on a Wednesday Afternoon (part 2)
by Roy A. Reinhold
As a result of receiving many e-mails concerning the article, The Friday Crucifixion Hoax, Jesus Died on a Wednesday, I've decided to add this part 2, to point out the explanation for ALL individual verses that readers have raised. There is not one verse that disproves the Wednesday afternoon crucifixion of Jesus. While that's a strong statement, you be the judge.
First, let's review the scenario proven in part 1. The Last Supper was held on a Tuesday evening (24-hours before the Passover seder meal). On Wednesday the 14th of Nisan/Abib, Jesus was crucified, and died late in the afternoon. Joseph of Arimathea received permission from Pilate and took down the body of Jesus from the cross, probably with Nicodemus' help. The scriptural record states that Joseph and Nicodemus worked together. Nicodemus had brought about 100 lbs. of myrrh and aloes. They wrapped the body in a sheet (shroud) and bound it with the myrrh and aloes. It was already getting dark, so they had to hurry, because the annual Sabbath was beginning, the first day of Unleavened Bread on the 15th of Nisan/Abib, which was a Thursday. Watching all this a short distance away were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses. Joseph had a new garden tomb that had never been used nearby. They laid the body of Jesus in the tomb and rolled the stone over the entrance to the tomb. The next morning the Jewish leaders met with Pilate and received permission to seal and guard the tomb, so that his disciples couldn't steal the body and say Jesus had risen from the dead. They sealed the tomb and posted guards (on Thursday). The women including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices on Friday and prepared them. They bought spices on the day after a Sabbath (the annual Sabbath), and after preparing them on Friday, rested on the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. As the weekly Sabbath was ending late on Saturday afternoon, Mary Magdalene and one of the other Marys' came to the tomb to anoint the body. Since it was already almost dark, or was dark, all they saw was that the stone had been rolled away and no body was there.
Summary: Jesus died on Wednesday afternoon and was laid in the grave as the annual Sabbath was beginning. He was in the grave Wednesday night, Thursday day, Thursday night, Friday day, Friday night, and Saturday day. Therefore, He was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. He was resurrected late on the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. Therefore, He rose on the third day. Also, it was after 3 days and 3 nights. Those are the incontrovertible facts from the scriptural record.
I'd like to face the most troublesome verse first (Luke 24:21), that of the two men walking to Emmaus on Sunday, who were later joined by a stranger who explained all the scriptures to them. We know they were walking on Sunday, the first day of the week, because it is clearly stated so in Luke 24:1, where the sequence of events started. Here are 3 translations of Luke 24:21:
Yes, the walk to Emmaus was on Sunday, but it is a misunderstanding and mistranslation that Sunday was the third day since the crucifixion. Instead of writing down the verse in Greek, which most of you don't know, I decided that I ought to use what others have shown concerning this verse (Luke 24:21), which will have greater weight with you.
The Greek word for "since" after "the third day" in Luke 24:21 actually means "away from". Away from is the same as our "after". Yeshua died late on a Wednesday afternoon and was laid in the grave at sundown on Wednesday as Thursday was beginning. He was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights on Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night and Thursday day, Friday day, and Saturday day using our reckoning of days and nights. He rose as the Sabbath was ending. So He was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights and rose after 3 days and 3 nights while the Sabbath was ending. So He rose on the third day. Sunday is therefore the 4th day. The actual literal Greek translation of Luke 24:21 is:
But surely also together with all these things, it brings a third day away from which all these things occurred.
Translators take the cumbersome literal translation and make it flow , taking some liberty with it, but trying to retain accuracy. The 4th day is "away from" the third day. So it is apparent that the verse is literally saying they were walking and talking after the third day, which was Sunday. However, have other translators understood this point too? Yes, let's look at 3 of them. (Luke 24:21)
Moffatt Translation--by James Moffatt
The New Berkeley Version in Modern English--
The Syriac New Testament Translated Into English
From The Peshitto Version -- James Murdock
The Syriac Reading can be confirmed by 2 of the oldest manuscripts in Estrangelo Aramaic: the Sinaitic Palimpset and the Curetonian Syriac.
There is exceedingly ample evidence that the correct translation for Luke 24:21 is that the KJV should read, "today is after the third day since these things were done." As the information above shows, the oldest and multiple original manuscripts show that "away from" is the correct word for since, and shows us that they were talking about Sunday being the 4th day since Yeshua was laid in the grave. That troubled them, because He has clearly said many times that He would rise on the third day, after 3 days and 3 nights. He would fulfill the sign of Jonah, as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the great fish, so Yeshua would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. These two disciples were challenged in their faith, because it appeared that Jesus' many prophecies concerning His being raised from the dead had failed. They were going back to Emmaus in defeat, when a stranger joined them. This stranger explained to them all the prophecies concerning the Messiah from the Bible (Tanakh or Old Testament). They did not recognize that it was Jesus, the risen Messiah talking to them. Only when they sat down to eat and He blessed the bread and gave it to them, were their eyes opened and they recognized Him as Jesus. He then instantly disappeared from them.
The next set of verses raised by readers all say the exact same, that He would rise on the third day. The answer is that He did rise from the dead on the third day, late on Saturday afternoon. First a verse that tells us that He rose as the Sabbath was ending on Saturday afternoon.
The dawning of a new day in the biblical and Jewish day reckoning is at twilight as it is getting dark, not first light in the morning. The Sabbath ended at sundown, and the two Marys came to look at the gravesite after the Sabbath ended. Jesus had already risen. Therefore, the Bible teaches He rose on the third day, on the Sabbath, regardless of what your tradition or any later creed states. Now let's show all the verses where Jesus said He would rise on the third day, or those afterwards that state He did rise on the third day.
All of the above verses state a prediction that He would be raised on the third day, or that some feared it coming true, or afterwards stated that it had come true. [Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 27:64; Mark 9:31; 10:34; Luke 9:22; 13:32; 18:33; 24:7; 24:46; Acts 10:40; and 1 Corinthians 15:4]. The scriptural facts show that Jesus rose from the grave late on the Sabbath, late on Saturday afternoon. This was 3 days and 3 nights AFTER He had been crucified, and it was also the third day. The first day being Thursday; the second day being Friday; and the third day being Saturday. Somehow we modern people have trouble juggling the concept of the biblical day running from evening to evening, with that of the civil day from midnight to midnight.
Actually, Luke 13:32 above is often translated differently, where instead of the word "perfected", they translate it as "reach my goal." The verse thens tells the story of Jesus saying that He would cast out devils and heal the sick for the next two days, and then reach Jerusalem on the third day. That's what happened, and in context, the KJV translation is less satisfactory.
There are yet a few other verses that apply to the Wednesday crucifixion, so let me show them for you so that you don't have to search for them and send them in an e-mail. :-)
All these verses are answered the same way. Jesus did rise from the grave on the third day, late on the Sabbath. He did rise after three days; Thursday, Friday, then Saturday. It was 3 full days and 3 full nights AFTER He died. There are NO verses that cannot be reconciled to the Wednesday afternoon crucifixion. The verse Yeshua so often referred to from Jonah, was where Jonah was in the great fish 3 days and 3 nights.
Pastors are also fond of using allegories and allusions to teach a concept or doctrine, and perhaps Luke 2:46 ought to be a direct allusion to the 12-year old Yeshua (Jesus) being found AFTER 3 days.
Why should this story be a direct allusion to be used by pastors to teach the resurrection? Note that in Luke 2:41, that the feast they went to was the Passover. So Yeshua disappearing for 3 days was a direct showing of what would later occur in His life. And it was done at the same feast, and He did appear to His disciples who were to be the teachers. He had disappeared for 3 days and 3 nights from His parents as a 12-year old, and was found AFTER 3 days. In the same way, when crucified, disappeared for 3 days and 3 nights through death, and was hidden from friends, family, apostles, and numerous disciples, and then revealed to them after 3 days.
Wednesday Crucifixion graphic #2 by Michael J. Harris
We've discussed every verse that touches on the subject. There is no problem and no verse that disproves the Wednesday crucifixion. Rather, they all work together to corroberate the whole scenario. I am 100% sure that Yeshua (Jesus) died on a Wednesday afternoon as the scriptures teach. Whether you have the courage to accept that and turn from believing in an erroneous scenario (Friday crucifixion) is up to you. It is hard to buck the crowd and much easier to just go along. Whether anyone else believes that is up to them. I cannot force people to believe God (through the written Bible).
Why is this all so important. The truth will win out, and the scriptures promised that all would be restored before His return. Even though the church wrongly taught error in the Friday crucifixion for centuries, the evidence will win out. The word of God will not return void, and it is time we believe the truth and not man-made fables.
There are many well-known christians who are on television, and others who have written many books, who likewise don't believe the Friday crucifixion. Some haven't examined all the evidence in detail, and so guess that maybe it was on Thursday. However, others believe the Wednesday crucifixion. The point is that all of them are afraid or reluctant to teach it or bring it up openly. Why? Because they are afraid of losing a following, or losing donations, or losing book sales. It's OK with me, because why should a person make this knowledge a central point of contention in their life? People throughout the ages have wrongly believed in a Friday crucifixion and were genuinely saved. So I don't blame these well-known christian leaders for just avoiding the subject.
More important is the corollary, that this removes any basis for honoring Sunday. The sabbath is and has always been the 7th day. However, anyone can worship on Sunday and God our Father accepts them without reservation. Even the Roman Catholic church has written extensively that they created Sunday as the day of worship and that there is no scriptural basis for it, it is by tradition only. Their writings point out that since protestant churches follow their traditional teachings of honoring Sunday, then protestants are acknowledging that the Roman Catholic church has precedence and authority over them. There is no reason to honor Sunday, since Yeshua rose as the sabbath was ending, on the 7th day. The only point it brings up is the commandment, remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. That's why I bring up the sabbath and Sunday point.
Don't run to your pastor to prove the Wednesday crucifixion and the resurrection late on the sabbath. The fourth commandment is not church law, it is an individual's requirement. A person can keep the sabbath day and go to church on Sunday. After all, keeping the sabbath means to refrain from normal work, don't shop, spend time with your family, and spend time with God. What this knowledge will do is allow you to know the truth and answer non-christians who often see the error propagated by the institutional church. Knowing the truth should also motivate you to keep the sabbath day. Revelation 12:17 speaks highly of believers in the end-times, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.