On what day did Jesus die?
Did Jesus die on a Friday or on a Thursday?
By Cobblestone Road Ministries
Cobblestone Road Ministries Website
The Bible Gateway - Gospelcom.net
Bible Verse Links - A word of warning: The Bible Gateway - Gospelcom.net site gives the user access to some very helpful tools for Bible study. While the default version is the KJV, several modern versions of the Bible, including the NIV, NASB, NLT, among others, are also available. By having this link I am not promoting, nor do I condone, the use of these versions. In my humble opinion, you should use the KJV only.
On what day did Jesus die? - Did Jesus die on a Friday or on a Thursday?
Answer: I have heard it argued Wednesday or Thursday. No one can really justify the good Friday theory because of the following verse:
Jesus gives us the answer in Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
If Jesus died on Friday afternoon and rose on Sunday, that would not make 3 NIGHTS. No matter how you add it up, you can never get three nights from Friday to Sunday morning. Friday does not give us enough time for three days and three nights. We know that Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday, which is the first day of the week. The key to knowing what day the crucifixion took place is the "three nights" part. We must not only count the three days but also THREE NIGHTS.
I always believed that Jesus died on Thursday until someone recently pointed out to me that Wednesday was also a possibility. (The Christian internet grapevine has a way of toying with one's own beliefs sometimes. You read one theory and it appears so accurate until you read the entire text of Scripture and then their theory falls apart like a house of cards.) I briefly recanted my view from Thursday in favor of Wednesday and even posted their theory on our website for a couple of hours but further discussion with a friend tonight proves that the day Jesus died is still Thursday, if you stick to the Bible.
Something that troubled me concerning the Wednesday theory is that because Jesus said, "three days and three nights," for Him to die on a Wednesday would constitute 4 nights before Resurrection. Those in favor of "Wednesday night" argue that Jesus rose again beginning the first day, which would be Saturday evening (Gentile time.) Their theory is inaccurate when weighed against Scripture. Jesus died on Thursday.
If Jesus were to die on Wednesday, He would have had to have risen BEFORE Saturday Evening to satisfy the "3 days, 3 nights" requirement. We will prove to you that the only Biblical answer is Thursday.
The Bible tells us that Jesus spent "three days and three nights," not "three nights and three days." In order to believe the Wednesday night theory, you have to count the nights first rather than the days first.
The "three days and three nights" is mentioned several times throughout the gospels. God placed the wording as such for a reason. If Jesus actually died on Wednesday, then why didn't the Bible state that He was "three nights and three days??"
It says just the opposite. When we stick to the Word of God, the answers become concise.
Jesus died at around 3:00pm (Luke 23:44) in the afternoon right about the time when the passover lambs were being slaughtered in preparation for the Passover. After Jesus gave up the ghost and died, we read in John 19:31 that the Jews went to Pilate requesting that the legs of those crucified be broken to quicken their death. Pilate gives the order and the soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves but they did not brake Jesus' legs (Psalm 34:20) (Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12) because they found Jesus was already dead so they pierced (Zechariah 12:10) His side instead and blood and water flowed (John 19:34.)
Isaiah 53:6-7 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
Jesus died at the exact time when the Passover lambs were being slain in Jerusalem. This makes perfect sense, considering that Jesus is the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. When we read Isaiah 53, the sole purpose of the crucifixion becomes crystal clear: that Messiah Jesus had to die for the sins of the world.
John19:39-42 - And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
Jesus said that He would be in the grave three days and three nights and then He would rise again.
I will explain my position of why Jesus died on Thursday. Follow me closely here. Let it sink in:
Jesus Died on Thursday
Buried on Thursday .. in the grave already on thursday night = 1 night
In Tomb all day on Friday and Friday night = 2 nights
All day Saturday and then Saturday night= 3 nights
Rising again on Sunday morning....before dawn. Remember the "Three nights" part is the key to understanding the day in which Jesus was crucified.
Matthew 28:1-6 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
The "Wednesday night group," who suggest that Jesus arose on Saturday evening are missing a key verse. Notice above that "as it began to dawn." The Greek word means "grow light." It would not be getting light out on Saturday evening, just the opposite.
We must conclude that Jesus was crucified on Thursday, the day of preparation for the Passover. He died the very hour the lambs were being slaughtered.
For Christians, the most important thing is that Jesus died for our sins.
(Isaiah 53:6,7, Psalm 22:16, Daniel 9:26) and that He rose again (Psalm 16:10) for our justification.
Acts 17:2-3 "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:20 - But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
We have hope because JESUS is ALIVE! The Old and New Testaments testify that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus was born to die for our sins and He rose again. This is the Good News message. This is the Gospel!
Acts 13:33-39 - God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Jesus said in Luke 24:44-47, "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
If you have any comments or questions, leave a note on our message board and we will be happy to answer your question.
For Further Study:
Which is the Greatest Sin?
Free Gift of Salvation
The Transfiguration- Why were Moses and Elijah chosen?
Is The Trinity Found in the Old Testament?
Biblical Proof That Jesus Is The Jewish Messiah
The Jews Are God's Chosen People
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