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Good Friday?


The Passovers                                

Jesus and his men ate their Passover dinner the night of his arrest. (Matt 26:17-20, Mark 14:12-17, and Luke 22:7-15)

The Jews ate their Passover after he was dead and buried. (John 13:1-2, John 18:28-29, John 19:13-14, and John 19:31)

The Jews were somehow unaware that their religious calendar was tardy the year that Christ was crucified. He, being a prophet in direct contact with God, would of course have known the precise moment that Passover that year was supposed to begin; which is no doubt at least one of the reasons why Christ ate his own Passover before the Jews ate theirs.

Ironically, the Jews were careful to avoid going after Jesus during Passover.

Matt 26:3-5 . .Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. But not during the feast-- they said --or there may be a riot among the people.

Due to their religious calendar's error, the Jews inadvertently crucified Jesus during the very season they wanted to avoid.

Defining Days and Nights                       

Matt 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.

Here in the USA, our 24-hour civil day begins and ends at midnight; whereas the Jews' 24-hour civil day begins and ends at sundown. In order to avoid confusion over the meanings of day and night relative to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, I highly recommend that we avoid thinking in terms of 24-hour civil time.

Jesus Christ-- whom John 1:1-3 and John 1:14 testify is God --was a citizen in the land of Israel 2,000 years ago; so I think that he, as both God and citizen, would know better than anybody alive today how to count and/or define days and nights back then.

According to Jesus Christ's understanding-- as both God and citizen --days were when the sun is up and nights were when the sun is down.

John 11:9-10 . . Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.

This world's light is of course the sun as per Gen 1:14-18. So then, "day" is when the sun is up rather than when the sun is not up; i.e. day is daytime and night is nighttime; viz: the three days and three nights of Matt 12:40 indicate three times when the sun was up, and three times when the sun was down; i.e. relative to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection: days begin with sunrise and nights begin with sundown.

NOTE: Days divided into twelve equal periods of sunlight were regulated by what's known as temporal hours; which vary in length in accordance with the time of year. There are times of the year at Jerusalem's latitude when this world's light consists of less than 12 normal hours of sun, and sometimes more; but when Jesus was here; the official number of hours was always twelve regardless.

I don't exactly know why the Jews of that era divided their days into twelve equal periods of sunlight regardless of the seasons, but I suspect it was just a convenient way to operate the government and conduct civil affairs; including the Temple's activities (e.g. the daily morning and evening sacrifices)

Anyway; I trust God's intelligence; and I believe in His son Jesus Christ. I don't think either one of them are ever wrong about anything, especially something as elementary as the properties of day and night.

Gen 1:4 . . God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5 . . God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.

If we permit those two passages to define the properties of day and night, then it becomes readily apparent that creation's days had no darkness in them whatsoever other than what existed prior to the introduction of light at the very beginning.

Gen 1:5 . . And there was evening, and there was morning-- the first day.

Note that passage does not say "and there was darkness and there was light-- the first day"

It isn't commonly known among Bible students that there is no specific, unambiguous Hebrew word in the Old Testament for the hours between sunrise and high noon, nor one for the hours between high noon and sundown; i.e. AM and PM.

The words morning and evening suffice for those particular hours. The hours between sundown and sunrise are always spoken of as night; never as day. When Bible students are unaware of that rather peculiar linguistic irregularity, they get thrown off by the terms evening and morning.

Now if you think about it; a strict chronology of the common understanding of evening and morning would indicate that God did all of His creating overnight; in the dark. That hardly seems appropriate to me; especially seeing as how God went to the trouble of filling the universe with light from the get-go.

To be even more specific about the properties of days and nights on the Earth, the Bible says this:

Gen 1:14-18 . . And God said: Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so. God made two great lights-- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.

Now that right there tells me that days on Earth are when the sun is up, and nights on Earth are when the sun is down; which corroborates Gen 1:4, Gen 1:5, and Jesus' statement at John 11:9-10.

The tragedy of it is that little kids know the properties of day and night; while it seems there's a number of Christian adults who don't. Well; I may not know the difference between a hermeneutic and a barbiturate, but I certainly know the difference between day and night.


The Missing Night                           

Matt 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.

Any child able to do simple arithmetic on the fingers of one hand can instantly deduce that Good Friday doesn't fit Matt 12:40 because there just isn't enough nights between Friday and Sunday-- there's only two; Jesus' prediction calls for three. The Good Friday model comes up short because it omits one of the two sabbaths during the week that Jesus was crucified.

Luke 23:50-54 . . And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counseller; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

. . .This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

NOTE: For the benefit of those looking in who may not be familiar with the ancient Jews' religion: the day of preparation is set aside for the Jews to rid their homes of leaven; plus slaughter and roast lambs with fire ready to eat for that night's Passover dinner. (Exodus chapter 12)

The sabbath mentioned in Luke's passage was very special.

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.

"high" is translated from the koiné Greek word megas (meg'-as) which essentially means big, i.e. great.

Regular sabbaths are neither high, nor, big, nor great days; they're same-o, same-o days; i.e. just routine. There's nothing all that special about a regular sabbath like there is the first day of the feast of unleavened bread because that sabbath's night is the Passover lamb dinner.

John 18:28 . .Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

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!

There are more sabbaths in the Bible besides the usual seventh day. For example:

Yom Kippur (Lev 23:32)
Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-25)
Feast of Unleavened Bread; a,k.a. Passover. (Ex 12:16, Lev 23:5-8)

Passover sabbath is interesting. The usual sabbath always falls on the very same day of the week every time. But Passover sabbath floats; hence it can, and it does, occur on any given day of the week; sometimes even coincident with the usual sabbath; for example 2018, and sometimes consecutive with the usual sabbath; for example 2008.

Factoring the Passover sabbath into the chronology of Matt 12:40 in order to obtain a third night is actually fairly easy once you're aware of it. But be forewarned; there are a number of Good Friday's resolute defenders who refuse to allow John's high day to be other than the routine sabbath; and they've concocted some very convincing sophistry to support their view.

It's sometimes objected that whereas Yom Kippur and the Feast of Trumpets are specifically called sabbaths; the first day of the feast of unleavened bread isn't. It's set aside for an holy convocation which just simply means a sacred assembly. But it's also added that no manner of work shall be done on that day; which is exactly what a sabbath is all about (Gen 2:2-3). In reality, the objection is just semantic nit picking.

Anyway; John calls that day a sabbath, which pretty much settles it for me. But it's a sneaky sabbath that usually escapes people's notice so they end up counting only one of the sabbaths related to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Without that sneaky sabbath, they're pretty much stuck with the Good Friday model; which of course is unworkable.

Number Of Days Away In The Tomb                         

The preponderance of evidence indicates that Christ's crucified dead body returned to life on the third day rather than after the third day was completely over and done with. In other words: Christ wasn't deceased for three whole days; i.e. he was deceased two whole days plus a partial day.

Matt 17:22-23 . . Jesus said unto them: The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.

Mark 9:31 . . He taught his disciples, and said unto them: The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Luke 9:22 . .The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Luke 24:21-23 . .We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

Luke 24:46 . . He said unto them: Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day

Acts 10:40 . . God raised him up the third day

1Cor 15:4 . . he rose again the third day

It would take a pretty clever amalgam of sophistry and double speak to make those passages say that Christ rose from the dead on any other day but the third.

Jesus And Jonah                    

While discussing Good Friday with one of its defenders, my opponent suggested that the darkness that took place while Jesus was nailed to the cross was one of the three nights that he predicted at Matt 12:40.

Well; of course that doesn't work because Jesus was alive during those hours of darkness on the cross. The three nights he predicted at Matt 12:40 were to take place while he was deceased and tucked away in the heart of the earth.

Now when you think about it; Jesus' corpse was never in the heart of the earth. It wasn't even in the earth's soil. His corpse was laid to rest on the surface of the earth in a rock-hewn tomb.

Jesus compared his experience with Jonah's nautical adventure. A careful examination of the finer points of the second chapter of his prophecy reveals that although Jonah was alive while in the fish, he wasn't alive the whole time. No, at some point in his ordeal, Jonah went to a place called sheol, which he sited at the bottoms of the mountains.

Well; even a school kid with an elementary knowledge of science knows that the bottoms of the mountains aren't in the tummy of a fish; nor are the bottoms of the mountains in the sea. No; the bottoms of the mountains are many, many, miles below both the fish and the sea.

If what I'm saying here is true, then at some point in his adventure; Jonah was quite dead.

Jonah 2:6 . . .To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Yhvh my God.

The Hebrew word translated "pit" sometimes refers to putrefaction. In other words "brought up my life" speaks of Jonah's resurrection.

According to Ps 16:8-10 and Acts 2:25-31 Jesus too was spared putrefaction by means of his resurrection.

According to Matt 10:28, the body and the soul are perishable. However; though the body is perishable by any means, the soul is perishable only by divine means; i.e. the deaths of body and soul aren't necessarily simultaneous, which readily indicates that once the body and the soul are separated, it becomes possible to relocate the soul. In the cases of Jonah and Jesus; their souls were transferred to the bottoms of the mountains.

Thus it all came to pass just as predicted: "as Jonah . . . so the Son of Man."

Both underwent death, both were entombed, both spent some time in the netherworld, and both their bodies were raised from the dead within the space of three days and three nights.

Crucifixion Day                         

If we reckon Sunday to be the third day as per Matt 17:22-23, Mark 9:31, Luke 24:21-23, Luke 24:46, Acts 10:40, and 1Cor 15:4; then:

Saturday would've been the second day, and Friday the first.

Saturday night would've been the third night, Friday night the second, and Thursday night the first.

The so-called last supper would've taken took place Wednesday night.

Jesus' interview with Pilate would've taken place Thursday morning and he would've been executed that afternoon.

The Women                    

There's quite a bit of debate going around related to the time of the women's arrival at the cemetery; for example Matt 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, and John 20:1.

The Greek word that speaks of the women's journey is somewhat ambiguous. It can not only mean came, but also went, i.e. it can indicate travel as well as arrival and/or coming as well as going.

Seeing as how there are no less than seven verses that clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity testify that Jesus' dead body revived on the third day rather than during the third night— viz: his body revived when the sun was up rather than when the sun was not yet up, —then it's safe to conclude that in the women's case "went" is the appropriate translation of the Greek word erchomai, i.e. the women left their homes during morning twilight; and by the time they met together and journeyed to the cemetery, the sun was fully up. (I cannot imagine any woman of good sense walking around a graveyard in the dark; especially when back in that day nobody as yet had access to electric lighting of any kind, not even a flashlight.)

NOTE: The original languages of the Bible contain numerous ambiguous words that translators are not always sure how best to interpret; so sometimes the onus is upon the reader. Caveat Lector.

The Importance Of Correctly Sequencing The Events                   

Q: Well so what if the outside world is laughing at Good Friday just so long as Catholics believe in it?

A: Irrational portrayals of Easter week contribute not just to the mockery of Catholics, but of all Christians the world over; and worse: the losing of people's souls in hell; here's why.

The most important event ever to happen in human history is Jesus Christ's resurrection because by it; God is able to grant people a full and complete acquittal.

Rom 4:25 . . He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

The koiné Greek word for justification is dikaioo (dik-ah-yo'-o) which essentially means to regard as innocent; i.e. exoneration; viz: an adjudication of innocence, which is normally granted when there is insufficient evidence to convict.

In other words: by means of Christ's resurrection, God is able to cook the books so it appears that people never did anything bad. On the surface; this looks very unethical, but from the divine perspective it's all on the up and up.

It's not too difficult to appreciate just how serious this is relative to the Good Friday model. That ridiculous piece of work has brought too much shame and ridicule upon Christianity because it cannot produce three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Well; If people can be persuaded to mock Easter week's sequence of events, then they can be just as easily persuaded that Jesus Christ's resurrection never happened. As a result they will miss the opportunity to be exonerated per Rom 4:25. A record of their sins will remain on the books, hanging over their heads like a sword of Damocles. Out ahead, at the great white throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15, those books will be opened for review and used as an indictment to justify sentencing people to a mode of death akin to a foundry worker falling into a kettle of molten iron.




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