For those of you who have been following my blog, three weeks ago, April 16, I posted an article entitled, The Passover Moon. If you were to search for it today, you will not find it. What happened to it? I pulled it out, removed it from this website.
The reason for this is because I strongly discussed a Wednesday to Saturday Passover week that describes the events of Jesus’ last days here on earth. I believed then that Christ died on a Wednesday before the First Day of Unleavened Bread and rose from the dead three days later before a Saturday Sabbath day. I heavily leaned on the Bible verse found in Matthew 12:40 …
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.
I have changed my way of thinking about this and now believe that Jesus did indeed die on a Friday instead, what we call today, Good Friday, was buried, and on the third day rose from the dead on a Sunday. Here now is my explanation:
It all started when I wrote how I believe the Lord’s last supper occurred on a full moon, on the day before the First Day of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:17-19, Exodus 13:3, Leviticus 23:5-8). After publishing the post, I read a news broadcast stating that there was a full lunar eclipse on April 15 – which happened to be when the Jews were observing their Passover Seder meals.
I quickly saw my error. Jesus Christ had his last meal on the evening before the full moon – not on it.
What happened next? During that same time period, I was accepted membership into a Facebook Christian discussion group. As I scrolled down the various postings that had recently been entered, I noticed a link posted by one of the members entitled: “3 Days and 3 Nights.” Upon reading the article, I soon realized I could not refute the points for a Good Friday versus a Wed/Sat course of events. Here is the link which I had printed out to read and study:
Click: 3 Days and & Nights by Joe Crews and Richard Anthony.
It you are a Christian and have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you believe in the Wed/Sat view of the Passion week of events as I did, please do not change your beliefs on my account. Your salvation is not predicated on these things, but on your acceptance that Jesus Christ was crucified for your sins – on your behalf – and that He is risen.
One of the clinching verses for me that was used in the article was Luke 24:13-24, where Cleopas, one of the disciples (Luke 24:18, John 19:25) was on his way to Emmaus and was unknowingly talking to Jesus. Cleopas told him that it had been three days since this happened. Huh? If Christ died on Wednesday afternoon and was buried before sunset (still Wednesday), that would have been four days – not three! Cleopas was saying “three days” on a Sunday. What is going on here? The article link explains this.
What about the three days and three nights that Jesus Christ said would be the sign that He is the Christ?
Well the verse here, as I now understand it, is not about the time or length of days being 72 hours He was the tomb, but that He came out of the grave! He rising from death and walking out of His sepulcher is the sign! If He did not do this, we Christians (and the world) would not have a savior.
I have repeatedly mentioned in this blog website that we, as Christians, should be able to defend what we believe in our hearts as true. Why? So that we will be prepared to witness to others should they ask about the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). How would you answer these points for a Good Friday to a person seeking God and having questions regarding this?
Also, also and also, not too many years ago, I purchased this book, Three Days & Three Nights – Reconsidered In Light Of Scripture by Ralph Woodrow. For some reason, I just placed it on my shelf and never read it. Well, after studying the above mentioned article, I remembered and began reading it. Sure enough, this book went deeper into the issues and points discussed in the article I mentioned.
I now had a choice to make: let this information go and continue believing what I believe for emotional and traditional reasons or concede that I was in error after all and that perhaps God is telling me to also reconsider this doctrine. It was a personal matter between me and God.
Let me here repeat, for me, keeping holidays and holy days, of themselves, is not important for salvation. It is not about days, but about Jesus Christ – believing and having faith in Him. If honoring days were important, God would have made it very clear for Christians just as He was seriously clear in delineating what He wanted the Israelites to do before Jesus Christ came onto scene.
I have not seen in the New Covenant, any Scripture where it was commanded to Christians they must keep holy the Holy Days of Levitucus 23, Christmas, Easter, or Good Friday or else they would be excommunicated, removed, from church membership. If this were the case, again, God would have made it crystal clear in the New Testament.
What have I learned through all this? Answer: Christians, ESPECIALLY me, will always be learning and growing. Spiritual growth requires an attitude of open-mindedness for God to open up your mind (Acts 17:11).
Despite all of the scholarly advances and understanding that have come forth, we will never have all Bible knowledge. All of the unknowns and seeming contradictions and differences that the body of Christ is undergoing now will one day be straightened out when Jesus Christ returns. Then we will see Him as He is and, yes, we will continue growing evermore forward.
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Note: For a better understanding of what I previously believed about the last days of Christ on earth: His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection being from a Wednesday to Saturday time period, please click on this link: Second Class Christians?