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The Myth of the Friday Crucifixion of the Lord Christ

Introduction

The Lord Christ made a very clear statement early in His ministry:

Mat 12.38-40
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Yet, with essentially unlimited carelessness, there are still professing Christians who maintain that the Lord was crucified on Friday (and died before sundown and entombed ) then rose Sunday morning. Clearly, this interval is not “three days and three nights”.

It isn’t even two full days!

[Many years ago my wife and I attended a small Bible church in which one of the elders maintained and taught the "Lord-was-crucified-on-Friday” myth. He was unfazed when I and another man in the class brought up this text from Matthew; his response was that it was as if it wasn’t really in the Scripture. He literally appeared to be disinterested in the truth of the Scripture, preferring instead to maintain his delusion.

Long ago I stopped being surprised at the carelessness with and contempt for Scripture I’ve observed in so-called “Christians”, elders especially included.

Moreover, I remember being taught this same error while a child/teen in my “dark days” as a lost Roman Catholic. This should not be surprising, of course; the Roman Catholics teach and maintain grave error regarding the very clear doctrines of grace, faith and salvation. How could they be expected to get “mere historical details” of the Lord’s crucifixion right?

Besides, Roman Catholics have a "vested interest" in the Lord Christ’s death: if you have ever been in an RC church you’ve observed the prominence given to the dying/dead Lord in stunning contrast to the absence of any symbols of His resurrection!]

The apparent root of this error is the (willing?) ignorance of the OT Scriptures which defined what the Passover was, how it was to be observed and its sequence of days.

The purpose of this article is to present a detailed chronology of the last 11 days of the life of the Lord Christ, up to and including the resurrection. In this article I show that, just as the Lord clearly taught in Mat 12.38-40, that from His death to His resurrection, three 24-hour periods (that is, three “days” plus three “nights”) transpired.

The accounts in the gospels consistently and elegantly establish this truth.

This series is presented in 6 chapters:

  1. The Spices!
  2. The Passover Defined
  3. Establishing the Timeline
  4. Harmony of the Gospels
  5. The “first of the Sabbaths”
  6. Addendum: “Three Days