Monday, April 02, 2007

Crucifixion on Friday?

When I began preaching in 1969, for many years I closed my sermons
with something like..

"One Friday, they nailed him to an old rugged cross!"

"One Friday he died for all my sins!"

I had the whoop and everything. I really pushed it hard.

"Does anybody know about Friday?"

"One Friday!"

"ooooh Friday!"

I took a seminary class and learned that I had been wrong about Friday. The instructor painstakingly showed us that despite the old tradition that Christ was not crucified on Friday, but Wednesday.

That really upset me because it meant I had been teaching and preaching the wrong information for about three years. I was so troubled because in my zeal I did not seek knowledge and mislead hundreds of people in the process.

The key to understanding the error is Matthew 12:40. Jesus said he would remain in the grave for three days AND three nights (72 hours).

I tried all of the fancy explanations the old preachers gave me to make sundown Friday to early morning Sunday three days and three nights but none of them would work.

Have you heard the explanations? "They had a different calendar or they
counted days differently or it was not literally three days."

As I studied, I realized my professor was right. I had to change my message to fit the truth I found.

If you are interested in this topic there is a website that gives the same information my professor gave me.

As I learned better I changed. It's worth a look.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont know about this pastor. I have studied and preached the passion of Christ from another gospel writer's perspective (luke) and he leads us to believe that Christ was crucified on a Friday and it in fact was Friday the 15th. Which means He rose on the 17th of April.
If you start in Luke 22:7, the reference lets us know that it was April 14th,which is the fixed/annual date of unleaveded bread.From verse 7 until verse 65 is all one day (Thursday). V66 is the beginning of Friday because it says at daybreak, whcih suggest a new day. So from v66 until 23:56a is friday.WHich is the day Christ was crucified.
In v56b, Luke lets us know that the women who prepared spices rested on the Sabbath, which we all know is Saturday. Chapter 24:1 begins on the first day of the week which according to roman calendar and Jewish custom, is Sunday. And this is the day the Ressurection is discovered.
So was Jesus in the grave 3 days? It was actually 2; Friday and saturday. He rose early sunday morning! But if you want to be technical, you can say that he was IN the grave on the calendar days of Friday saturday and sunday, and that He got up on sunday. Jesus never said 3 full days. That is just how we interpret him from Matthew. And so what about the comparison of Jonah? For all we know Matthew's source could have been wrong and his oral tradition contaminated. But, pastor the real question here is, "Does it really matter if it was 3 days or 2? Does it matter if it was 1?" In my theological perception it doesn't. The days have no affect on Christianity whatsoever. Our faith is built on the fact that he rose from the dead period! Not that he rose after 3 or 2 days of burial. Roman Soldiers affirmed him dead before he was buried and He arose. That is the real significance.

2:19 PM  

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