We are soon going to celebrate Easter and in England we have a holiday. We have ours on the Friday before Easter Sunday and then another day on the Monday.
The Friday is called “Good Friday” and is traditionally the day where we remember Jesus crucifixion and death.
Did you know though that it was probably not a Friday that Jesus was crucified?
There are a couple of clues to this in the Bible and one of them is in today’s reading Luke 24.
Verse 1 starts with the note that it was the first day of the week which most people are agreed means Sunday.
Now in verse 21 the 2 disciples walking along the road to Emmaus state that is has been “3 days since these things happened”. Now that surely takes us back at least to the possibility that the crucifixion took place on the Thursday.
Another clue is in John 19 verse 31 which refers to the next day being a “special Sabbath” implying that it was not the usual Saturday Sabbath that we are familiar with.
Now one of the things to note is that the Jewish Passover feast begins on the 15th Day of Nisan, the first month in the Hebrew calander (a bit like our 15th January). This means that it is not on a fixed day of the week.
Now historians have not quite pinned down the exact year in which Jesus was crucified and so are unable to confirm what day of the week the Passover commenced but if you also consider the events leading up to the Crucifixion beginning with the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (traditionally accepted as being a Sunday) end there appears to be a day missing or “quiet day” if the crucifixion took place on a Friday.
It is also difficult to explain 3 days and nights in the tomb between Friday and Sunday so this would also point to the the Crucifixion taking place on the Thursday.
Part of our problem too with fixing a correct date is due to the observance of different calendars around the world and so the date of commemoration varies depending of where you live.
We could spend days and weeks studying this, there are so many different theories and opinions, but the most important thing to remember is that Jesus died and rose again to take away our sin, so whichever day we chose to remember this…let’s give Him thanks for loving us so much to do it.
The readings for Saturday are;
Numbers 20 & 21