Wednesday or Good Friday?
I never thought I would hear this question asked. I listened to a caller ask a televangelist pastor, “What day was Jesus crucified? Some people say Wednesday and some say Good Friday”. He wanted to know from the pastor which was the correct day. To my surprise and consternation, the pastor answered that “it was Wednesday, because it was three full days.” A couple of years ago I had read a message from a religious group proclaiming the same idea that Jesus’ death and burial took place on a Wednesday. I couldn’t believe that a religious body would expound that belief and eventually dismissed it from my thoughts, until I heard what was said by this pastor.
Paul in Corinthians 11:3-4 expressed the fear “Lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve, by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it!
I am very thankful to those pastors who have opened my mind and understanding to the truths found in the Bible. I have learnt a lot from those pastors who preach and refer to the Bible so that their audience can check what they are saying and I must confess I have learnt so much from these ministers of the gospel. However, I have also complained in previous articles of those pastors who are taking verses out of context and addressing large audiences with what is not in the Bible, and just giving their own opinions.
Reading the Bible carefully and comparing scripture with scripture and asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten us will help the reader to direct his mind to the truth. Timothy 3:16-17 tells us “All Scripture is profitable for doctrine and instruction in receiving the gift of salvation.” We must remember that before His ascension Jesus spoke to His disciples, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28: 18-20) We don’t take the Word of God seriously and so we put our own spin on It. Jesus said “all things I have commanded you” not what you think He might have said or meant. The apostles were bold to preach Christ and Him crucified, they changed nothing.
The Gospel writers, all four of them have mentioned the Preparation Day as the day before the Sabbath. We know that the Sabbath in the Bible is the seventh day Sabbath, Saturday, and the first day of the week, Sunday (changed by the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, as they claim) as the day the women went to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1) only to find that He had risen. Matt. 27:62 “On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation………”; Matt.28:1”Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn,……”; Mark 15:42 “Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath….”; Luke 23:54 “That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.” John 19:31 “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the Cross on the Sabbath…..”; John 19:42 “So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. Absolutely, no mention of the fourth day of the week, which is Wednesday! How could anyone reading the Bible seriously not pay attention to this important fact?
What confounds the issue for some persons is not having any knowledge of Jewish customs. The Sabbath starts at sundown on the Friday evening until sunset of the following day. Since Jesus’ death took place in the afternoon of that Friday, from the afternoon until sunset would be considered the first day of His death and burial. The second day would start from sunset on Friday evening to sunset on Saturday, and anytime after sunset on Saturday evening would be considered the third day. This lack of knowledge confuses most people when it is said He rose on the third day, not three full days as the pastor above mentioned, not only to his flock but to the many thousands of listeners all over the world that they claim listen to them. Genesis 1:5 at Creation the Bible says: “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
I quote from the commentary of Adam Clarke:
“As God exists in all that can be called eternity, so he is equally everywhere: nothing can be future to him, because he lives in all futurity; nothing can be past to him, because he equally exists in all past time: futurity and pretereity are relative terms to us; but they can have no relation to that God who dwells in every point of eternity; with whom all that is past, and all that is present, and all that is future to man, exists in one infinite, indivisible, and eternal NOW”
God’s timing is perfect. We change God’s time at our peril, like His Sabbath which He blessed and made holy and said Remember the Sabbath. His words never return to Him void. Neither God nor Jesus commanded that the Sabbath be changed, nor even the apostles. Six hundred years before the birth of Christ Daniel 7: 25 prophesied that “he shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.” History has proved this occurrence, but we haven’t paid attention by reading our Bible carefully. People say what’s in a day; we can worship on any day and that is true; but God gave us a day of Sabbath rest and we should abide by and in His Word. “If you love me, keep My commandments.”