by Randy White Ministries Sunday, May 1, 2022

What Day Was Jesus Crucified?

Two Major Views

  • The Friday View --This is the traditional view that Jesus was crucified at 9 AM on Friday, buried before Sundown, and raised on early Sunday morning.

  • The Wednesday View -- This view is built of Matthew 12:40 and requires two non-traditional elements:

    • “Sabbaths" that Passover week.

    • That Jesus was raised on Saturday evening, due to two reasons:

      • Three days and three nights requires it.

      • Matthew 28:1 implies that Jesus was raised on the Sabbath.

  • “Wednesday" proponents believe that it is a matter of literally reading the Bible and that faithful Christians must accept the Wednesday view.

    Major Support For the Friday View

    The Crucifixion Accounts Themselves
  • Luke 23:53-24:2 -- No hint of two Sabbaths

    • Day 1 -- vv. 53-56a -- Nissan 14

    • Day 2 -- vv. 56b- Nissan 15, the Sabbath, and Exodus 20:10.

    • Day 3 -- vv. 1-2 -- Nissan 16, the first day of the week.

  • Mark 15:42-16:2 -- No hint of two Sabbaths

    • Day 1 -- vv. 42-47 -- Note the day before the Sabbath - Nissan 14

    • Day 2 -- not mentioned

    • Day 3 -- vv. 1-2 -- Note: when the Sabbath was past Nissan 16

  • John 19:31, 42, 20:1 -- No hint of two Sabbaths

    • Day 1 -- It was the preparation (v. 31, 42)-- Nissan 14

    • “high" Sabbath -- Nissan 15

    • Day 3 -- The first day (19:42-20:1) -- Nissan 16

  • Matthew 27:60-28:1 -- No hint of two Sabbaths

    • Day 1 -- The burial (vv. 60-61) -- Nissan 14

    • Day 2 -- The Sabbath insurance policy (vv. 62-66). Note the words after three days (v. 63) are met with until the third day (v. 64).

    • Day 3 -- The first day (28:1). Concerning the problematic phrase, in the end of the Sabbath, simply move the period! Doing so harmonizes with the rest of Scripture.

      “Third Day" Passages
  • “third day" is found 52 times in the Bible, tied with “seventh day," and far surpassing others.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 -- the third day according to the scriptures. What Scriptures? Could it be Leviticus 23:1-11? Considering that Christ is the first fruits, this would make perfect sense.

  • Genesis 1:13 is utterly clear on the third day.

  • Matthew 16:21 -- why would we not use the Genesis 1:13 definition? If we won't use Genesis 1:13, will we use Luke 13:32?

  • Luke 24:21 -- could anything be clearer?

  • Using these clear references (and dozens more), could there be any doubt that Sunday is the third day from Friday?

    Major Support For the Wednesday View

  • This view would never come into being without Matthew 12:40 (and see Jonah 1:17).

  • My premise: we have been so persuaded by theological parroting that we fail to read this passage for what it says, and in doing so we are forced to create a scenario that rejects the clear teaching of dozens of passages.

  • The assumption made about this passage: that the heart of the earth means the tomb.

  • Three things to question the assumption:

    • Does the context of the passage support the assumption?

    • Are there other passages that define the term heart of the earth?

      • “heart of the _" is used 27 times.

      • It is never about cardiology, always used as metaphor.

      • “the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate."

      • Every Jews (and most Romans) would have understood Jerusalem to be the heart of the earth.

    • How did the original audience understand the term?

      • They certainly did not understand it as his time in the tomb, for they did not even understand that He was going to die (Lk. 9:51, 12:50).

        Why It Matters

  • Because there is too much false accusation about early believers as it relates to timing, and this adds to it.

  • Because we need to learn basic Biblical hermeneutics:

    • One passage cannot negate other passages.

    • Clear passages interpret difficult passages.

    • The whole counsel of God is required for a full understanding.

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