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Author Topic: Christ Crucified on G-Friday?
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Was Jesus Christ Crucified on Good Friday?
...Does It Make Any Difference?

N.W. Hutchings

Nisan 14, The Lord's Passover (Israel's Passover Preparation Day)

Tuesday, 6:00 P.M. (First Watch): Jesus observed Passover in the Upper Room with His apostles (no lamb, because Jesus Himself was to be the Lamb).

Tuesday, 9:00 P.M. (Second Watch): Jesus arrested and taken to Caiaphas to be judged.

Tuesday, 12:00 midnight (Third Watch): Jesus judged and found guilty of blasphemy by the Sanhedrin.

Wednesday, 6.00 A.M. (first hour): Jesus taken to Pilate at Anthony's Tower to be judged and sentenced.

Wednesday, 9:00 A.M. (third hour): Jesus nailed to the cross.

Wednesday, 12:00 noon: darkness over the earth to the ninth hour.

Wednesday, 3:00 P.M. (ninth hour): Jesus died and gave up the ghost.

Nisan 15, Israel Passover Day (First Day of Unleavened Bread)

Wednesday, 6:00 P.M.: Jesus' body placed in the tomb.

Wednesday, 6:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M. Thursday: Jesus' body was in the tomb - one night and one day (24 hours).

Nisan 16, Second Day of Unleavened Bread

Thursday, 6:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M. Friday: Jesus' body lay in the tomb for second night and second day (total now 48 hours).

Nisan 17, Third Day of Unleavened Bread (Jewish Sabbath)

Friday, 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Saturday: Jesus' body lay in the tomb for third night and third day (total now 72 hours). "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt. 12:40).

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on the eve of Nisan 9 because He came to fulfill the Father's will that He be the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world; lambs chosen for Passover must be separated from parents for seven days before the Day of Preparation. Jesus was anointed by Mary on Nisan 10 for His death, because a sacrificial lamb must be chosen (anointed) on this day, four days before the Passover. Nisan 10 the year Christ was crucified was indicated to be a Saturday Sabbath. Four days later, on Wednesday, Jesus was crucified. Jesus not only must have fulfilled every specific prophecy, but also every example and type, else He could not have been the Messiah.

Christendom, with few exceptions, observes "Good Friday" as the day Jesus Christ was crucified. A few believe that Jesus was crucified on Thursday, and a few more hold to the opinion that He was crucified on Wednesday. The term itself, "Good Friday," is a mispronunciation of Gott Friday, German for "God's Friday."

That Jesus Christ was crucified on the Day of Preparation is without controversy (Matt. 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14,31,42).

The Day of Preparation, according to the Scriptures, and as verified by Josephus, always fell on the fourteenth day of Nisan. This was the day in which the lamb was killed for Passover. The sins of those who were to eat the Passover were placed on the lamb, and then the lamb died, symbolically, for their sins. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and declared, "Behold the Lamb of God!" (John 1:36). Therefore, the Lamb who was to take away the sins of the world must be sacrificed on the Day of Preparation, else He would not have fulfilled all the prophecies identifying Him as the Messiah. Jesus must fulfill every prophecy relating to His first coming: to be born of a virgin, to be born in Bethlehem, to open the eyes of the blind, to make the deaf to hear, to make the lame leap as a deer, to be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, to be beaten, to be cut off from the land of the living for others sins, and dozens of other things foretold about Him by the prophets. Inasmuch as He came in "the fulness of the time" (Gal. 4:4), even the day and the hour He would be nailed to the cross and then raised from the grave was important.

The primary reason that the vast majority of Christendom accepts Friday as the day of crucifixion is that Jesus was crucified not only on the Day of Preparation, but also on the "day before the Sabbath." A Jewish Sabbath referred not only to the last day of the week (Saturday), but also to certain holy days, or feast days. He was laid in the tomb minutes before the High Sabbath, not the regular Saturday Sabbath.

We read in John 19:31-33: "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 a high day) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was cruficied with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs."

Jesus was laid in the tomb minutes before the beginning of the High Sabbath, 6:00 P.M., the twelfth Hebrew hour, and Thursday began a few minutes later (see Companion Bible and Dake's Reference Bible).

If, as the majority of Christendom believes, Jesus was crucified on Friday, then His body would have lain in the tomb only 24 to 26 hours - one night and one day, even though the time frame may be stretched to one whole day and a few minutes of the other two days. Jesus said of the time His body would be in the tomb: "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt. 12:40).

It is evident from the Book of Esther, the Book of Jonah, and other scriptures, when the time period is given as one day and one night, 24 hours is meant. Two Days and two nights means 48 hours; three days and three nights means 72 hours.

When Jesus was informed that Lazarus was sick unto death, He delayed going to Bethany until after Lazazrus had been in the tomb three days, and part of the fourth day (John 11:17). Martha protested it was much too late to help because her brother's body was already stinking. It was an accepted Jewish tradition that a person not be legally declared dead until three days had passed. Jesus proved to the Jews that He did indeed raise to life a person legally dead.

"It was the Jewish belief at that time that when a person died his spirit remained within his body for three days ... Jesus had to be in the tomb for three days, not only to fulfill His own prophecy concerning Himself, but to keep Jews ... from claiming that He had not really been dead" (Robert Faid, A Scientific Approach to Biblical Mysteries, p. 70).

The chief priests and Pharisees understood that Jesus meant He would be in the tomb for three full days, 72 hours, or else their conversation with Pilate in Matthew 27:62-66 makes no sense at all. It seems conclusive to this writer that Jesus Christ was crucified on Wednesday, Nisan 14. His body placed in the tomb just before the twelfth Hebrew hour (6:00 P.M.), and He arose from the rgave just after the twelfth hour on Saturday, or the first Hebrew hour on Sunday, the first day of the week.

The Lord's Passover was foretold to be Nisan 14, from sunset on Tuesday to sunset on Wednesday (according to our calendar). The sheaf of first fruits, according to Leviticus 23:10-11, was to be waved before the Lord on the day after the regular Sabbath following Passover. Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the grave on the first day of the week following the regular Sabbath (Matt. 28:1-8), the first fruits of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:23).

While we believe it is important that Jesus' body did lie in the grave three days and three nights, infinitely more important is that we believe that He did need to die for our sins and that He did indeed rise from the grave for our justification. Because unless the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred as Scripture declares, then "we are of all men most miserable" (1 Cor. 15:19).

That is all.....

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