Christ Died on the Passover – Not on Good Friday

UPDATE: After reading in John 18-19 these last couple days during my devotions, this post and study has been on my heart again so I wanted to repost it. At the end, I’ve included some additional things I’ve since learned that adds to this study.

Did Christ Die on Good Friday?
I’ve followed the tradition of honoring Good Friday, based on the understanding that Christ died on preparation day, which is widely understood to be the day before the Sabbath… so to understand the events leading up to the death of Christ on the cross, that’s where I started in my studies to discover whether Christ did in fact die on Good Friday.  I looked in the scripture to understand the observances of the Sabbath (the day that follows the preparation day), the Passover (when Christ ate the last supper, prayed in the garden, was arrested and tried, and hung on the cross and died), and the Feast of Unleavened bread (the seven day feast that immediately follows Passover), so I’ll address that part of my study first.

In Leviticus 23:3, “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.”

In Leviticus 23:5-8, In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord‘s Passover.  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.  But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

You can read more regarding the Passover in Exodus 12 and Numbers 28:16-25, but I am going to address these passages I’ve shared.  We see in verse 3, that there is a weekly Sabbath that we are called to rest, and will be a holy convocation (assembly, reading, summoning).  This Sabbath falls on the seventh day of every week, on Saturday.  On the Sabbath, there is to be no work done.

We then see that in verse 5, that it states that the Passover will be what marks the first month, on 14 Nissan at twilight. So Passover begins at dark on 14 Nissan and ends at twilight on 15 Nissan.  As Passover concludes, the beginning of The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matzah) begins.  The first day and last day of the next 7 days, have been declared by the Lord as High Sabbaths and thus no work must take place.  These Sabbaths are what the Lord has proclaimed as a holy convocation and thus no work is to be done.

Now that we understand these details, we can better understand the events taking place surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection.

“And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.”  Mark 14:16

In Mark 14:12-16 we see that the disciples went to prepare a place for them to partake of the Passover meal.  This was on 13 Nissan, the hours leading up to sunset.  Upon the arrival of sunset, 14 Nissan began.  Reading on, we see in the scriptures that they ate the Passover meal, went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, and after praying, Jesus was arrested, tried, and on the cross by morning. (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46)

“It was now the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb was sacrificed. Jesus’ followers [disciples] said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?’  Jesus sent two of his followers [disciples] and said to them, ‘Go into the city and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.  When he goes into a house, tell the owner of the house, “The Teacher says: ‘Where is my guest room in which I can eat the Passover meal with my followers [disciples]?'”  The owner will show you a large room upstairs [T upper room] that is furnished and ready. Prepare the food [Make preparations] for us there.’  So the followers [disciples] left and went into the city. Everything happened as Jesus had said, so they prepared the Passover meal.  Mark 14:12-16

Early the next morning, all the ·leading [T chief] priests and elders of the people decided that Jesus should die [or met together to plan Jesus’ death].  They tied [bound] him, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate, the governor.  Matthew 27:1-2 

As I’ve observed over the years, traditional teaching says that Christ died on Friday, was in the tomb through the weekly Sabbath, and arose on Sunday morning.  However, Christ Himself stated He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish:

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40

The importance of this passage is noted in the passages surrounding it where Christ states: An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.  For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” Matthew 12:39-41 (emphasis mine)

So we see, the Lord told Jonah to go to Ninevah and call out against them.  It was such a warning that led them to their repentance.  Greater than Jonah, is the Christ that’s come to do the same for the whole world.  If this was a great sign of the Lord, the only sign given, for the evil and adulterous generation seeking a sign, wouldn’t it thus be necessary to be accurate? Friday evening to Sunday morning is not three days and three nights!

Now that we understand the Sabbath, the Passover, and The Feast of Unleavened Bread, we see that the Passover and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are back to back and thus, Christ ate the last supper, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, was arrested, tried, hung on the cross, and died on the Passover.

The evening of that day initiated The Feast of Unleavened Bread and thus was a High Sabbath.  They removed Christ from the cross and placed Him in the tomb, only wrapped in linen soaked in a mixture myrrh and aloes, before the evening began because it was a holy convocation.

Let’s look in the scriptures to see the support for this:

“Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would 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.” John 19:31

This man (Joseph of Arimathea) went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.  It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.  Luke 23:52-54

“After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body.  Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.  So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.”  John 19:38-40

“So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”  John 19:42 

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus was laid and would thus return on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, and Jesus was already gone.

“And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw [took note of] the place where Jesus was laid.”  Mark 15:47

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”  John 20:1

“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.  And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large.  And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.  And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”  Mark 16:1-6

So we see that early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Christ had risen.  If we follow the timeline given, we see that the High Sabbath, which could happen on any day of the week, did not fall on the weekly Sabbath.  Let’s break this down:

Saturday evening/Sunday morning, Christ rose

Friday evening/Saturday day, Christ lay in the tomb through the Sabbath (Third Night and Third Day)

Thursday evening/Friday day, Christ lay in the tomb through the preparation day (Second Night and Second Day)

Wednesday evening/Thursday day, Christ lay in the tomb through the High Sabbath (First Night and First Day)

Tuesday evening/Wednesday day, Christ at the Passover meal with His disciples, prayed in Gethsemane, was arrested, tried, put on the cross, and died.

This must be the order of events in order for the words of Christ to be true and to fulfill the only sign that was given.  So we see that no, Christ did not die on Good Friday.  He died on Wednesday, as the Passover lamb.  The ultimate sacrifice for our sins so we could live eternally with the Father in Heaven.

I did this study, not to take issue with the traditions many still observe, but to find the truth.  I have such a desire to understand the Word in its intended context and not simply in the context of my own understanding.  I hope this is enlightening to anyone who reads it, and that while we should continue to renew our minds with the truth, we should be mindful to remember that it’s this very sacrifice in this post that brings us salvation and not whether we honor this sacrifice on a Friday or a Tuesday.  We must be careful not to become legalistic over these matters and to live as we are called.

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.  This is my rule in all the churches.  Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised?  Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision.  Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised?  Let him not seek circumcision.  For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.  Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.  Were you a bondservant when called?  Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)  For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.  You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.  So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.”  1 Corinthians 7:17-24

August 16-17, 2017 UPDATE: Something new I saw while reading was in John 18:28, was that the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews didn’t enter the governor, Caiaphas’s quarters, so as to not defile themselves, but could eat the Passover. This further reveals that Christ was arrested and died on the cross on the Passover, which is the Preparation Day for the week long Feast of Unleavened Bread. On the first and last days of the feast, it is a High Sabbath. It was again stated in John 19:14-16 “Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.”

This further confirms that the following day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was a High Sabbath, not the weekly Sabbath; further confirming also that Jesus did not and could not have died on Friday.

Let’s Be Different Than the Haters

So I don’t usually talk politics. I have my viewpoints and I don’t want to create any tension with those I love. I am just really struggling with some of the things I’m seeing in the media so I hope my friends read this, knowing my heart and my love for people.  I’m not ‘YAY Trump’ or anything… I don’t agree with a lot of his politics and views or how he communicates.  However, I don’t see what in this latest press conference regarding Charlottesville screams that he supports racism/slavery (please watch it now if you haven’t seen it in full – don’t wait until you’re done with this blog entry, simply because I hope what I have to say will cover all the annoyance you will be feeling lol).

What I saw was that he said there were violent protesters on both sides and peaceful protesters on both sides. He didn’t say Nazi’s and White Supremacists were good people and he said the people showing up in black clothes with bats in their hands were ‘bad’. He called the woman who died an incredible woman and the man who killed her, a murderer. I mean… he repeated himself 3546875154 unnecessary and obnoxious times, so I don’t understand why this is being said about him with this particular conference?

I’m not saying he’s not frustrating to listen to and arrogant; he talks about his money, property, and how great he is a lot and it’s annoying… I just don’t get why the snippet of the conference, out of context of what he’s saying, that leaves out the part where he specifically clarifies that he’s not supporting Nazi’s and White supremacists, declaring him as hateful and racist for saying there were *some* violent people on the side of those who wanted the statue to come down as well as *some* peaceful people on those protesting the statue coming down.  I guess I feel like the guy has enough issues without having to twist something out of context to make an example of it. I don’t understand.

Just to make it clear, I am pro-life: black lives matter, I hear their cry to be seen and heard, and empathize with their need for love, compassion, and support; I cry for the babies who have been aborted; I mourn for the children abandoned; I grieve with those who’ve endured abuse; I rally with men and women overcoming trauma; and I stand up for those who need a helping hand and who struggle with standing up for themselves. I am anti-slavery, racism, violence, and hate. I believe all people deserve respect, no matter how different our views are. I believe each of us and our own personal journey’s matter and that we all have a basic human need and right to be heard and loved.

I don’t support Nazi’s or White supremacists. I don’t support black people murdering white people. I don’t support those who agree with slavery. I also see how our history lifts up people who did support slavery… it was sadly, a cultural norm at one point, so there are those historical figures who had slaves.  I do recognize however that as culture shifted, and the norm changed, that black men and women who have made a historical impact on our nation have also been recognized as they should be! It shows how we can learn, grow, be enlightened, and ultimately make changes in a huge way.  Both realities matter! Where we were and what we were brought through to get to where we are reveals the power we all have to make a change.

For some perspective on what I’m saying.  I don’t agree with abortion. It grieves me to know millions of children have not lived their lives due to this act of violence done against them… however, it’s a cultural norm. I’m seen as the odd one and non-progressive for that viewpoint.  I’m seen as perhaps one might also view a slave owner, as though I’m oppressive to women in some way because I care for the lives of these children.  However, you will not find me protesting the statues that our culture puts up as a mark of our history, revering and promoting the abortion industry. Why? Because it doesn’t change hearts. It’s my heart, that someday, people will begin to see the lives of the unborn as valuable and precious. As valuable and precious as the women carrying them in their womb.  I stand for them both.

If there comes a day that our culture shifts, and we all agree that the lives of the unborn are sacred, we will see in our history, a culture who celebrated abortion, that was brought through to get to a place that celebrated LIFE.

Much like I am looking forward to the day where we celebrate life, and how these little people impact our lives and the lives around us, where we see the opportunity to sacrifice a selfishness inside of us to love and cherish a vulnerable, fragile, and beautiful creature that offers an unconditional love in return, a love that changes our insides straight to the core, and that wrecks our perception of everything we ever thought was important… as much as I am looking forward to that day, I am also looking forward to the day we celebrate variations of skin color, that we see the beauty in people and how our differences help us learn, grow, and inspire. That we’d see all violence as wrong and not justify it.  That we stand for kindness and stand for historical change, but not try to erase what’s brought us to where we’re going: because it’s in seeing it in our history that we learn the importance of why we should never go back!

I hope whomever has read this far has heard my heart… I’m not a Trump supporter. I also wasn’t a Bush or Obama supporter. I want God’s best offer for our country and I have had to settle for the presidents we’ve had since being old enough to vote.  I see good in all of our presidents but I don’t agree with everything they’ve done. Ultimately, I see them for what they were and seek to impact change in the small part of the world I’m a part of. If we all do that, through love and respectful communication, I believe we can make a difference. Violence won’t; focusing on the violent and grouping the peaceful with them as though they too are violent, won’t; nor will ignoring the violent and grouping them together with those who are peaceful as though they all were peaceful.

I hope whomever has read this far sees what I’m saying in context… in context of who I am as a person, in the entirety of my views, affections, and character, and with the compassion I have for those who so desperately want to be heard.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, but I respectfully request that you be kind. This is a hot topic for sure, and I want your thoughts heard, but I also would like to be spoken to appropriately about it. Love and kindness, honor and respect, start with at least two people. Communication and dialogue clears the path for insight, understanding, and perspective. Let’s be different than the haters. Thanks for reading. 🙂

The Start of the School Year

Well, the kids had expressed interest in year-round homeschooling (days off and vacations through out the year instead of chunks in the summer and such), but it just didn’t work out for us this year. Maybe next year! Then we planned to have the start of the school year begin in early August, but I was struggling! I had to attack our schedules and get my health in order, so I attacked my coffee drinking first as well as getting Craeghar’s nap time sorted so I could get more sleep at night.

I am finally starting to feel a bit more energized, despite no coffee, but I still have some organizing to do. School is ready to start once our junk is not stealing our time! lol So I’m packing all things we own that we don’t use, don’t need, and don’t love. Then next spring, I’ll go through and decide what of it all we want to keep or want to get rid of. This will save us the time of organizing and the time of having to continue to clean it! So I’m very thankful for a shed that we can store things in.

So we’ll be starting school on Tuesday, August 29th. We have some workbooks for Language Arts and Math; we’ll be using All-in-One Homeschooling Curriculum for Geography, Zoology, and Health/PE; we’ll be part of a Homeschool Co-op for Library Skills, Maine Studies, and Fine Arts; and I’m trying out a new curriculum that will get us through all the books of the Bible in a year. I’m really excited. My kids love school and can’t wait for it to start, and I can’t wait for them to start either because their excitement for learning gives me so much joy. I’m so proud of them!

This year Katlyn is in 8th grade, Karyn is in 6th grade, and Christopher is in 4th grade.  Kathryn isn’t registered but is working through Kindergarten and 1st grade, and Kimberlyn is working through Pre-Kindergarten. So exciting! I’ll probably be blogging a bit more about it once we start since it will be what fills our days very soon.

Also something I have to plan around, is halfway through the year, we’ll have a new little Whitten to be mindful of! So amazing… a new little baby!!! So please keep us in your prayers as we dive into this new season and new adventure! God is so good. ♥

I Will Push On

Scripture: “Sometimes I say to myself, ‘I will ·forget about the Lord [L not remember him]I will not speak anymore in his name.’ But then his message becomes like a burning fire ·inside me [L in my heart]·deep within [L shut in] my bones.  I get tired of trying to hold it inside of me, and finally, I cannot hold it in.”  Jeremiah 20:9

Observation: Even when we want to give up and walk away, God won’t let us do so without calling us back to Him. Once we know the Lord, feeling weary or doubt to may come but to reject Him and disobey is always a decision.

Application: During a very dark season in my life, feeling empty, alone, and worthless, I would say similar words to Jeremiah, ‘I’ll just leave – leave my husband, my kids, the church… and stop standing up for what is right. It’s so hard and I’m so tired of doing the right thing, I just want to do what I want to do,’ and just like this passage says, I heard the Lord speak to me, ‘I am faithful, even when you are not.’ He proceeded to warn me to turn back, to stop the way I was going… but I was deceived into believing I was crazy; deceived into believing I might become a paranoid schizophrenic due to the diagnosis my mother never actually received despite what I was told by my sister J.

However, He didn’t leave me in my confusion. He continued to pursue me and I had to make an active choice to reject Him and disobey. I believed I was paranoid and didn’t listen to His warning. As a result, I faced the heartache and despair that comes from such a decision. Just like Eve, I had been deceived and tasted the fruit, giving me a new understanding of evil. I could not walk away from Him, from what was right, from my family. I was more weary outside of His presence and His will for my life, with these beautiful people by my side, than I had ever known. I’d rather find joy in doing good, than know such despair like that again. So I won’t contain what He’s shown me. I’ll speak. I’ll reveal His glory. I might grow tired, but I will push on. It is worth it.

Prayer: Father God, that time in my life was so painful and so confusing. I never want to be that far from You again. I will walk this path that can be challenging in so many different ways, but that is always good, useful, manageable, and bearable. Continue to help me through it, growing despite the weakness of my flesh. When I want to sleep instead of work, give me supernatural rest; when I want to hide instead of face the day, give me boldness and courage; when I want to give in to the pressures around me, give me strength. Continue to use me Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.