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HEART Christian newspaper | March 29, 2020

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Was it Good Wednesday or Good Thursday?

When was Jesus really crucified?

The sign of Jesus’ Messiahship was that he would spend “three days and three nights” in the earth.
Yet we traditionally celebrate Good Friday, which does not leave three nights before Resurrection Sunday. Two Bible teachers present the alternative cases for Good Wednesday and Good Thursday

Good Wednesday

Philip Wren

Philip Wren

The traditional chronology with the crucifixion taking place on a Friday does not easily fit with Scripture, nor does the common rationalisation that the Jews counted parts of a day as if they were a whole day.

To unravel what might be the order of events, and reconcile the apparent contradictions between the Gospel accounts, it is necessary to understand the Jewish calendar, the spring festivals, the dates for the new moons in the relevant years and the Bible accounts.

Drawing these together, a Wednesday crucifixion fulfils prophecy and thus emerges as a strong contender.

Philip Wren

To find out more, read Philip Wren’s booklet, ‘The Year and Day of the Crucifixion’, available at https://www.trumpetsounds.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/The-Crucifixion.pdf or as a hard copy from: Philip Wren, 48 Newlands, Balcombe, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6JA. The booklet contains a holy week chronology, showing how the Scriptures fit into this order of events.  

Good Thursday

Peter Sammons

Peter Sammons

A Wednesday crucifixion assumes that three days and three nights means 72 hours.

However, in the Bible, a ‘day’ or ‘night’ can be less than 12 hours.

In fact, Jesus was in Bethany six days before Passover (John 12:1). The triumphant entry was the next day. Five days before Wednesday would be Saturday, a Sabbath, and the triumphant entry could not have taken place on a Sabbath.

I believe Jesus ate a Passover meal – not a Passover-like meal. How could Jesus have celebrated the Passover, but the Temple Priests had not (John 18:28)?

At the time, two calendars were in use; a pre-exile and a post-exile calendar, which averaged 24 to 48 hours apart.

Therefore Jesus ate his Passover by the pre-exile Moses calendar used by truly pious Jews, but was crucified by mankind (that’s all of us!) by the official calendar, precisely when the Temple authorities were slaughtering the sacrificial lambs.

Peter Sammons

To find out more, read David Serle and Peter Sammons’ book, ‘Three Days and Three Nights that Changed the World’, available via Christian Publications International (CPI) at £16. A free article on the CPI website looks at this in greater depth: http://christian-publications-int.com/images/PDF/GoodThursday.pdf A detailed timeline is also available at: http://christian-publications-int.com/images/PDF/SuggestedChronologyOfHolyWeek2.pdf

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