would rise again. This logically would necessitate the crucifixion on a Wednesday, then the daylight and nighttime periods of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday would be three days and three nights. We count from either His actual death shortly after 3 PM or from the time His body was laid in the tomb, shortly before the annual Sabbath began, although I believe we should count the 72 hours from the time the body was laid in the tomb.

You'll notice that the above text from Matthew 27 recorded that the chief priests met with Pilate the next morning after the crucifixion to get permission to post a guard and seal the tomb. The Bible records that this was the day after the day of preparation. This day of preparation is the 14th of Abib/Nisan, when the homes were scoured for any leavened bread within the house and a preparation of food was readied for the Passover meal, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread [Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:14, 31, 42]. Therefore, the grave of Jesus was not sealed until the morning of the 15th of Abib/Nisan, on the annual Sabbath. In the text from John 19:31, we learn that the body of Jesus needed to be removed from the cross because the Sabbath was about to begin and that Sabbath was a high day or annual Sabbath. This is consistent with the other verses which teach that the day of preparation was the day that Jesus died. Now we only need to determine whether the annual Sabbath and weekly Sabbath fell on the same day, which would lead us to the conclusion that Jesus died on a Friday afternoon, shortly after 3 PM as commonly taught. If not, then He died on another day of the week.

But the Jews (Judeans), because it was the day of preparation (evening of the Sabbath), they were saying, "These bodies should not pass the night on their crosses, because the Sabbath say is approaching, for that Sabbath was a high day (an annual Sabbath)." And they asked Pilate to break the legs of those who had been crucified, and they would be taken away (die quickly). John 19:31

And Nicodemus came also, who had come before to Yeshua (Jesus) by night; and he brought with him spices of myrrh and aloes for Yeshua (Jesus), about a hundred pounds. And they took away the body of Yeshua (Jesus) and wrapped it with linen and with spices, just as is the burial custom of the Jews (Judeans). John 19:39-40

And Joseph (Yosef) took the body and wrapped it in a sheet of pure linen; and he placed it in his own new tomb, which was cut in stone. Then they rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb; and they departed. And Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and the other Miryam (Mary) were there, sitting opposite the tomb (grave). Matthew 27:59-61

And Joseph (Yosef) bought linen, took Him down (from the cross), wrapped Him, and placed Him in a tomb that was hewn out in rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. And Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and Miryam (Mary) the mother of Joses saw where He had been laid. Mark 15:46-47

And it was the Preparation Day (the eve of the High Sabbath), and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now these women who had come with Him out of Galilee were approaching; and they saw the tomb and how His body had been laid. And they returned and prepared sweet spices and ointments. Then on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:54-56

In totality, the above verses together give us the complete picture of what happened after Jesus' death, how His body was prepared for burial, and who observed this process. It is extremely important to notice that none of the above texts alone gives the complete story, and that you have to read all together to get the whole story. Joseph took Jesus' body after receiving permission from Pilate, bought a linen sheet, and bound the body with Nicodemus' assistance. Nicodemus had brought a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, which they bound with the body. The tomb was near where Jesus was crucified, and belonged to Joseph who had carved this tomb out of rock. It was a new tomb that had never before been used. Also, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses accompanied the body from the cross and watched the entire process of burial. When Jesus' body was laid in the tomb, then Joseph, assisted by Nicodemus, rolled a large stone in front of the tomb opening and left. Finally, the two Mary's left and prepared spices and perfumes, before resting on the Sabbath. Up to this point, we have no evidence that the annual Sabbath and weekly Sabbath did not fall on the same day as traditionally taught.

The next collection of verses will explore the role of the women in preparing spices and perfumes with which they intended to anoint the body of Jesus.

And they returned and prepared sweet spices and ointments. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. But on the first day of the week at early dawn while it was dark they came to the tomb; they brought the sweet spices, these they had prepared. And there were with them other women. And they found that the stone was rolled away from the tomb. Luke 23:56, 24:1-2

But at evening in the Sabbath that was beginning the first day in the week, Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and the other Miryam (Mary) came that they might see the tomb. And behold there was a great earthquake; for the angel of MarYah (YHVH=Yahweh) descended from heaven and he came and rolled away the stone from the entrance; and he sat upon it. But his appearance was like lightning; and his clothing was white as snow. And from the dread of him, those who were keeping watch were shaken and they became like dead men. Matthew 28:1-4

And when the Sabbath was over, Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) and Miryam (Mary) mother of Yaqov (James) and Salom (Salome) bought sweet spices that they might come and anoint Him. But in the morning on the first day of the week they came to the tomb when the sun arose. And they were saying among themselves, "But who will roll away the stone for us from the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, for it was very large. Mark 16:1-4

Now in the first of the week, Miryam Magdalitha (Mary Magdalene) came to the tomb in the very early morning while it was still dark. And she saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. And she ran and she came to Shimon Kaypha (Simon Peter) and to that other disciple whom Yeshua (Jesus) had loved, and she said to them, "They have taken away our Lord from the tomb, and I don't know where they have laid Him." John 20:1-2

You may have to reread the above verses to notice that the women who had watched Jesus' body being laid in the tomb, prepared perfumes/ointments and spices. The Mark 16 text says that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary bought spices AFTER the Sabbath and prepared them. While the Luke 23 text states that the women prepared spices and then rested on the Sabbath. This is consistent with an annual Sabbath on Thursday, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. We know that these are the same women because the Bible verses all relate that Mary Magdalene was involved in all these events. However, two other Mary's are mentioned, one the mother of James and Salome, and the other the mother of Joses. In all cases, Mary Magdalene was involved. Therefore, the women saw Jesus' body being laid in the tomb on a Wednesday afternoon, they rested on the annual Sabbath on Thursday, and bought spices on Friday. They prepared the spices on Friday and then rested according to the commandment on the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. After the weekly Sabbath, they intended to anoint Jesus' body with the perfumes and spices. Therefore both intuitively and by evidence, we have proven that Passover was on a Wednesday, and that Jesus did as He had said, which was to rise again after three days and three nights. What remains to determine, is whether Jesus rose as the weekly Sabbath was ending or at sunrise on Sunday?

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