Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Happy Good Thursday!

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 2, 2010


When was Jesus crucified?

The question has been asked for centuries.  Like many questions of this type, I don’t believe the day of the week or time really matters that much.  What does matter is that He was crucified on a cross for the sin of the world.  But I do want to throw in my two cents just because.

A Long Time Ago

To be honest, technically speaking, He was actually crucified when the foundations of the world were laid (Revelation 13:8Hebrews 9:26).  The crucifixion was not a last minute idea, but was planned by God even before Adam sinned. Even though this might be the spiritual answer, there was an actual day when Jesus was nailed to a tree, and I believe that it is not the day that we call “Good Friday”.

Good Thursday

I might be in the minority with this idea, but I am not convinced that Friday is the day Jesus was Crucified.  We do know that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week (John 20:1, Luke 24:1, Mark 16:9).  We also are pretty clear that it is first day of the week after passover like this year’s is.

Author’s Note: The way the move Easter around has always bugged me. It should not something based on our calendar but based on the Jewish calendar, and it should be the first Sunday after the 14th of Nisan.

The Jewish day started at sunset and ended at sunset the next day.  When the Jewish leaders wanted to get Jesus off the cross before sunset because that day was a “special sabbath” (John 19:31) , it is easy to jump to the conclusion that this meant that He was crucified on Friday since the Sabbath is Saturday.  However, there are two pieces of the puzzle that makes this case not so open and closed.

Jesus Testimony

Jesus tells us 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

If you run the numbers from Friday to Sunday morning, the best you can do is 2 days and 2 nights that Jesus would be in the ground.  Either Jesus was wrong, or we got it wrong.

OK, you say, “Jesus was being figurative. ”

God thought you might say this and placed a couple of guys in the Bible that tell us how long it was from Jesus death to the first day of the week.

On the day he was resurrected, Jesus is on a walking trip down the road to Emmaus in Luke 24, Cleopas tells Jesus that it has been three days (vs 21)  since the death.

John 19:31 alluded to the Day of Preparation which was part of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and was regarded as a special Sabbath even though it didn’t have to occur on a “Saturday”, so using that idea to make it Friday is not necessary.

I suppose, in short, I believe Jesus’ words.

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2 Responses to “Happy Good Thursday!”

  1. Scottish Angle said

    yep. im with you on this one. The directions for the Passover are set out in Lev. 23 and Exodus 12 and are fulfilled by Jesus perfectly (the Passover Lamb) -even down to the Lamb being ‘selected’ on the 10th (Triumphal entry). Jesus was crucified on Preparation Day (the 14th). The next day (the 15th) was the Passover Sabbath. Most Christians just don’t get that. The reason for the confusion is because we read in the synoptics that Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples and this is a difficulty. There are certain facts in addition to the 2 important quotes you provide on your opening post i needed to appreciate before i came to the view the Jesus was crucified on the Preparation Day followed by the Passover Sabbath and then the weekly sabbath. 1. The main Passover day on the 15th was a Sabbath day. 2. The Jewish day was sunset to sunset (that is why the LORD said the Lamb was to be killed ‘between the evenings’ ie. as the 15th Nissan approaches at twilight – 3pm is perfect) 3. Preparation Day began officially 24 hrs before they were to eat the lamb Passover meal. 4. It was commanded to eat uleavened bread straight away as Nissan 14th begins 24 hours before the 15th begins and Passover Meal with the lamb was to be eaten (Exodus 12: 18 is key -it is the evening of the 14th it begins). —This makes it clear that the main action (Last Supper through crucifixion) in the biblical narrative was Preparation Day on the 14th Nissan. It clears up the difficulty about what Jesus and his disciples were doing at the Last Supper – no dead lamb was there. Jesus was eating unleavened bread as he he was supposed to be doing on the evening of the 14th. He WAS the lamb and was going to be killed later that day (our next day) at twilight. What remains is whether the Passover Sabbath coincided with the weekly sabbath. I agree with those who consider the two Sabbaths to follow on from each other. In the light of Matthew 12:40 it is the Thursday 14th Nissan when Jesus was crucified is it not? Interestingly the Festival of FirstFruits is to be celebrated the day after the weekly sabbath ie. the Sunday and then 50 days to the feast of Weeks (Pentecost). It all ties up in God’s plan. I may have said some wrong things here – i hope not.

  2. […] Happy Good Thursday! April 20101 comment […]

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