Good…. Thursday?

Can someone explain to me how Christ could have been crucified on Friday, then be dead and buried for three days before rising from the grave on Sunday? I’ve yet to hear a satisfactory explanation for this discrepant timeline.

16 thoughts on “Good…. Thursday?”

  1. (DAY 1-Friday) He was crucifed. He died. and was then buried.
    (DAY 2-Saturday) Still buried in the tomb.
    (Day 3-Sunday) He arose from the dead.

    “He was crucified, dead, and buried. ON the third day, he arose from the dead.”

    Happy Easter. =)

  2. Yeah, that’s the basis for the traditional view of the events, but I propose that it is incorrect. From the mouth of Jesus Himself:

    bq. 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. “Matthew 12:40”:

    bq. He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. “Mark 8:31”:

    It’s pretty clear here that Jesus would spend a full three days and nights buried before rising again. We know He rose on the first day of the week (Sunday), so we back up things up three days and nights to find the day of his crucifixion. By my math that would place the day of his death most likely on Wednesday evening, Thursday at the latest.

    It’s not an issue for arguments or division, mind you. I’m not even suggesting we move things around for the sake of accuracy. I wouldn’t die defending a Wednesday crucifixion event. The important thing is that we remember and acknowledge the sacrifice that makes our salvation possible. But it’s something that sticks in my mind every year, that Good Friday really should be Good Wednesday or Good Thursday. I’ve just wondered why more people haven’t noticed.

  3. Hhhmm, Jim.
    Never have made the connection before. Got my brain reelin’ now! =)

    Not sure about what you think is actually incorrect though.

    Are you saying that Christ didn’t actually spend three days and nights buried before rising again on the third day?
    Are you saying that the three days and nights that WE “recognize” and celebrate- (tradition) as the Easter holiday are incorrect?

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  4. The latter, Ang. My belief is that we celebrate Christ’s crucifixion on the wrong day of week here in America. If we wanted to be technically accurate, our calendars should probably show the holiday as being Good Thursday or Good Wednesday (depending on how the three days, three nights actually works out). I’m certainly not suggesting that Christ _didn’t_ spend three days and nights buried; I’m sure He did. It’s that factoid that calls into question the current American calendar chronology of Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Does that make any kind of sense?

  5. I can appreciate your commitment to an exact chronology, although I don’t believe it is necessarily warranted by the text. Jesus is using the symbol of Jonah as a pointer to the resurrection. He fulfilled this task; thus ‘3 days’ – an number of completion (like the 7 days of creation). Thoughts? lgp

  6. You bet it makes sense, Jim! WOW! It seems that chapters 26 & 27 of Matthew support your thoughts. I’m still diggin’. =)

    “As you know, the Passover is two days away–and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Matthew 26:2

    “On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” Matthew 26:17

    That evening the Passover meal took place with Christ and his disciples ending up in Gethsemane.
    We all know the story from there.

    IF I understand this correctly, it seems that Christ would have actually died then on the day of Passover?!!!!? What are your thoughts, Jim?

    How amazingly and wonderfully appropriate!!!!!! The Passover lamb (sacrifice of old) done away with by the ultimate and only real sacrifice, The Lamb of God, Christ.

    “..Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.” Exodus 12:21

    “Behold, THE LAMB who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:2

    Isn’t it amazing, dare I say scary, what we really don’t get AND/OR the things we accept as truth simply by what others tell us? Most of it probably stemming from being “conditioned by tradition”. “Tradition conditioning”. Now there’s a term we should all understand, huh? =)

    Speaking of tradition….What about Christmas and Sunday worship? HmmH?
    Careful now. Please don’t get bent out of shape, anyone.
    I know it’s a “can of worms” and I don’t mean to open it.
    Just not sure how “correct” we are relative to those areas in our worship either.

    And yes, before anyone asks, I am a non-legalistic, Protestant Christian. =)
    Just want my worship to be in spirit and in truth.

  7. Lyn, Jesus said that he would die and _after_ three days be raised up again. He repeated this often throughout his ministry. We know for a fact he rose on the first day of the week, so three days prior would be Thursday. He died and was buried in the evening of the day he was crucified because the next day was the Sabbath and it was forbidden to have a crucifixion on the Sabbath (this is why the thieves’ legs were broken to speed their deaths). All this leads me to believe he died on Wednesday. I would need to look up some commentaries by scholars who have done more research than I have on the issue to confirm this.

    Ang, I would have to look that one up, but the chronology does seem to fit. And yes, it is very wonderfully appropriate and symbolic.

    As for Christmas, we know we don’t celebrate it in the right season, since Jesus was probably born in the early spring (we aren’t sure on the exact date). I believe that the reason it got moved to the winter was in response to a pagan celebration. Again, I would have to do a bit more research on the matter and come up with the two or three most likely reasons for that.

    Sunday worship is an easy one. Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, Sunday, and that is why we have Sunday worship, as a continual reminder of that glorious event.

  8. Sunday worship may be an “easy one” to explain, Jim. But is it correct? =)
    I don’t KNOW. Remember the phrase, “Tradition Conditoning!” = )
    I am and have been digging deeper on the subject and will continue until I am fully persuaded.

    There is A WHOLE, WHOLE, WHOLE LOT that could be said about this topic. But I am gonna be brief. I’ll wait to go in depth later. I just need to ready myself for now to “answer” all of the posts that are sure to come which supports the correctness of Sunday worship. =)

    From what I am able to understand, SUNday worship was made official through the Roman Church/Government with Emperor Constantine of Rome noted as saying,
    “….rest upon the day of the Sun.”
    The Catholic Church has said in essence that Sunday worship for those other than the Catholic faith, is unneccessary. Again, that is in essence, not a direct quote.

    What do you know about all of this, Jim? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As I said, I am searching. Want to do all in truth.

    Just so that we’re clear, I am not a Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, or Seventh Day Baptist.
    I am a non-legalistic Protestant Christian who goes to Sunday morning worship! =)

    Everyone have wonderful holydays this Resurrection weekend.
    Holiday=Holy Day
    Easter equivalent to Ishtar, a pagan goddess? Hhmmh.
    We need to search I tell ya. We need to search.

  9. Ang, to some extent I don’t think there is anything wrong with a certain amount of tradition. Much of our liturgical worship services are steeped in tradition. So many of the Christian practices we observe are based solidly in tradition (granted, most of these traditions have a foundation in direct commands from Christ). I think that the place where we err when it comes to tradition is when the tradition itself takes on a legalistic, you-must-do-this-or-else form that undermines both the doctrine and the faith which we are supposed to be observing.

    Despite my exploration into this topic, I do not necessarily think that it is wrong or incorrect to remember Christ’s death on a Friday. I think it matter what day of the week we remember this event about as much as it matters what season we focus on and remember His birth or His resurrection. There’s nothing in _my_ Bible that says we _have_ to observe these days on exactly the same day of the year that they happened in history. What I _do_ think matters is that we actually take the time to mark these occasions on an annual and be reminded of what happened and why they were necessary so that we do not begin to take either the sacrifice or our own faith for granted.

    So, when you ask, is it _correct_ to worship God on Sunday or to observe Christ’s death on a Friday, I suggest, from both a theological and a practical standpoint, that the question is mostly irrelevant. What day we celebrate or practice our faith on does or, or at least should not, have any effect on our faith. We know that God became man, was killed and buried, and rose again to provide us eternal life. Whether we get the events on the right day of the week does not change what happened and so has no bearing on whether or not our faith and our doctrine is legitimate, if that makes sense. I think we could observe the resurrection on Tuesday and the crucifixion on a Wednesday and probably still be alright (though I fear we might suffer a bit of chronological confusion in the process similar to what has already been delineated above).

    This is, essentially, merely a curiosity question to me, wondering how the three days between Jesus’ death and resurrection became mashed into one on our calendars. I have no problem with Good Friday being Good Friday. I am simply aware, however, that Friday is likely not the day of my Savior’s death. But this does not and will not hinder me from joining my brethren in the observance of the day and rejoicing on Sunday because of the hope we have of overcoming death.

    I do appreciate all the feedback on this topic so far, and I do hope it’s clear that I see no need to observe a legalistic approach to the remembrance of some of the key events of our faith.

  10. For the record, Jim, despite how it may come across, I am not legalistic and I am in no way knocking tradition. I just want what I believe and what I share with others (and we do have this obligation)—-I want it to be right and true. Nothing legalistic about that! =)

    Sincerity is wonderful and has its place. But one can be sincerely wrong.

    In closing know that, I do understand your position and your excellent points are well taken.
    I am thankful that we have this special day of worship to look forward to.

    And yes I too, Jim, plan to worship this Sunday. =)

    Hope you & yours have a great one!

  11. It sounds like we are coming from the same place, Ang. And it’s good that you want to unify your knowledge and your practice. It’s something we should all do more of, I think. Thanks for the dialogue!

  12. Ang states: “From what I am able to understand, SUNday worship was made official through the Roman Church/Government with Emperor Constantine of Rome noted as saying, ‘…rest upon the day of the Sun.'”

    Actually, the fact that Christians worship on a Sunday (and have done so from the earliest days in church history – 100s of years before Constantine) is actually a pointer to the historical nature and power of the resurrection. That is, for a group of Jewish God-fearers to actually switch from Sabbath day worship (the 7th day rest being etched in law and tradition) to the first day of the week in celebration of Jesus’ victory over death is a critical piece of evidence for the veracity of the event.

    Good discussion going on.

  13. Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but:

    The scholarly explanation that I’ve heard is that in those times, people counted parts of days to be ‘days,’ so when they said “three days” they weren’t contradicting themselves, even though they believed Christ died on Friday.

    Aside from that, it’s highly significant that the early Christians switched their holy day from Saturday to Sunday almost right away. Here were a group of Jews who had been celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday from time immemorial, who suddenly began holding it on Sunday instead – it indicates that something very important happened for them on a Sunday, and that they held a high doctrine of the signficance of Christ’s resurrection.

Have anything to add to the conversation?