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Good Friday or Good Thursday?
April 11, 2007
All the churches celebrate Good Friday as the day Jesus was crucified. This is the day that all of mankind's sin was atoned for and that is a very good reason to celebrate it. However, if Jesus had not risen from the grave the following Sunday, then our faith would be in vain and we would have no hope.
This makes you wonder why the secular world is constantly trying to disprove the biblical account of Jesus. Last year the "Gospel of Judas" was revealed which tried to convince the world that Judas was Christ's most beloved disciple. It tried to assert that Judas was a co-conspirator with Christ in the crucifixion.
The year before it was The Da Vinci Code. This work of fiction claimed Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that Jesus had children. If Jesus, who is the son of God, had children, then those children would have been extraordinary people and we would have heard about them. The New Testament gives no indication that Jesus was married and had children therefore this must be treated as a fairy tale.
This year, they supposedly found Jesus's bones in an ossuary. This is, of course, absolute nonsense. John Ankerberg is currently doing a series of programs debunking this myth.
Why is the account of the crucifixion and resurrection constantly being attacked by the secular world? Since Satan is the ruler of this age, the world does his bidding. What does Satan want? He wants man to worship him instead of God. This is why he is constantly casting doubt on the word of God. "3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them." 2nd Corinthians Chapter 4
Those who have received Christ's gift of pardon, know the truth. The world is in darkness and attacks Christians because Christians are light bearers and light exposes darkness. Thus the attacks on the validity of what Christ did for us every year.
There is a problem with the belief that Christ was crucified on Friday. Jesus Himself said He would be three days and nights in the tomb. "39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Luke 12
If Jesus was crucified on Friday and placed in the tomb on Friday and then rose from the grave on Sunday, then there is a problem with Jesus's statement that He would spend three nights in the tomb. Friday and Saturday are only 2 nights. The scripture teaches that Jesus had to be put in the tomb before the Sabbath day because the Jews could not be defiled by the dead on a Sabbath day.
So how do we reconcile the seeming conflict here? We must remember that Jesus entered Jerusalem during the feast of Passover. In that same week, there are 2 other feast days. The Feast of Unleavened Bread and The Feast of First Fruits. Jesus arose on Sunday which was also the day of Feast of First Fruits. Jesus was the first fruit to be resurrected from the dead.
The Jews have 7 feast days. All 7 of these days are considered to be Sabbath days. This means that in addition to the Saturday Sabbath days, they had an additional 7 Sabbaths in which no work was to be done and no dead body could be touched.
During the week of Passover in which Jesus entered Jerusalem, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was on Friday which would make Friday a Sabbath day. In fact, that entire weekend; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were Sabbath days.
If Jesus was crucified on Thursday, which He probably was, then placed in the tomb before sunset of that day, then His own prophecy would have been fulfilled. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night are 3 nights. Since the Jewish day began and ended with sunset instead of midnight, then technically Jesus was in the tomb resting during the Sabbath days of the weekend then arose on Sunday morning during the feast of First Fruits.
The bottom line: Scripture is accurate to the letter because, Jesus, who is God, cannot lie. It is man who gets it wrong.
Copyright 2007 by Gary Goodworth
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