Monday, April 5, 2010

Supporting Wednesday Crucifixion theory

A friend of mine sent me a forward from a person arguing against the Wednesday Crucifixion theory. To the e-mail I had to respond, giving my thoughts.

I believe that the Wednesday crucifixion theory is a more solid one than the theory of Jesus being crucified on a Good Friday. In this blog entry, I will give the foundation for my view, without reference to the argument of inclusive reckoning, which I believe has to be dealt with by itself. For Christian background on the inclusive reckoning and Wednesday Crucifixion, check the following URLs: or For some thoughts about how an Orthodox Jew sees inclusive reckoning see

However, in this blog entry, I would like to examine three ideas. First the concept of preparation day, as I believe that this concept requires more deliberation. Secondly, I would like to defend the view of two Sabbaths intervening between crucifixion and resurrection. Finally, I want to further consider and further raise some issues regarding the relevance of the annual Sabbaths beyond just what Christ did, but the relevance extending to the future of Christianity and the world.

While preparation is needed for the weekly sabbath, especially as it relates to meals, as cooking was forbidden on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:3), there is indication from the scriptures that the preparation was not for a weekly sabbath.

John 19:14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour.
With this said, perhaps you would argue that the weekly sabbath and the annual sabbath would be occuring on the same day. If you take that view, then that view cannot be refuted unless the idea of inclusive reckoning is dealt with. As mentioned before that will be outside of the scope of this blog entry.

However, what I can address is the idea of two Sabbaths between the crucifixion and the resurrection. It is generally accepted that Jesus rose on a Sunday, which when interpreted Biblically is refered to as the first day of the week. The first day of week in the Bible begins after the evening of the Sabbath (Saturday evening) to Sunday evening. Hence, when the scriptures speak of Jesus being raised on the first day of the week, everyone understands this to mean Sunday (even though I think Jesus rose in midnnight on Saturday night as the women went to the tomb early Sunday morning to find Jesus already gone).

Since the firstday is a Sunday, people generally take the preparation day to mean Friday. Unfortunately, the majority of Christianity does not realise that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread requires preparation too. Since, it is less accepted that Passover and Feast of Unleaven Bread requires preparation, I must declare that Passover preparation (which also entails preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread) required more preparation than that for the weekly Sabbath. This is because, not only were they to prepare food for a day, but for a week, as they had to prepare unleavened bread, plus remove unleavened products (yeast) from their houses (13:7). Further, they had to have the Paschal or Pesach supper with a special lamb and with other special food items.

Further, John records in:

John 19:31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Clearly, there were two Sabbaths after the crucifixion. Whether they intersected or not is the question. However, from John's records it is clear that Jesus did not die on any ordinary day. It was the same season as the type given to the children of Israel. G-d had never intended that Jesus would die on any ordinary Friday before the Sabbath. He gave Israel a special time to signify what the Messiah would go through, which is the Passover ceremony.

If you accept this premise then we can move into the final argument or issue to be raised.

The annual Sabbaths marked God's seasons of intervention in human affairs. In Genesis 1:14, God declares that he made the sun and the moon to mark seasons and signs. Hence sunset marks the start of a day, including the weekly Sabbath. However, the annual Sabbaths are marked by a lunar calendar. Hence, in Olivet prophecies, Jesus again mentions of the sun and moon being signs. Jesus also mentions that he came "not to destroy the law or prophets", but that "heaven and earth" would have to pass before the law is changed, until all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:17-18).

Yet, many in Christendom, including the Advent movement, ignore the new moons and lunar calendar, and keep only days that they deem holy. Yet, God said that these signs would be sign forever, which in Isaiah 66:23, all humanity will worship him in these seasons.

In fact, the annual Sabbaths signify steps that God takes to execute the plan of Salvation. God used the Passover as the appointed time for his son to die. Later he used the Feast of Pentecost to send the Holy Spirit and bring in the first fruit of his harvest for the kingdom.

Hence, based on how G-d works, these appointed times and seasons were not just given to symbolically represent the salvation work. They also marked literal times and days that G-d would use to effect his plan for humanity's redemption. Hence in Leviticus 23, God calls them not feasts of the Jews, but in Leviticus 23:2, God says "feasts of the LORD...even these are my feasts". Among them, the first is the weeklu Sabbath, but the rest of the annual feasts are outlined. Hence, the Seventh-day sabbath is not holier than the annual Sabbaths.

Based on these arguments, without considering the weakness of man made ideas such as inclusive reckoning (a phrase which is not even literally found in the Bible), it is quite likely that God chose a Passover Day for Jesus to be slain, and in the middle of the Feast of Unleavened bread, Jesus rose again. If this is accepted, it is highly likely that there were two sabbaths between crucifixion and resurrection.

Further, if God's pattern is to use Jewish holy days to do things for humanity, I don't believe that he will change this approach. Hence, the other annual feasts (the fall festivals) that have not yet been fulfilled will be literal days and times when Jesus will return and when God will do things to intervene in humanity's redemption.

Even Jesus made mention that the Feast of the Passover will be continued when he returns (Matthew 26:29). This indicates that these festivals are far from abolished, but will be reinstated to the entire earth, when the LORD returns. Hence Zechariah 14:16-19 records that there will be international celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. And much more could be said in support of the future observance and significance of these seemingly Jewish holy days.