This is a subject that has been debated for many years, and today the church is still divided on this doctrine. The majority of Christians today believe Jesus was crucified on Friday. That’s why many celebrate Good Friday every Easter weekend. Still, there are many who believe he died on Wednesday, while a few think it was Thursday. Which was it? Does it even matter?
Well, some say it doesn’t matter, because it’s not an issue of salvation. It bothers me when people say something in God’s word is not important. Everything in the Bible is important.
Bible doctrine is like a chain. Each subject is a link to another. If we have a wrong understanding of one subject, then the chain is broken, and that link doesn’t fit. That’s one reason we have so many denominations today. As you know, I believe the Bible is the word of God, and it can be trusted.
2 Timothy 3:16 says,
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
If you are one of those who doubt that the Bible is God’s word, go read this article entitled “Is The Bible Really God’s Word?” Now, let’s see if the Bible is specific about what day Jesus was crucified.
The Bible says Jesus died around three in the afternoon (Luke 23:44-46) and was buried just before sundown the same day (Mark 15). He rose early on Sunday morning (Mark 16:9). If he had died and was buried on Wednesday, three days would have ended just before sunset on Saturday, not Sunday morning as the Bible says. He would have been in the tomb longer than 72 hours. However, if he was buried just before sundown on Thursday, three days would have ended around sundown on Sunday, not on Sunday morning as the Bible says. Still, more than three whole days. If he was buried Friday evening, Sunday morning would not have been three whole days. So, no matter which day we believe Jesus was crucified, there’s no way to calculate it where he was in the tomb exactly 72 hours. So let’s all drop that argument.
Let’s look at Luke 23:52-56 and continue on into chapter 24:1-3.
Luke 23:52-Luke 24-3
23:52 This man went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
23:53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was cut in stone, where no one had been buried before.
23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid.
23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.
24:1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
24:3 And they went in, but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
In Luke 23, we see Jesus was crucified on the Preparation Day. That was the day before the Sabbath. It’s clear this was the weekly Sabbath because the Bible plainly says, they “Rested the Sabbath Day According To The Commandment.” (the 4th of the 10 Commandments) The next day was the first day of the week (Sunday). Now look at Mark chapter 16.
1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came to the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.
In Luke chapters 23 and 24, we can see the time line from the death of Jesus to the resurrection. It spans only three days; the Preparation Day, the Sabbath day, and the First Day of the Week which is Sunday. Most Bible believers agrees he rose from the grave on Sunday morning. That’s why many Christians celebrate Easter Sunday.
So we have three consecutive days, the Preparation Day, the Sabbath Day, and the First Day of the week. Clearly these are the 6th day, the 7th day, and the 1st day, or Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Jesus was crucified on Friday (the Preparation Day), rested in the grave on Saturday (the Sabbath) and rose on Sunday (the First Day of the week). If that’s not clear enough, we’ll look at a few more scriptures to cement the argument.
Jesus had said he would rise again ON the third day after he was killed.
21 From that time forth Jesus began to show his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.
19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit on him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
1 Corinthians 15:4
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Again, Jesus said he would rise from the dead ON the third day.
There’s an interesting account in Luke 24, starting at verse 13. Sunday, the same day he was resurrected, Jesus met Cleopas and another disciples on the road to Emmaus. They didn’t recognize him, so they brought him into the conversation they had been having about the death of the Messiah. Notice what they said.
21 But we trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
There it is plainly. Sunday was the third day since he was crucified, and he arose ON the third day. Saturday was the second day since his death, so Jesus was crucified on Friday.
Bible Truth For The End Time
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