Is Friday the day that Jesus actually died on the cross?
Well lets take think this out. Jesus the Messiah said in Matthew 12:40
“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” ESV
This clearly says that Jesus will be in the grave for THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS before he is raised back to life. So let’s think about how we traditionally celebrate Easter. We know that Jesus was removed from the cross and hurried to the grave because it was the day of preparation for the upcoming Sabbath the very next day. Luke 23:54
“It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.” ESV
So we assume Jesus died on Friday because the traditional Sabbath was Saturday or “Sabbath day”. But if:
- he died on Friday afternoon
- in the grave on Saturday
- and the empty tomb was discovered early Sunday morning before the sun rose
Even if He rose just seconds before Mary arrived at the empty tomb, that’s still only a day and a half. But how can that be if He said three days and three nights?
Simple. The Sabbath we are thinking about is wrong. Let me try to explain. During that period of time there were two types of Sabbaths. The first is a weekly Sabbath, the one we traditionally think of, the day of rest. The second is a yearly Sabbath. This is what we today refer to as a Holiday but Jewish people referred to holidays as Sabbaths because they were still holy or High above regular days. John 19:31
“Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the …” ESV
or if you prefer a different version
“It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week).”NLT
So this Sabbath was the Passover Holiday celebrated once a year and it was on a Thursday.
So for Jesus to be true to His word (which He is):
- He died on the cross on Wednesday afternoon
- Passover was Thursday and he laid in the grave
- In the grave on Friday
- Rose from the grave on Saturday afternoon
- and His empty tomb was discovered before daybreak Sunday morning.
Of course the days really don’t mean much as far as your salvation nor is this meant to cause division. Jesus concurring death for your benefit is the important part.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”ESV
or as I like to quote it:
For God so loved [enter your name here] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Have a Good Wednesday.